First International Day of Yoga, June 21, kicked off here at the downtown premises of the Indian Consulate May 20. Community organizations, established yoga centers and media were invited to this briefing by Consul General Ausaf Sayeed on various activities proposed in collaboration with participating institutions. The official IDY logo was also unveiled.
The United Nations General Assembly [UNGA] adopted an Indian-led resolution Dec. 11, 2014, declaring June 21 each year as the “International Day of Yoga,” the outcome of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s proposal made during his address to the 69th UNGA Sep. 27, 2014. Several cities all over the world, including the U.S., have supported the idea.
Sayeed introduced the organizing committee and participating organizations, which include Art of Living Foundation, Gayathri Gyan Mandir, Isha Foundation, Brahma Kumaris Meditation Centers, SEWA International, Eye on India, Science of Spirituality, Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago and Cognizant.
The official celebration is to take place June 21 between 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at venues to be publicized later. The Consulate has planned special book and photo exhibitions on Yoga, with selected photographs from Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga and by Raja Chaudhary. The documentary film “History of Yoga: the path of my Ancestors” will be screened. This 109-minute film with Hindi subtitles is a 6000-year journey into the origin and evolution of yoga from the Harappan civilization down through Vedic period, Jainism, Buddhism and medieval hatha-yogic practices.
Among the many offerings: routine yoga protocol and demonstration of common postures (asana) for 30 minutes and breathing techniques by Art of Living Foundation; Surya Namaskar by Hindu Swayam Sevak Sangh; meditation workshop by Brahm Kumaris Meditation Centers; lecture and presentation by BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha; meditation for optimal well-being by Science of Spirituality; skit by Isha Foundation Yoga.
Eye on India festival will be also hosting interactive demonstrations from sunrise to sundown at various locations in collaboration with City of Chicago (see Desi Talk calendar).
The Indian Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AAYUSH) had initiated a design competition for the IDY logo and tagline. A committee headed by H.R. Nagendra, Chancellor, Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana (S-VYASA) University chose the logo, which was approved by the Prime Minister and Ministry for External Affairs. Tech Mahindra has developed a multi-featured website, www.idayofyoga.org to support the IDY cause by consolidating yoga-related contents in the form of text, images, videos, blogs, news articles, opinion, etc. from the most authentic sources for a diverse audience.