World's First International Day of Yoga
International Yoga Day,June 21, was declared as the International Day of Yoga by the United Nations General Assembly on December 11, 2014. Yoga is a physical, mental and spiritual practice or discipline that originated in India. The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his UN Address suggested the date to be June 21 as the International Day of Yoga as it is the longest day of the year (Summer Solstice) in the Northern Hemisphere and has special significance in many parts of the world.
From the perspective of yoga, the Summer Solstice marks the transition to Dakshinayana. The first full moon after Summer Solstice is known as Guru Poornima. Lord Shiva, the first yoga practitioner (Adi Yogi) is said to have begun imparting the knowledge of yoga to the rest of mankind on this day and became the first guru (Adi Guru). Dakshinayana is also considered a time when there is natural support for those pursuing spiritual practices.
The declaration of this day came after the call for the adoption of 21 June as International Day of Yoga by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his address to UN General Assembly on September 27, 2014 wherein he stated; "Yoga is an invaluable gift of India's ancient tradition. This tradition is 5000 years old. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfilment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help us deal with climate change. Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day."
Wellbeing Center's Founder and Managing Director, attented the first Yoga International Day at the American University of Beirut; where several activities took place, in the presence of the Ambassador of India as shown in the picture. Also to the right, Ghina Al Jammal, Nutritionist at Wellbeing Center.