In comparison to other designated days that we celebrate, international Yoga Day is relatively very new. Indian PM Modi in his UN address suggested 21st June, the longest day in the Northern Hemisphere, be celebrated as a day to promote Yoga, meditation and their benefit on the lifestyle and UN General Assembly on 21st June 2015 adopted resolution declaring the day as as International Yoga Day.
Benefits of this ancient Indian art are by now well established and there are living examples of exponents of Yoga having conquered their ailments ranging from obesity to cancer. However, the credit must go Yoga teachers such as BKS Iyengar to the more recent Baba Ramdev for making Yoga popular. And a mention must be made of our PM Modi, himself an avid Yoga practitioner, for getting Yoga International stature and repute.
However, I distinctly remember that the first seeds to popularise Yoga were sown by Doordarshan through its weekly telecast of programme on Yoga by Dhirendra Brahmachari. The age defying high profile Guru had several celebrities amongst his disciples, including former PM Mrs Indira Gandhi. He got caught into controversy during emergency and died an unceremonious death in a plane crash, but his contribution can neither be ignored nor forgotten.
While the World is actively taking to Yoga for its health and emotional benefits, we in India are preferring western practices of using gymnasium equipment and drinking protein shakes. Some of the screen idols having enviable bodies are also supposedly using steroids. Let’s resolve on this international Yoga day that we must take 10-15 minutes out of our busy schedules to do simple yogic exercises every morning to lead a happy and healthy life.