The world started celebrating International Yoga Day on June 21 in 2015. The same year, then Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Jagat Prakash Nadda and then WHO Director General Margaret Chan inaugurated a photo-exhibition on Yoga on the sidelines of 68th World Health Assembly, at Geneva. It was named Yoga for All, Yoga for Health.
Speaking at the occasion, Nadda had expressed gratitude on the adoption of a resolution by the UN General Assembly that declared June 21 as World Yoga Day. He said that the countries should encourage their citizens to practice Yoga.
The exhibition of photographs by art historian Benoy K Behl was also held at Indian embassies across 20 countries all through the month of June to observe International Yoga Day.
It comprised 64 photographs of the finest practitioners of yoga, taken across India, Vietnam and the US.
The places where exhibition took place were Shanghai, Geneva, Reunion Island France, São Paulo, Athens, Bishkek, Beijing, Rabat, Port of Spain, Prague, Copenhagen, Birmingham UK, Zanzibar, Amman, Seychelles, Phnom Penh, Sri Lanka, The Hague, Armenia and Georgia.
Apart from photos, a documentary, shot across India, Germany and the US, on Yoga was screened. It featured interviews with leading Yoga teachers like the late B K S Iyengar and doctors, scientists and sociologists.
Like every year, it is not possible this time to celebrate International Yoga Day by practising Yoga in large open spaces due to the coronavirus pandemic.
This year, the Ministry of AYUSH has organised an international video blogging contest, My Life, My Yoga. The announcement regarding the contest was made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his latest radio programme ‘Mann ki Baat’.
Those who want to participate in the video blogging contest can send their entries by June 21. Participants are required to upload a three minute video of three Yogic practices - kriya, asana, pranayama, bandha or mudra - including a short video message on how the Yogic practices have influenced their lives.
People can share their video on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or the MyGov platform with the contest hashtag #MyLifeMyYogaINDIA and appropriate category hashtag.
Indian participants can also win prizes up to Rs 1 lakh.
The AYUSH Ministry through tweets is also urging people to share pictures of practising Yoga as per the Common Yoga Protocol on June 21 with the "#IdoYogaatHome" on social media. The theme for this year’s Yoga Day is Yoga at Home and Yoga with Family.