The UN declared June 21 the International Day of Yoga in 2014 after the proposal received a record-high number of co-sponsors in less than three months.
Rabat – The Embassy of India in Rabat is set to launch a week-long series of meditation activities from June 16 to 21 to celebrate the International Day of Yoga (IDY).
In December 2014, the United Nations declared June 21 the International Day of Yoga, recognizing that the activity promotes a “holistic approach to health and well-being” and that disseminating information about the exercise is beneficial to the global population.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed the idea, believing yoga inspires lifestyle changes that can help the world face challenges such as climate change.
“Yoga embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well being,” Modi said during his September 27, 2014 address to the UN General Assembly.
The IDY proposal garnered co-sponsorship from 175 nations, including all five permanent members of the Security Council, a record-high number for a General Assembly resolution. The UN passed the resolution less than three months after the prime minister’s proposal, marking the first time an initiative has been proposed and implemented in under 90 days.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Indian Embassy in Rabat’s IDY celebrations will be “digitally-based,” with the theme “Yoga From Home.”
A statement from the embassy revealed that six renowned Moroccan yoga experts will lead the virtual activities: Omar Schekhli, Gabe Scalli, Ahlam Khafi, Kenza Bennis, Kenza Mekouar, and Soukayna Dalil.
Each session will focus on special themes, such as stability, strength, stamina, flexibility, immunity, and calmness of mind, and cater to both beginner and advanced yoga enthusiasts.
The activities will be accessible to the public via the Indian Embassy’s Instagram page. Participants will not be required to pay any registration fees to join the activities.
A yoga protocol is available online to guide people wishing to study and pursue the yogic poses in a structured manner, the Indian Embassy continued.
To expand the invitation to the week-long event, the Indian government launched a video contest from May 31 to June 15 aiming to celebrate and raise awareness of the benefits of yoga.
The “My Life – My Yoga” contest has two stages in Morocco, the Indian Embassy explained. The first stage includes a national contest, after which shortlisted entries from each country will enter a global competition.
Yoga is a 5,000-year-old practice with origins in the Indus-Sarasvati civilization in northern India. Yoga strengthens both the mind and body through meditation combined with exercises and has become a popular activity around the world, including in Morocco. The North African country has recently seen a growing community of yoga-enthusiasts, with several yoga schools throughout the country regularly organizing yoga classes and other events.
Some of the many benefits of yoga include increased flexibility, muscle strength, and tone; improved respiration, energy, vitality, and athletic performance; a balanced metabolism and weight loss; cardio and circulatory health; and improved athletic performance.