Momentum growing for an International Day of Yoga

Among the many things Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi talked about at his United Nations speech a month ago was the idea for an International Day of Yoga.

His call is gaining some serious momentum, as this Times of India story makes clear:

As many as 50 countries – US, Canada and China most recently — have signed up for co-sponsorship of a draft resolution which India’s UN mission is preparing for declaring June 21 as international Yoga day.

The resolution will be submitted soon to the UN secretariat with the government looking to aggressively push for its adoption before the end of this year. Perhaps India’s most significant export to the world, the ancient art of Yoga is fast taking centre-stage in Modi’s soft power push.

I’m thinking maybe Asana Across America? (You read that here first.)

Posted by Steve

India’s prime minister calls for International Yoga Day

During his speech this weekend to the United Nations General Assembly, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for an “International Yoga Day.”

Here’s how the Times of India summed it up:

Modi’s unexpected reference to yoga during in his UN General Assembly speech came when he was talking about climate change and going back to basics. Yoga is not just about fitness or exercise, it is about changing one’s lifestyle, Modi said, plugging for ancient practice that was introduced to the west by Modi’s spiritual inspiration, Swami Vivekananda.

And here’s the thing. It turns out it wasn’t just a toss-off remark that went unnoticed. It is getting some support from India’s neighbors:

Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin, addressing a press conference on Saturday said, “The leaders of Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal congratulated Prime Minister Modi on his speech at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and all of them indicated their support for the Prime Minister’s proposal for an ‘International Yoga Day’. All three nations have said that they would support this initiative of designating a day in the United Nations as an International Yoga Day.”

“Sri Lanka was the first country to formally give in writing support for Prime Minister’s initiative on the International Day of Yoga,” he added.

Akbaruddin also said that Prime Minister Modi had thanked Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa for this prompt response to his proposal.

That, from ABP Live, also contained a fuller quote from Modi: “Yoga embodies the unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfilment; the 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.”

We know there’s yoga done on the White House lawn, so maybe this can be a piece to the puzzle as India and the U.S. try to play nice these next few days.

Posted by Steve