Millions celebrate International Yoga Day as the inaugural events took place around the world on Sunday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi led a record-breaking 37,000 participants in New Delhi.
“I believe that from the 21st of June, through the International Day of Yoga, it is not just the beginning of a day but the beginning of a new age through which we will achieve greater heights of peace, good will and train the human spirit.”
International Yoga Day was also celebrated throughout the world, including New York, the Maldives, Australia, Tel Aviv, Moscow, and the Caribbean islands. From public parks and residential locations, people gathered to practice yoga together. In Paris, people gathered under the Eiffel Tower to participate in the worldwide celebration.
In India, Modi led the large crowd at the Rajpath, which is the ceremonial boulevard that connects the presidential palace with the World War I memorial. The celebration is intended to start a “new era” of focusing cultures to train the human mind and body to balance through yoga in an effort to achieve peace.
“Did anybody ever think that Rajpath can become Yogpath?” Modi remarked playfully to the record-breaking yoga crowd.
The U.N. General Assembly approved International Yoga Day a few months ago. With its successful launch, the inaugural celebration hopes to mark a peace-seeking trend around the globe.
In an effort to respect complaints from the Muslim population in India, Modi agreed to exclude the traditional “sun salutation” poses and “om” chanting that implied the Hindu religion. The event was recorded by 24-state run cameras in an effort to live-feed the event through social media, too. Its organizers wanted the event to be as inclusive as possible.
While some are skeptical of yoga being pushed as a trend or marketing tool for peace politics, many embraced the day as a positive event for all – a much needed activity to unite countries.
Inquisitr reported that International Yoga Day began early in the morning on Sunday. Various events took place indoors and outdoors throughout the world. As a U.N. approved event, many countries felt comfortable promoting the day and allowing for local and large-scale celebrations to take place.
[Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images]