June 21, 2015, marked the first ever International Yoga Day. Thousands of people practiced routines stretching across the globe, while helping celebrate yoga’s big day.
The New York Times reports that Prime Minister Modi of India has been fighting for this day to be celebrated for a long time. He had gone before the United Nations to argue his case for this holiday and it was granted. They explain that Modi advocates for peace and unity and he hopes this day will start a new era of feelings among people.
Furthermore, The New York Times expressed that while it was not mandatory to participate, most of the government officials in India took part. There were enormous crowds gathered around Modi as he led people in a morning routine. This article also mentioned that Modi boasts about the health benefits of the exercise, as well as the spiritual gain.
The New York Times describes the event in India as having 35,000 people in attendance. Modi led the crowd and was surrounded by a group of school children. The area was covered in mats and many people wore matching white shirts. They went through a 35-minute routine together before Modi walked out amongst the school children and ended the session.
The Tribune reports that even soldiers in the Indian Army stationed at Siachen glacier participated. 500 soldiers got together to practice a quick routine. However, Modi and India were not the only ones to celebrate. International Yoga Day stretched across the globe with thousands gathering to celebrate the big day.
Chron reports about 2,000 people turned out in Houston to celebrate this day. They state there were people of all cultures and ages. Chron explains that it did not matter their experience level, all who attended were following along with the instructor. They note that over 24 million Americans practice this habit on a regular basis.
The Oregonian says in Paris thousands of people practiced the exercise under the Eifel Tower. They were all dressed in white with yellow mats. The report mentions 2,000 people in Taipei performing sun salutations in the early morning.
The Oregonian also states that hundreds of people came out to participate in Portland. Many attended the morning class and a number of others visited the numerous convention booths throughout the event. Organizers of the event reported being excited that so many people of all shapes and sizes turned out.
Even celebrities got in on the action. US Magazine tells how Bethenny Frankel, of Real Housewives of New York City, posted Instagram pictures of herself in bikinis performing challenging poses. Many other celebrities, such as Sting, are known to practice the exercise regularly and are considered experts at it.
A common theme most people celebrating International Yoga Day shared was that there are health benefits associated with practicing the exercise. The instructor at the event in Houston was noted as chanting about how each muscle was targeted during a move. The Oregonian explains that many people believe yoga is the best form of exercise for the body. The New York Times expresses how Modi believes this is necessary action when the world is experiencing a health crisis.
Since its beginning, the art has been practiced for its physical health benefits as well as spiritual connectedness. MyCentralJersey.com discusses how it can ease pain from arthritis and other chronic conditions. They also suggest it can be helpful in developing coping skills. Instructors claim yoga’s benefits are far reaching, and it is an excellent way to improve one’s breathing and practice mindfulness.
Sunday June 21, 2015, marked the first ever International Yoga Day. Thousands of people, stretching across the globe, came out to participate in the festivities for yoga’s big day.
By Megan Hellmann
The New York Times- India’s Yoga Day Finally Arrives, Amid Cheers and Skepticism
The Tribune- Army Celebrates Yoga Day at Siachen
Chron-Thousands of Houstonians Unite at Inaugural Yoga Celebration
The Oregonian- Portland Among Several Cities to Celebrate International Yoga Day
MyCentralJersey.com-Hundreds Celebrate First International Yoga Day
Photos Courtesy of Matt Madd’s Flickr Page- Creative Commons License