The first World Yoga Day was celebrated across the globe. However, no one could beat 35,985 Indian participants performing yoga at Rajpath, New Delhi. Indian political sphere and mainstream media were echoing with praise for the Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with some controversial statements and communalistic debates over the need to observe this day.
Amidst much pomp and show the first International Yoga Day managed to rake in some interesting facts that you must know.
Observed for the first time in history
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It was for the first time when United Nations General Assembly declared June 21, 2015 as the International Yoga Day on December 11, 2011. Earlier, Yoga Day was observed by formal and informal yoga groups that included yoga teachers and enthusiasts. However, the dates of observing the day differed time to time.
Where did it all start?
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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is said to have an immense interest in India’s ancient secrete of longevity – yoga. He claims to have performed yoga all his life and still follows the same self-disciplined routine. On September 27, 2014, during Modi’s address at UN General Assembly, he made a call for the adoption of June 21, 2015 as the International Day of Yoga. As a result, U.N. declared it so on December 11, 2011.
Two Guinness World Records
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When 35,985 people gathered at Rajpath, New Delhi to observe the first ever International Yoga Day, they set a record for doing so that will be entered in the Guinness Book of World Records. The previous record was set by Indian school children in 2005 after 30,000 students had performed yoga together.
Along with this, another record was set for having 84 participating nationalities in single gathering, which is the largest number in one event.
Longest Sirsasana (handstand) attempt by Dubai’s Ivan Stanley
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Ivan Stanley, a 40-year-old man from Dubai, attempted for the longest headstand ever. For 61 minutes, Ivan stood on his head and broke his own previous record of 34 minutes of Sirsasana. However, the Guinness World Records has not yet entered it as a challenge.
Observed on the longest day of the year
The International Yoga Day was celebrated on June 21 – the Summer Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere. This day is said to have a great mythological association with yoga. Lord Shiva is considered to be the first practitioner of yoga and is believed to have started imparting the gift of yoga to the mankind on this day.
India’s 37,000 mats for the Yoga Day were made in China
Amidst celebration and huge noise on mainstream media channels and dailies, some reports claimed that 37,000 mats arranged for Rajpath Yoga event were made in China. The issue holds a significance as the NDA government has been promoting ‘Make in India’ policy with an aim to boost India’s domestic market. The company that was given the order admitted that it had no information about the make of these mats.
Vice President Hamid Ansari allegedly not invited to the event
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A controversial tweet from the RSS leader-turned-BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav taunted the VP of India for not attending the Yoga Day, which was later deleted, followed up with an apology saying he was informed that the VP was not well.
However, later a statement issued from the VP office confirmed that Ansari did not attend the event because he didn’t receive any invitation. Madhav had to delete his second tweet as well after receiving the update.
Yoga has been accepted not only as a cure and prevention of many physical disorders, but also as an ancient spiritual healing practice that finds mention in the Indian history. Yoga is all about good, so promoting it globally is an appreciable step.