INDIA. 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 was a televised program, and the highlight was Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi’s address. The address started at 6.30 AM on all Doordarshan channels, it also included an address by the Minister of State for Ayush Shri Kiren Rijiju and a live Yoga demonstration by the Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga.
On the occasion, the Prime Minister talked of Yoga’s role during the pandemic. He said Yoga has proved a source strength and poise for people during this difficult time. He prayed for health of every country, society and individual while pointing out that it was easy for countries to forget Yoga Day during the pandemic as it is not intrinsic to their culture but, instead, enthusiasm for Yoga has increased globally.
One of the key ingredients of yoga is fortitude in the face of adversity. When pandemic appeared, no one was ready from the point of view of capabilities, resources, or mental toughness. Yoga helped people to muster confidence and strength to fight the pandemic world over.
The Prime Minister recalled how frontline Corona warriors made Yoga their shield and made themselves strong through yoga and how people, doctors nurses took to Yoga to deal with the effects of the virus. Instances of yoga sessions conducted by doctors and nurses in the hospitals appeared everywhere. The Prime Minister noted experts are stressing the importance of breathing exercises like pranayama and anulom-vilom for strengthening our respiratory system.
The Prime Minister announced that India and WHO has taken an important step today; the world is getting an M-Yoga app that will provide many videos of yoga training based on common yoga protocol in many languages. Terming this as a great example of the fusion of modern technology and ancient science, the Prime Minister expressed the hope that m-yoga app will help in spreading yoga the world over and will contribute to the efforts of ‘One World One Health’.
The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu also performed Yoga with his wife Smt. Ushamma, and appealed to the people to make Yoga a part of their daily lives.
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 21 June in their respective countries, and as per reports, Yoga Day will be observed in about 190 countries globally.
As in previous years, the IDY consisted 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 facilitated harmony. Lakhs of Yoga lovers also joined as a part of this activity, doing Yoga from the safety of their own homes. Those who required guidance for performing CYP were invited to follow the live demonstration from the lead event (televised) on any of the Doordarshan channels. This live Yoga demonstration was further followed by messages from 15 spiritual leaders and Yoga Gurus.
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