New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said he had not anticipated the “enormous enthusiasm” from across the globe for his call which had led the UN to declare June 21 as the International Yoga Day last year, asserting that yoga was much more than a physical exercise.
“When I outlined a vision for an International Day of Yoga in September 2014 at the United Nations General Assembly, even I did not anticipate the enormous enthusiasm for the occasion from all corners of the world,” he said in a video message ahead of the second International Yoga Day on Tuesday.
PM Modi said the support and participation of the people last year and once again now “redeems the commitment to nurture and promote this ancient discipline and reaffirms yoga as an exemplary manifestation of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ (the world as one family).”
“I recall the iconic images from that momentous day last year. All the way from the Pacific Islands to Port of Spain, from Vladivostok to Vancouver and from Copenhagen to Cape Town, thousands gathered to unite the bodies and minds through the practice of Yoga,” the Prime Minister said.
And the reverberations of the discipline found a “natural home” at the UN Headquarters in New York, where the journey had begun, he said. Through a historic resolution, the UN General Assembly designated 21 June International Day of Yoga last year.
Maintaining that “Yoga is much more than a physical exercise,” he said “it enables us to access a new dimension of the self, even while providing a holistic approach to preventive healthcare and well-being.”
“Yoga helps us to restore our balance and furnishes us with a much-needed sense of clarity. And through its unifying power, we seek completeness, and at the same time, a oneness with the world,” he said.
“It gives me great pleasure to address you as we prepare for the 2nd International Day of Yoga – this unique occasion that brings all of us together to celebrate the invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition,” PM Modi said.
He thanked the people for their commitment to promote the discipline, saying “today all of you are the Ambassadors of Yoga, taking forward India’s ancient message to the world.”