New Delhi, 07 April 2022: On the occasion of the World Health Day, the Ministry of Ayush organised a Yoga Utsav at the iconic 15 August ground at Red Fort here today. The event also kickstarted the 75 days countdown to the International Day of Yoga (IDY). The event was graced by the Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla as the Chief Guest. The event saw active participation from many Union Ministers, Members of Parliament, Ambassadors of various countries, Yoga gurus, senior officials and volunteers as they performed Common Yoga Protocol (CYP).

The Union Minister of Ayush, Ports, Shipping & Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal; the Union Minister of Tourism, Culture & DoNER G Kishan Reddy; the Union Minister of Labour and Employment, Forest & Climate Change Bhupender Yadav; the Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture, Smt. Meenakshi Lekhi; the Union Minister of State for Education and External Affairs Rajkumar Ranjan Singh; the Union Minister of State for Labour & Employment and Petroleum & Natural Gas Rameswar Teli; and the Minister of State for Ports, Shipping & Waterways Shantanu Thakur were present. Among Members of Parliament, who attended the event, were Jagadambika Pal, Rajendra Agarwal, Sunita Duggal, Mangala Suresh Angari, C Laltlanthanga, Phangnon Konyak, Topon Kumar Gogoi, Rajdeep Roy and Horen Singh Bey.

A number of dignitaries and officials from Embassies & High Commissions of many countries including Sweden, Hungary, Vietnam, Madagascar, Trinidad & Tobago, Venezuela, Togo, Peru, Kyrgyzstan and Zimbabwe participated in the Yoga Utsav ensuring global presence at this ceremonial event to begin the 75 days countdown to the 8th International Day of Yoga this year. The International Day of Yoga is celebrated all over the world on June 21 every year.

While addressing the gathering, the Speaker of Lok Sabha, Om Birla outlined the importance of Yoga and said, “Yoga is the symbol of India’s rich cultural heritage. He greeted everyone on World health day and thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for taking yoga to the world.”

On this occassion, Sarbananda Sonowal, said “Today is the World Health Day. Yoga is a practice that brings about harmony between the body and the mind. It gives us physical power and provides mental balance and emotional stability to meet modern life challenges successfully. We are organising this event to mark the 75 days Countdown to International Yoga Day”.  The Minister further informed that the Ministry has planned for Yoga performance at 75 heritage sites with prominent India branding and also planned to relay programmes of IDY across the world with the movement of the Sun. He said that this is linked with the Prime Minister Narendra Modiji’s ‘One Sun, One Earth’ campaign.

Thanking the participants at the event, the Union Minister added“I am grateful to Honble Speaker (Lok Sabha), Honble Union Ministers, Honble Members of Parliament, His Excellency Ambassadors, H. E. High Commissioners, Honourable Yog Gurus, Representatives from various Ministries, Media, Volunteers and participants. In the coming days, I request all the stakeholders make joint efforts in Mission Mode to maximise public involvement and participation.”

Common Yoga Protocol (CYP) was given a huge importance in today’s mega show. CYP is designed inputs from experts as it comprises day-to-day Yoga practice to reap all the benefits of Yoga. The protocol is intended to popularise Yoga practices like Yoga Nidra, Pranayama, Dhyan etc. Each Yogic activity is a key to improving flexibility, strength, balance and attaining harmony. Yoga Portal by the Government of India is a platform to help people embrace, practice, and enjoy yoga every day.

Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, Secretary, Ministry of Ayush stated the importance of Yoga and said that Yoga has become an international brand today and is being widely practiced in almost all the countries of the world

Yoga Gurus like Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswati, President, Parmarth Niketan and Bhikkhu Sanghasena, founder, Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre, Leh-Ladhkh also shared their insights during the live programme.

After the addresses, a live demonstration of Common Yoga Protocol was performed by the experts of Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga under the leadership Dr. Ishwar V. Basavaraddi, Director MDNIY wherein more than 3000 Yoga sadhaks performed the Common Yoga Protocol under the ambience of Red Fort. The programme was streamed through various social media platforms of ministry of Ayush, MDNIY and other yoga institutions.