Yoga is the settling of the mind into silence. When the mind has settled, we are established in our essential nature, which is unbounded Consciousness. Our essential nature is usually overshadowed by the activity of the mind.
—Patanjali, Indian sage and compiler of Yoga Sutras
It was in September 2014 during his first address at the United Nations General Assembly that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had mooted the idea of officially dedicating a day to the ancient Indian practice of yoga, popular around the world in the modern era. Yoga clinics by the hundreds, for instance, are running in the US alone, and likewise in many other parts of the world. The heritage, though, belonged to India. By mooting the idea, Mr Modi, in one stroke, revived the old glory of Indian yoga that had been documented in great depth by Patanjali millenniums ago, but something that had been ‘hijacked’ by the west for decades. He did not fail to emphasize that yoga embodies the unity of mind and body, thought and action, restraint and fulfillment, and harmony between man and nature. It is also about the subtle discovery of the sense of oneness with the self. During his address he had articulated the very idea of International Yoga Day and had even recommended that June 21, the longest day in the northern hemisphere, be the one to celebrate it.
Following the Indian PM’s initial proposal, the United Nations adopted the draft resolution. And every year since June 21, 2015, the International Day of Yoga is celebrated globally. According to an official document of the Ministry of External Affairs, 192 countries celebrate the occasion while at least 177 have formally adopted the resolution. It is now common to witness images from different corners of the earth of people in large groups doing yoga asanas that are beamed into our television screens. From Angola to Armenia, Chad to Chile, Denmark to Dominica, South Korea to St. Kitts, nations crisscross the globe when it comes to having adopted this practice through the U.N. resolution.
Our cover story talks about this amazing transformation brought about by a single resolution adopted nearly eight years ago.
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