The first International Yoga Day is happening June 21 — are you in? This great day was approved just last December by the United Nations General Assembly, only three months after India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, made an address, saying:
Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfilment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help us deal with climate change. Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day.
While this international recognition of yoga’s footprint worldwide is important for us, for Shree Modi it’s also a personal statement. His political success in India comes from his spiritual depth as much as his political acumen. Having spent some of his young adulthood as a wandering sadhu (holy man) in India, he chose to serve in the political arena and worked his way up from the grassroots level. His leadership draws on India’s deep spirituality, contributing to his popularity as well as his political agenda. I was personally in Varanasi last winter when he and spent several days on a project to clean the Ganga (Ganges) River, doing some of the shoveling and scraping himself.
The yogic basis of his leadership has been recognized by “Hinduism Today,” an international magazine, who just named him the Hindu of the Year for 2015. Every prior recipient of this prestigious honor has been a Guru, not a Prime Minister!
Shree Modi recommended June 21, the summer solstice (in the Northern Hemisphere), as the day of the year with the most light. It’s also an important time for yogis in India, coming near the beginning of the monsoon season, when hunker down for three months of deep sadhana (practices).
The FIRST International Yoga Day, June 21. Can we make a big bang, one that will reverberate until the Fourth of July? Click here to tell Swamiji of your plans or ideas.