International Yoga Day

Definition - What does International Yoga Day mean?

International Yoga Day, also known as Yoga Day, is an annual event held on June 21. The move toward an international yoga day was started when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi suggested an annual yoga celebration to be held on this date. The date was then confirmed by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2014, receiving support from 175 nations. During the Indian Prime Minister's address to the United Nations, he called yoga “an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition.”

Yogapedia explains International Yoga Day

The first International Yoga Day in 2015 saw people from all around the world participate. This led to a number of yoga-related world records being broken, such as the largest number of peopled in a yoga class (35,985) and the most number of nationalities represented in a single yoga class (84).

Assigning the date of June 21, which is the date of the summer solstice, is fitting. It is the day that Shiva is said to have first introduced yoga to the world through the Seven Sages (Saptarishi), earning him the title of Adiyogi ("first yogi"). In yogic tradition, this date is when the transition to Dakshinayan occurs - a time when support for spiritual practices is deemed to be at its strongest.

Email Newsletter

Join thousands of others with our weekly newsletter