Sunday, 17 January 2021

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Yoga hailed as an answer to problems of 2015

29 December 2014. The United Nations General Assembly has declared that 21 June will be International Day of Yoga. A record 175 countries cosponsored the resolution, which was adopted by consensus

modiIn his speech to the UN General Assembly in late September Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked world leaders to adopt 21 June as the International Day of Yoga. Mr. Modi argued that Yoga was as relevant now as ever, not least because the 5,000 year old physical, mental and spiritual practice was a positive contribution to such global issues as Climate Change and Sustainable Development, which will be high on the UN agenda in 2015.

The choice of the date is no coincidence. In his speech the Indian Prime Minister pointed out that the date, one of the two solstices and the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, had a special significance in many parts of the world.

The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed the adoption of the new International Day and says it can bring attention to Yoga's holistic benefits. "Yoga can contribute to resilience against non-communicable diseases. Yoga can bring communities together in an inclusive manner that generates respect," Ban said in a statement.

The resolution was adopted 11 December only three months after it was proposed in Prime Minister Modi´s address to the General Assembly. Mr. Modi said that Yoga could contribute to solve many global yoga1problems, including climate change.

“We need to change our lifestyles. Energy not consumed is the cleanest energy,” Mr. Modi said in his speech to the General Assembly. “We can achieve the same level of development, prosperity and well-being without necessarily going down the path of reckless consumption…By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help us deal with climate change.”

In his statement the UN Secretary-General also pointed out the benefits of Yoga to current issues: "Yoga is a sport that can contribute to development and peace. Yoga can even help people in emergency situations to find relief from stress.”

Photo: 1) Jean Henrique Wichinoski/Flickr. Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) 2) Prime Minister Modi addressed the General Debate of the General Assembly 27 September 2014. UN Photo: CIA Pak. 3) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon observes a yoga class for pregnant mothers at a local health centre in Bali, Indonesia. UN/Photo: Mark Garten. 

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