By June 24, 2015 Read More →

The International Day of Yoga on 21st June, United Nations, New York


On a cloudy, soon to become, hot and sunny Sunday morning of June 21st, a delegation of ten Brahma Kumaris made their way to UN HQ in New York City to attend the first celebration of the International Day of Yoga.

The UN Plaza Square gradually filled with guests taking their places either on yoga mats set on the ground in front of a stage sandwiched by large TV screens and prepared for the arrival of dignitaries, or on the numerous rows of seats arranged neatly behind them.


After being welcomed with silk shawls or T-Shirts with the Int. Day of Yoga logo printed on them, we took our seats and the show began. The screens came alive with a somewhat loud and dramatic version of the beginnings of Yoga from the Indian perspective. This was followed by welcoming remarks recorded from the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi and addresses from the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and the president of the 69th UN GA.

The UN Secretary General, Ban KI-moon gave his Key Note address wearing a Int. Day of Yoga track suit, along with his wife, as they were later to participated in the Asana postures which were led by Sri Sri Ravishankar, Founder of the Art of Living Foundation.


“Yoga offers a simple, accessible and inclusive means to promote physical and spiritual health and well-being,” Ban Ki-moon said. “It promotes respect for one’s fellow human beings and for the planet we share. And yoga does not discriminate; to varying degrees, all people can practice, regardless of their relative strength, age or ability.”

US congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, remarks were particularly eloquent and meaningful: “A true yogi recognizes that we are not just physical bodies but spiritual entities” and in the face of “ignorance and hatred,” we can “reflect and call for the spiritual wisdom and spiritual love that is found in yoga.”


The same morning a large event at Times Square was being organized by the Times Square Alliance, with some estimated 30,000 enthusiastic people in colorful dresses performing the ancient spiritual practice. Tim Tompkins, the president of the alliance, also took part in the event at the UNHQ, saying that the idea of solstice in Times Square started with just a couple of other yogi’s thirteen years ago and has now grown to thousands.

This first International Day of Yoga seems to have caught the attention and enthusiasm of hundreds of thousands around the world as people have taken to their mats and connected to the peace within, to the eternal source, and to the human family.

Posted in: IDY Blog

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