New Delhi. In view of the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent restrictions in congregational activities, the lead event of the International Day of Yoga (IDY) 2021 will be a televised programme, with the Prime Minister’s address being the highlight. Scheduled to start at 6.30 AM on all Doordarshan channels, the event will also include an address by Minister of State for Ayush Shri Kiren Rijiju and a live Yoga demonstration by the Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga.
The seventh International Day of Yoga comes up at a time when the world fights COVID-19. But the pandemic doesn’t seem to have dampened the enthusiasm for Yoga, going by the buzz observed in the digital space in the last few weeks. The Ministry of Ayush, the nodal Ministry for IDY, has highlighted the important role of Yoga in one’s overall wellbeing, through various activities organised in the run up to the International Day of Yoga (IDY). The main theme of IDY 2021 is “Yoga for Wellness”, which is aligned to the current pre-occupations. Numerous digital initiatives taken by the Ministry together with nearly 1000 other stake-holding institutions made the practice of Yoga accessible to the public, despite the restrictions imposed by the pandemic. The Missions of India abroad are coordinating various activities in the run up to the 21st June in their respective countries, and as per reports, Yoga Day will be observed in about 190 countries globally.
The observance of Yoga Day is timely as health is foremost in the thoughts of one and all today, following the Covid- 19 emergency. It is significant that the key purpose behind the United Nations recognising the 21st of June as the IDY was to underlinethe potential of Yoga in public health globally. The IDY resolution of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in December 2014, it may be recollected, came at the initiative of the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and was passed by unanimous consent, which was a record in itself. Since 2015, the IDY has evolved into a mass movement for health, around the world.
IDY over the years has not only boosted Yoga’s popularity, but also expanded its geographical presence by inspiring its adoption in several new territories. The event has also triggered new advances within the field of Yoga, such as development of universal Yoga protocols for people of all ages, development of specific protocols addressing lifestyle diseases, and research into Yoga’s potential as a productivity enhancing tool.
The pandemic experience has made the public more conscious about the health benefits of Yoga, and this experience has duly been accommodated by the Ministry of Ayush in its promotional efforts. The Ministry’s advisories on COVID-19 highlighted the importance of regular practice of Yoga to boost the immunity level and combat COVID-19. These advisorieswere widely publicised through numerous channels of the government and other stake-holders, and were found useful by the public as well as health professionals. Reports from different parts of the country indicate that Yoga practices have been incorporated successfully in many hospitals as supporting procedures in treatment of Covid-19 patients, and that Yoga contributes to faster recovery from this disease.
As in previous years, the IDY observation on 21st June 2021 will consist of individuals participating in large numbers in the harmonious demonstration/ performance of Yoga at 7.00 AM. The Common Yoga Protocol (CYP), a specified sequence of Yoga drills of about 45 minutes’ duration, will be the vehicle that facilitates such harmony. Lakhs of Yoga lovers have already committed themselves to be a part of this activity, doing Yoga from the safety of their own homes. Those who require guidance forperforming CYP are invited to follow the live demonstration from the lead event (televised) on any of the Doordarshanchannels. The Yoga demonstration will follow the Prime Minister’s address, and will befrom 7:00 to 7:45 AM (IST). This live Yoga demonstration will be further followed by messages from 15 spiritual leaders and Yoga Gurus namely: Gurudev Sri Sri Ravishankar, SadhguruJaggi Vasudev, Dr. H. R. Nagendra, Shri Kamlesh Patel, Dr.VeerendraHeggde, Dr.HamsajiJayadeva, Shri O. P. Tiwari, Swami ChidanandSaraswati, Dr. Chinmay Pandey, Muni Shri Sagar Maharaj, Swami Bharat Bhushan, Dr. Vishwas Mandalik, Sister B.K. Shivani, Shri S. Sridharan and Ms. Antoinette Rozi.
The observation of IDY is a global activity and the preparatory activities normally start 3-4 months prior to the 21st of June. Millions of people are introduced to Yoga in the spirit of a mass movement as part of IDY observation every year.