International Yoga Day 2024: History, Theme, and Significance

Suman Kumar

International  Yoga Day is celebrated on 21 June to spread awareness about the importance and effects of yoga on the health and well-being of people. It is celebrated on the day since 2015 after its inception in UNGA in 2014. The Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, in his UN address in 2014, had suggested the date of 21st June, as it is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and shares a special significance in many parts of the world.

Important Points Related to International Yoga Day

International Yoga Day, celebrated on June 21st, is a significant event that highlights the importance of yoga in promoting mental, physical, and spiritual health. Originating in India, yoga is a practice that embodies the unity of mind and body, and the balance between thought and action. The day was established by the United Nations in 2014, with the theme for 2024 being “Yoga for Self and Society,” emphasizing yoga’s transformative power in fostering global unity and harmony. This day serves as a reminder of yoga’s holistic approach to health and well-being, encouraging people worldwide to adopt a healthier and more active lifestyle. It also honors the cultural significance of yoga, raises awareness about its benefits, and supports sustainable lifestyle choices.

History Of International Yoga Day

The idea of an International Day of Yoga was first proposed by the current Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), on 27 September 2014.

Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature; and a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover a sense of oneness with yourself, the world, and nature. Changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help in well-being. Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day.

On 11 December 2014, India’s Permanent Representative Asoke Mukherji introduced the draft resolution in the United Nations General Assembly. The draft text received broad support from 177 Member States who sponsored the text, which was adopted without a vote.  This initiative found support from many global leaders. A total of 177 nations co-sponsored the resolution, which is the highest number of co-sponsors ever for any UNGA Resolution of such nature.

Theme Of International Yoga Day 2024

The theme for International Yoga Day in 2024 is “Yoga for Self and Society,” marking the 10th anniversary of this global event. This theme emphasizes the dual benefits of yoga, highlighting not only personal well-being but also societal improvement. It underscores the idea that inner peace and self-care are foundational to a harmonious and healthy society. Yoga practices offer tools for managing emotions, reducing stress, and fostering self-awareness, which can lead to more thoughtful and compassionate communities. As the world celebrates this day, it serves as a reminder of the transformative power of yoga and its potential to unite people across cultures in the pursuit of collective health and peace.

Year Theme
2015 Yoga for Harmony and Peace
2016 Yoga for the Achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals
2017 Yoga for Health
2018 Yoga for Peace
2019 Yoga for Heart
2020 Yoga at Home and Yoga with Family
2021 Yoga for Well-being
2022 Yoga for Humanity

Significance Of International Yoga Day

International Yoga Day, celebrated on June 21st, holds significant importance as it embodies the global recognition of yoga’s holistic benefits to both individual health and societal well-being. Originating in India, yoga is a practice that unites the body and consciousness, promoting a balance between physical activity and mental tranquility. The United Nations’ adoption of this day reflects a collective endorsement of its value in fostering global health, harmony, and peace.

The initiative, proposed by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and supported by a record number of co-sponsoring nations, underscores the widespread acknowledgment of yoga as a cornerstone for a healthier lifestyle. This day not only highlights the ancient practice’s roots but also its contemporary relevance as a tool to alleviate modern-day stressors, enhance mindfulness, and contribute to the overall quality of life.

Through various events and activities worldwide, International Yoga Day aims to increase awareness about yoga and encourage its practice as a means to improve physical fitness, mental clarity, and emotional stability, thereby enhancing the overall quality of life and contributing to the betterment of society as a whole.

How To Observe International Yoga Day

Observing this day can involve various activities promoting physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. One can start by participating in local community events, which often include free yoga classes and workshops. These events are a great opportunity to learn new yoga asanas and deepen your practice.

Additionally, practicing mindfulness and meditation can enhance the experience, allowing one to connect with the inner self and the surrounding community. Creating a tranquil space at home for yoga and reflection can be equally fulfilling for those who prefer a more personal observance. Engaging in yoga improves flexibility and balance, helps manage stress, and fosters a sense of peace. Whether you are a seasoned practitioner or new to yoga, International Yoga Day is a perfect time to commit to a healthier lifestyle and explore the holistic benefits of this timeless discipline.

International Yoga Day Observation Dates

International Yoga Day is commemorated annually on June 21st to promote physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. From 2019-29, International Yoga Day is observed as follows:

Year      Date      Day

2019     21-Jun-19           Friday

2020     21-Jun-20           Sunday

2021     21-Jun-21           Monday

2022     21-Jun-22           Tuesday

2023     21-Jun-23           Wednesday

2024     21-Jun-24           Friday

2025     21-Jun-25           Saturday

2026     21-Jun-26           Sunday

2027     21-Jun-27           Monday

2028     21-Jun-28           Wednesday

2029     21-Jun-29           Thursday