New Delhi, June 21, 2021.

India is celebrating the seventh International Day of Yoga virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic. The lead programme of the event, held by the Union Ministry of AYUSH, began at 6:30 am.

During the programme, Union Minister of State for AYUSH Kiran Rijiju and Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation. During his address, PM Modi announced that India, along with United Nations and WHO, is launching an app called M-Yoga aiming to provide easy access to Yogic practice all over the world. Meanwhile, images from various parts of the country emerged, showing people marking the World Yoga Day by practicing Yoga in small groups. Images also showed the Defence Forces performing Yoga despite being located in difficult terrains, including at an altitude of 18,000 ft in Ladakh and while being on a ship deployed for missions.

Yoga is an ancient Indian practice that helps in maintaining physical and mental well-being, and over the years, it has found popularity in other countries as well. In 2014, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed marking a day as the International Day of Yoga in his address at the UN General Assembly, and the proposal was endorsed by 175 member states, post which the United Nations recognised June 21 as the day to celebrate Yoga.

Over the past one and a half year, Yoga has gained more importance due to the coronavirus pandemic, and accordingly the theme for International Yoga Day 2021 has been decided by the UN to be “Yoga for well-being”.