International Yoga Day 2024: History, Importance, Theme, and More

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International Yoga Day

Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self.” – The Bhagavad Gita

Our busy schedules have severely damaged our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health. With our unhealthy routines and busy schedules, taking time out to exercise seems impossible.

One of the best holistic exercises, yoga, keeps our bodies flexible and healthy and energizes our minds and souls. Originating in India as a mental, physical, and spiritual discipline, yoga is now performed in various forms worldwide and is growing in popularity. The ancient practice of yoga, which stems from Indian culture, is widely known to balance an individual’s body and mind. 

Yoga, a holistic therapy for self-healing, is also highly instrumental in building strength and resilience and is a terrific tool for stress management. In our hectic lives, yoga offers a sanctuary of calm, a respite from the chaos, and a path to inner peace.

International Yoga Day, celebrated on June 21, is a testament to the spiritual and physical prowess that yoga has brought to the world stage. It inspires and motivates millions to join in and practice daily. For many, these routines are a great way to connect the mind, body, and soul in a way that has existed for centuries. Yoga Day 2024 serves as a reminder of the global impact of yoga and the power it holds to transform lives.

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The History of International Yoga Day

For International Yoga Day 2024, people worldwide are ready to take out their yoga mats and exercise. However, they might need to be aware that yoga dates back centuries.

Considered an ancient practice, yoga originated 5,000 years ago in India. It was developed to connect the mind, body, and soul to reach enlightenment. As the practice became well-known in the West, it became famous as an exercise and relaxation method, claiming to help the body’s general well-being and alleviate physical injuries and chronic pain.

During his speech at the UN General Assembly, Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed the idea of International Yoga Day on September 27, 2014. Asoke Kumar Mukerji, India’s ambassador, passed a resolution establishing June 21 as International Yoga Day.

June 21 was chosen as a yoga celebration day because it is the Summer Solstice when there is the most sun out of every other day of the year. 177 nations supported it, the highest number of co-sponsors for any UN resolution signifying June 21 as International Yoga Day.

On June 21, 2015, nearly 36,000 people, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and many other high-profile political figures worldwide, performed 21 asanas for 35 minutes in New Delhi for the first International Yoga Day. Since then, this day has been celebrated around the globe.

Also Read: 4 Paths of Yoga: Bhakti, Karma, Jnana, Raja (With Principles)

The Significance of International Yoga Day

International Yoga Day is important because it brings individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and nations together to celebrate and practice yoga. It serves as a platform for people and communities to experience the benefits of yoga for mental and physical health and understand its impact on personal and societal well-being. Yoga encourages mindfulness, promotes physical fitness, reduces stress, and cultivates a sense of harmony and inner peace.

On Yoga Celebration Day, several events and activities are organized worldwide to commemorate this occasion. Yoga enthusiasts, practitioners, and experts conduct yoga sessions, workshops, and demonstrations in parks, public spaces, schools, and yoga studios. These events encourage people of all ages and abilities to try yoga and experience its transformative effects.

International Yoga Day highlights the significance of yoga as a holistic practice for mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. It allows individuals and communities to come together and experience yoga’s transformative effects. Moreover, its global observance promotes yoga’s acceptance, recognition, and dissemination as a valuable tool for personal and societal harmony and health.

International Yoga Day Theme 2024

The theme of International Yoga Day varies yearly. It focuses on diverse aspects of yoga and its relevance to contemporary challenges. Last year’s celebration theme was “Yoga for Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.” This means “Yoga for One Earth, One Family, One Future,” and it emphasizes the significance of yoga for encouraging global health and well-being and building closer relationships.

This year, the theme of International Yoga Day is “Yoga for Women Empowerment.” Yoga Day 2024 celebrations create awareness about the holistic nature of yoga and encourage individuals to incorporate it into their daily lives for improved well-being.

Ready to make a positive change in your life? Join hellomyyoga’s, “Movement is Meditation” program, a transformative journey that offers mind-body-breath harmony to everyone. This program highlights the crucial role of movement in mental health, triggering the release of endorphins, natural mood lifters, and reducing stress hormone levels like cortisol. This leads to feelings of relaxation and calm, enhancing your overall well-being. As mental wellness is our top priority at hellomyyoga, we have partnered with yoga instructors to offer this unique program to celebrate the 10th International Day of Yoga.

Traditions of the International Yoga Day

International Yoga Day, June 21, is a relatively new holiday, so no time-honored traditions exist. But yoga is an ancient art that refreshes the mind and soothes the soul. This day encourages people to adopt the yogi lifestyle and align with their inner chakra. 

Newcomers sign up for yoga and create their flow of movements with their favorite relaxing music. Before starting yoga, new mats and yoga pants are bought. Those already skilled at yoga try out new combinations and introduce their friends to them. Instructors also offer unique group yoga retreats.

