This past Saturday, September 27th, India’s Prime Minister Neredra Modi made an unexpected reference to yoga in front of the United Nations General Assembly, the same Assembly that heard Emma Watson’s much acclaimed and criticized speech on feminism earlier last week.[wp_ad_camp_1]
Although Modi’s speech didn’t gain as much popular attention as Watson’s, an unexpected topic made some heads turn. During his remarks on international cooperation and responsibility, Modi invoked yoga as a means to combat climate change and called for an international day of yoga, or “World Yoga Day”.
“Yoga embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature”
The remark didn’t go unnoticed, and gained immediate support by some of India’s neighbors, including Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Nepal.
What is World Yoga Day?
Although the idea of an international yoga day isn’t new, a sanction by the U.N. would bring more attention to the cause and an official space for international dialogue.
World Yoga Day has been celebrated in over 20 countries since 2007, joining yogis from 5 continents into one day of continuous yoga. The event’s mission is devoted to human rights around the world, through the thoughts and energy of all those practicing yoga and monetary donations made to help victims of human rights violations. Each year a new organization is chosen to benefit from the revenue.
Get on Board
This coming year, World Yoga Day will be celebrated February 22nd, 2015. So far 13 countries have signed up, and anyone is welcomed to join.
To participate and learn more about the cause and movement, visit the official website here.