Indian PM Narendra Modi successfully re-branded the heritage Indian exercise and made it a $80 billion industry globally.
It is International Yoga Day- a day that is the gift of Indian culture to the World. And the man who made it all possible is none other than India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Yoga is a global phenomenon. The global industry stood at $80 billion in 2018, while the domestic wellness industry in India has also crossed Rs 85,000 crore. Yoga is on course to become an $11.5 billion industry by 2020 in US.
It was the United Nations which declared the day to be celebrated internationally.
Yoga Day celebrations started early on Thursday at United Nations and the event includes “Yoga With Gurus”, followed by panel discussions on Friday.
In cahoots with India led by PM Modi and the World, the UN is celebrating the day with its theme for 2019 – Yoga for Climate Change.
PM Modi himself celebrated the day in Ranchi, the state capital of Jharkhand.
Spreading the goodness and benefits of the age-old practice is PM Modi’s passion project.
How Modi took Yoga beyond boundaries
Yoga is a congregation of the mind and body. And our PM seems to know it well. Each year on 21 June the world celebrates their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. But it wasn’t the case a decade ago.
Even though it was forever in the veins of India the day got international acclaim only a few years ago.
International Yoga Day came into being in 2015 with the efforts of Indian Prime Minister Modi, who proposed the idea during one of his speeches in UNGA.
And indeed the date was noted in the pages of history – 27 September 2014. Following many discussions after the initial and official proposal, even the UNGC could not deny the vastness of Yoga.
When the draft resolution was introduced in the assembly, the 177 countries present supported it, which was a record of its own with the highest number of co-sponsors for a resolution of such nature. Modi’s efforts officially paid off on 11 December 2014. Read the UN Resolution here. This showed that the Modi effect isn’t just limited to India.
The significance of 21st June
Modi saw 21st June as a fit date to celebrate International Yoga Day. Firstly, it is the Summer Solstice – longest day in the northern hemisphere. The day has special significance in many cultures around the globe.
Looking exclusively at the significance as per the Indian culture, the summer solstice precedes an important date in the Hindu culture known as ‘Guru Purnima’.
The day which takes place on the second full moon after 21st is famous according to religious folklore, wherein the Hindu God Shiva, considered to be the first yogi, started imparting knowledge of yoga on this day.