Yoga is a science of consciousness, a science of personal development and spiritual growth, and a science that unlocks creativity. It enables the connection of oneself with the soul. It is this connection that enables one to realize one's true calling and strive for new heights of personal and professional achievement. Yoga is inner engineering for success.
Today, Yoga is emerging from being a system of wellness to becoming a way of life for millions across the globe. Yoga enables an exploration of the metaphysical. It wards off sickness of any kind and bestows upon us good health and happiness. Practicing Yoga is taking free health insurance. It promotes health and wellbeing for all, which is vital for India and the world. Yoga is, well and truly, India's gift to the world. That is why we have taken it upon ourselves to educate the youth in yoga. Consequently, medical colleges across Bihar are gearing up to make yoga training compulsory from the current academic session. Other states have also taken important steps. Uttar Pradesh is setting up the first Ayush University, which will transform the way AYUSH and yoga are taught and approached in India. Madhya Pradesh is also taking steps to popularize yoga among the state’s youth. Madhya Pradesh's Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan has announced the setting up of a Yoga Aayog (commission) in the
state. He has also declared that the state would make yoga a part of school curriculum.
The Union Ayush ministry has also not left any stone unturned to promote the homegrown traditional medicine systems of Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha, homeopathy, and Sowa Rigpa. Since inception eight years ago, the ministry has gone the extra mile in its efforts to make India the holistic health capital of the world. Yoga is India's gift to the world. It is India's tradition, adopted by the world. India has gone all-out to promote yoga for universal health and wellbeing. It is a result of these efforts that on December 11, 2014, the United Nations proclaimed 21 June as the International Day of Yoga. The day aims to raise awareness worldwide of the many benefits of practicing yoga. The draft resolution establishing the
International Day of Yoga was proposed by India and endorsed by a record 175 member countries.
The proposal was first introduced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address during the opening of the 69th session of the General Assembly, in which he said: “Yoga is an invaluable gift from our ancient tradition. Yoga embodies unity of mind and body, thought and action ... a holistic approach [that] is valuable to our health and our well-being. Yoga is not just about exercise; it is a way to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature.”
The International Day of Yoga 2022 is being celebrated today under the theme of Yoga for Humanity. In an increasingly fragmented world, where people are fighting over caste-color, race-religion, Yoga brings people together through compassion and kindness. It is all-inclusive, and respects the diversity of gender, nationality, religion, and race.
During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, yoga served humanity by alleviating suffering and in the emerging post-covid geo-political scenario too, yoga is all set to foster a sense of unity and build resilience among people. Focusing on Yoga for Humanity, special programs have been designed this year for especially abled people, the transgender population, women and children. Human values that are an integral part of Yoga education in schools are also in focus through Yoga.
The yoga industry too is on the ascendancy, as yoga has emerged as both a source of employment and an important entrepreneurship avenue. Its global popularity is truly colossal. Imagine, the US alone has more than 6,000 yoga studios. As per market estimates, the yoga merchandise industry alone is expected to reach USD 70 billion by 2030, from USD 34 billion in 2020, registering a compounded annual growth rate of 7.8% during this period. Canada, countries in Europe, and Japan, South Korea are also big markets for yoga-related products and services. The world would need certified and qualified trainers in yoga and India has the potential to provide the world these trainers. COVID-19 has brought about a
renewed focus on personal health and wellbeing, driving millions to yoga.
These tectonic shifts are the reason that International Day of Yoga, 2022 celebrations have an announcement of the Startup Yoga Challenge Contest which will invigorate the youth to innovate solutions for India and the world.
As Indians, it is our duty to not just espouse yoga but also to promote yoga to all. This is one of the important ways in which Bharat can become Vishwa Guru and guide the world to peace and universal brotherhood.
----Dr. Raghavendra Mishra, Professor, Indira Gandhi National Tribal University