10th International Yoga Day


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: International Yoga Day

Why in the News?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is leading the celebrations of the 10th International Day of Yoga at the Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC) in Srinagar.

About International Day of Yoga

  • The International Day of Yoga is observed annually on June 21 worldwide since 2014 to celebrate the practice of Yoga, which originated in ancient India.
  • Yoga is renowned for its physical and mental health benefits, promoting well-being globally.
  • PM Modi proposed the idea of a Yoga Day during his UN address in September 2014.
  • In December 2014, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN introduced the draft resolution in the UN General Assembly.
  • It was adopted with support from 177 countries without a vote.
  • The first International Day of Yoga was successfully celebrated on June 21, 2015, in cities around the world, including New York, Paris, Beijing, and New Delhi.

Why 21st June was chosen for this day?

  • The date of June 21 was chosen because it is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, symbolizing spiritual significance across various cultures.
  • In Hindu mythology, this day marks the transition to Dakshinayana and is associated with the first yogi, Shiva, who began teaching Yoga to humanity.

Back2Basics: Yoga

  • Yoga originated in ancient India and has its roots in Indian philosophy, spirituality, and culture.
  • The word “yoga” is derived from the Sanskrit word “yuj,” which means “to join” or “to unite.” It signifies the union of mind, body, and spirit.
  • Historical References:
    • Yoga-like practices were mentioned in the Rig-Veda, an ancient Hindu text dating back to approximately 1500 BCE.
    • References to yoga can also be found in the Upanishads, which are philosophical texts from around 800 to 400 BCE.
  • Contributions of Sage Patanjali:
    • Patanjali is considered the father of classical yoga.
    • He compiled the Yoga Sutras, a foundational text that provides a systematic and philosophical framework for the practice of yoga.
    • The Yoga Sutras were written around the 2nd century BCE.

Eight Limbs of Yoga:

Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras outline the eight limbs or stages of yoga, known as Ashtanga Yoga. These limbs include:

  1. Ethical principles (yamas),
  2. Positive duties or observances (niyamas)
  3. Physical postures (asanas),
  4. Breath control (pranayama),
  5. Sense withdrawal (pratyahara),
  6. Concentration (dharana),
  7. Meditation (dhyana), and
  8. Self-realization (samadhi).

Schools and Styles: There are various schools and styles of yoga, each with its own approach and emphasis. Some popular styles include Hatha, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Iyengar, Bikram, Kundalini, and Yin yoga.



[2014] Which one of the following pairs does not form part of the six systems of Indian Philosophy?

(a) Mimamsa and Vedanta

(b) Nyaya and Vaisheshika

(c) Lokayata and Kapalika

(d) Sankhya and Yoga

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