The second International Day of Yoga was commemorated all over the world on Tuesday, 21 st June, 2016 making it one of the most spectacular annual events globally. One of the high points of the event was the participation of 135 countries that included the support extended by 40 Islamic nations as well as at 35,000 feet in the sky with well known Indian airline SpiceJet conducting 10 minute ‘Upa-yoga’ capsules for all its passengers and crew on all its two hour long morning flights. These asanas were aimed at relieving passengers from stress arising from air travel. Approximately 40 to 50 crore people across the globe participated to make this mega event a huge success with more than one lakh programs in India itself.
Indians all across the country participated in this global event. Indian Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, personally a yoga enthusiast, led more than 35,000 Indians in Chandigarh’s Capitol Complex and performed asanas while several other Union Ministers and leaders performed yoga in various cities to observe this day. This year’s theme being ‘Connect the Youth’, the PM urged youngsters to take up yoga saying “Make yoga a part of your life,” he told thousands of yoga enthusiasts. “Just as the mobile phone is now a part of your life, make yoga too a part of your life.” Special arrangements were also made for differently abled people at the venue.
K.P. Ranjana, young 34 year old advocate and martial arts student is gearing up to set up a world record for performing yoga for 53 hours non-stop, while water yoga expert Laxmi Yadav did yoga in a swimming pool in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. Technology frenzy caught up with this annual event with a hike in the number of users of several yoga apps like the Daily Yoga App, Yoga Academy, Office Yoga, and Universal Yoga for Pranayama, etc. while they are on the go to initiate yoga into their lives. Famous sand artist Sudarshan Patnaik performed Suryanamaskar and created its images on Odisha’s Puri beach with the logo of World Yoga Day.
Read on to know some of the interesting highlights that marked this eventful day.
- A record number of 10,000 people in Delhi alone performed yoga across different locations like Rajpath, Lodhi Gardens, Connaught Place to name a few simultaneously.
- Important cities like Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Srinagar along with states like Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Rajasthan, Odisha, Bihar and the North East states also observed this day.
- Officers of the Indian Navy performed yoga aboard INS Adyar in Chennai, INS Viraat in Mumbai, INS Cheetah at Port Blair and INS Airavat that was out on sea. Soldiers of the Indian Army did yoga atop Siachen glacier, the world’s highest battleground at 5,700 feet above sea level and several other high altitude locations like Pangong Tso, Tawang, Leh and Kargil.
- New Yorkers marked this annual solstice event at Times Square with free classes commencing every hour. People showed up in at prominent locations like the Eiffel Tower, the EU parliament, the UN New York, the Stonehenge and the Great Wall of China to mark this day. Yoga buffs from Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Mataki (Phillipines), Beijing (China), Minsk (Belarus), Wellington (New Zealand), Kathmandu (Nepal), Bondi Beach (Australia), Dublin (Ireland)also participated in various events and workshops to observe this day.
- Bollywood, the Indian film fraternity added to the glamour quotient with yoga enthusiasts Bipasha Basu, Shilpa Shetty and Malaika Arora contributing their bit to the event.
- Yoga themed summer holidays with special diets, detox, spas and practices for a healthy life are gaining immense popularity. Yoga retreats in idyllic locations are booming with people looking for wellness.
- $80 billion: the estimated evaluation of the yoga industry worldwide.