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Complete History of International Day of Yoga

In 1949, after India gained independence, the Indian government under PM Jawaharlal Nehru proposed June 21, the longest day in the Northern Hemisphere, as the International Day of Yoga, as it was considered the most auspicious day for Yoga. But it was in 1977 that November 1 was proposed as the International Day of Yoga at the UN General Assembly. In 2014, India suggested the date June 21 to the UN.

The UN’s Decision in 2014 and 2017

In 2014, the UN General Assembly recognized the important role that traditional systems of medicine could play in providing comprehensive preventive and curative health care. The UN General Assembly then established June 21 as the annual International Day of Yoga. In 2017, the UN further proclaimed June 21 as the International Day of Yoga, and urged recognition of the importance of yoga in the passage of relevant General Assembly resolutions such as in 2014 (69/197) and 2015 (70/81).

The June 21st Date

June 21 was chosen specifically as Yoga was included as a inscription into UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage in November 2021. At that time, Yoga had been introduced as part of the National Approved Code for Introduction of Medicinal Plants (1983). In 2016, India proposed and secured listing its applications of the traditional medicinal system of Yoga in 2016.

PM Modi and Promotion of Yoga

In 1977, when PM Morarji Desai was in office, he had proposed the International Day of Yoga. The Indian government did not enforce the proposal. When Modi became Prime Minister in 2014, he revived this proposal and enlisted Yoga in the government by introducing the Yoga-approved mode of prevention and cure in the Indian healthcare system.

The proposal by India in late 2010 – To create a series of Yoga Programs on June 21, 2024* was enforced and formally posted after 2017 was declared the International Year of Yoga: Five Yoga Programs

  1. on June 4th, 2015: “International Day of Yoga” Program, *The Yoga Maan Vigyan 61 *Program (to train 500,000 Yoga instructors over the next two years),
  2. on November 4th, 2014: “The Ayushman Bharat 3 Program” and
  3. on July 9th, 2016: Courses for B.Ed. and MBBS Students in Schools and Colleges (to train 50,000 Yoga instructors for schools)
  4. on July 9th 2019: The Yoga 21 -on July 21, 2019, to commemorate the 25th International Yoga Day,The Student Yoga Mission Program,

After June 21st, the process was accelerated in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 with:

  • The Center also developed two additional programs in 2017 (The Yoga 23 Program and the Yoga Prevention “Yoga All” Program for training primary school children and, The Yoga Medical College’s Special Program) and in 2018 (Program 103 for Officers):
  • November 3, 2016: Program 111: 55 Central Yoga Prevention Training for children aged 4-16 years; June 21 * 3): Program 9 – 12: Yoga Training Programs for College Children (for University Youth)
  • 1 * 3 and 4 on April 7, 2018: 3 Yoga Training Programs: A Yoga Initiative for Districts (2nd to 10th graduates),
  • Programs 61 and 62- Introducing Yoga in All Central District Pair Schools (students in 9-12th)
  • 33 Yoga Programs for Students in Central Schools (9th-12th)

On June 28th, 2018: The 450 Three Yoga Programmes: (Program 71 includes 63, 65 and 69)

Programs 111, 112 and 113 were formally inaugurated on June 21, 2004by the then Prime Minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

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