Yoga Practice Rules to Follow on International Yoga Day

yoga practice rules on international yoga day

This 10th International Yoga Day, let’s focus on the general guidelines and yoga practice rules:

1. Eat Nothing Before Yoga

Practice yoga on an empty stomach. In case you have already eaten, wait at least 3 hours before rolling out your mat. Also, avoid drinking caffeinated beverages such as tea, coffee, or energy drinks before and during yoga.

You can eat an hour after yoga.

2. Start Small And Slow

If you are a beginner, start with simple yoga asanas and gradually move on to tougher poses. Practice complicated yoga poses when you have a good grip on the simple ones.

3. Relaxation Is Must

Before beginning yoga, give yourself—mind and body—at least 10 minutes to relax. Yoga requires you to focus on breathwork, meditation, and postures. Your body needs to be relaxed, and your mind must be cleared before the practice. To know more about the mind-body connection, read our blog on Mind-Body Relationship: Benefits and How to Strengthen it.

4. Wear Comfortable Clothes

Wear comfortable clothes, neither too tight nor too loose. They should preferably be light-colored.

5. Do Not Practice On the Ground

Practice yoga on a yoga mat or a thick sheet. Avoid practicing yoga on grass or hard ground. Use a sheet or mat to practice yoga on.

6. Timing Is Important Too

Practicing yoga in the mornings is preferable. Starting your day with yoga energizes and refreshes you all day. Our muscles are also stiff in the mornings, and yoga helps relax our stiff muscles and promote flexibility.

7. Stay Regular

Practicing yoga once a day is beneficial for your overall health. Even for 5 minutes, it helps reduce stress, promote wellness, improve immunity, and more. You can practice at home, take an online yoga course, or attend a community class.

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Also Read: Types of Yoga: 13 Different Styles & Forms of Yoga

Family Yoga Practice on International Yoga Day

family yoga practice on international yoga day

When our family is strong, kind, peaceful, and united, we easily withstand life’s challenges. A family yoga practice has the potential that bring parents, kids, and other family members closer, adding the further benefits of a sense of spiritual connectivity, greater calm, and healthy fun to the daily routine.

Why not start today? Gather your family and begin your journey towards a stronger bond, increased mutual understanding, and healthier habits through yoga. On the eve of the International Day of Yoga, let’s consider the benefits of practicing yoga with your family.

1. Increases Mutual Understanding

Family members generally meet only at the dining table. But imagine starting your day with a shared yoga practice, a beautiful ritual that fosters mutual understanding, love, and respect between your family members. This shared experience can bring you closer, enhancing your sense of unity and togetherness.

2. Strengthens Bond Your Children

If you do yoga with your family, you will get a new perspective on life. By regularly practicing yoga with your family members, you can learn what changes are taking place in your children’s lives and their challenges.

3. Discuss Your Problems

Yoga brings peace of mind and self-awareness. As you cultivate these qualities, you will tend to be more understanding of the problems being faced by your family members. This understanding can create a safe space for open communication, where everyone feels free to discuss their problems and feel supported.

4. Welcome Your Day with a Fresh Mind

When you start the day by practicing yoga with your family, you can get rid of the mental fatigue of the previous day. Therefore, you can start your day on a clean slate and feel energetic.

5. Inculcate Healthy Habits

When you start doing yoga with your entire family, you can inculcate good habits in your children and teach them to be punctual and empathetic. This, in turn, fosters better familial relationships as everyone learns to respect each other’s space and time. Additionally, the shared experience of practicing yoga together can create a stronger bond among family members.

Also Read: Maharishi Patanjali – Father of Yoga: History, Biography, And More

Ways to Celebrate International Yoga Day

Stay indoors if you are celebrating Yoga Day 2024. You can still celebrate in the following ways:

  1. Participate in a virtual event
  2. Go on a yoga retreat
  3. Gather with your family and friends to practice yoga
  4. Participate in yoga course
  5. Learn a new asanas
  6. Create a yoga space at home to begin your yoga practice.  
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FAQs on International Yoga Day 2024

1. When is the International Yoga Day celebrated?

The International Yoga Day is celebrated annually on June 21.

2. Why is the International Yoga Day celebrated?

International Yoga Day was an initiative to spread awareness of the importance of yoga and its positive impact on people’s health.

3. Who proposed International Yoga Day?

In India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed the International Yoga Day in the 69th session of the General Assembly.

4. What is the theme of the International Day of Yoga for 2024?

The theme of International Yoga Day 2024 is Humanity.

5. When was the first International Yoga Day celebrated?

Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the first International Day of Yoga on June 21st, 2015. The theme was “Yoga for Harmony and Peace.”

6. What is the venue of International Yoga Day 2024 in India?

The International Yoga Day 2024 will be held on the banks of the holy Ganges in Rishikesh from March 15 to 21.

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Conclusion

Yoga helps increase your muscle flexibility and strength, reduce depression, reduce stress, boost immunity, improve balance, promote relaxation, and more.

If you are a beginner at yoga, follow the above basic rules and guidelines for practicing yoga. Let’s roll out our mats this Yoga Day 2024 and kick-start our yoga practice.

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