Yoga is a 5,000-year-old tradition from India that combines physical, mental and spiritual pursuits to achieve harmony of the body and mind. On 11th December 2014, the United Nations General Assembly declared June 21st as the International Day of Yoga. The declaration came at the behest of the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi during his address to UN General Assembly on September 27, 2014, wherein he stated: "Yoga is an invaluable gift of Indias ancient tradition. It 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 nature”. Suggesting June 21, which is the Summer Solstice, as the International Day of Yoga, Narendra Modi had said: "The date is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and has special significance in many parts of the world.”
Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated the first International Day of Yoga on June 21st, 2015, on the theme ‘Yoga for Harmony and Peace.’ The event also registered two Guinness World Records, one for 35,985 people practicing in a single Yoga session at a single venue and the other for most nationalities participating in a Yoga event.
The second International Day of Yoga was held around the theme ‘ Yoga for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.’ Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi led a mass Yoga demonstration at Chandigarh, where more than 30,000 people participated. The performance of Yoga by 150 Divyang Jan along with the Prime Minister was one of the highlights. Around the world, 192 United Nations Member States observed IDY- 2016.
The third International Day of Yoga was held on the ‘Yoga for Health’ theme. Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi led a mass Yoga demonstration at Lucknow, where more than 51,000 yoga enthusiasts participated.
The 4th International Day of Yoga was held in Dehradun, Uttarakhand led by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi with 50,000 volunteers. The theme for the 4th IDY was ‘Yoga for Peace.’
The 5th International Day of Yoga was held in Ranchi, Jharkhand. Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi led a crowd of over 40,000 people. The theme of the 5th IDY was ‘Yoga for Heart’.
The theme of the 6th International Day of Yoga-2020 was ‘Yoga at Home and Yoga with Family’ which signified the importance of staying at home and practicing Yoga with family while observing social distancing. Millions of people in India and across the globe participated in the digital format.
The theme of the 7th International Day of Yoga-2021 was ‘Yoga for Wellness’ which highlighted the important role of Yoga for overall well-being.
The 8th edition of International Day of Yoga was celebrated at Mysuru, Karnataka on the theme “Yoga for Humanity”. Shri Narendra Modi Ji, Hon’ble Prime Minister led the mass Yoga demonstration along with 15,000 participants.
IDY-2022 saw many new initiatives, including the ‘Guardian Ring’ program, which was a collaborative exercise between 79 countries and United Nations organisations along with Indian Missions abroad. Integrating the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav with celebrations of the 8th IDY, mass Yoga demonstrations were organised at 75 iconic locations across the country under the leadership of 75 Union Ministers.
Hon’ble Prime Minister also inaugurated the Digital yoga exhibition where the history and wisdom of Yoga are being showcased using latest technologies like Virtual Reality. Prime Minister also visited the Static Ayush Exhibition where 146 yoga institutions, Ayush institutions participated.
IDY-2022 was promoted through multiple programs by the Ministry of Ayush, in association with Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga. A curtain raiser event to mark the 100 days countdown was celebrated on 13th March 2022, which started the campaign: 100 days, 100 cities, and 100 organizations from 13th March to 21st June 2022, across the globe. A 75th-day countdown event was organized at the Red Fort in New Delhi. The 50th Days countdown was celebrated at Sivasagar, Assam and the 25th-day countdown was celebrated in Hyderabad, Telangana.