A resolution has been tabled in the New York City Council to recognise June 21 as ‘World Yoga Day’ here in line with the United Nations’ decision to commemorate the day annually.
The resolution, that is yet to be voted upon, notes that the UN had last year declared June 21 to be commemorated each year as the ‘International Day of Yoga’ after the General Assembly adopted an India-led resolution co-sponsored by a record 175 countries.
The UNGA resolution, adopted less than three months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed the idea at the UN, recognised that “yoga provides a holistic approach to health and well-being,” an echo of Modi’s remarks in his maiden address to the world body in September.
“The UN declared June 21 of each year as international yoga day; now therefore, be it resolved that the Council of the City of New York recognises and commemorates June 21 as World Yoga Day in the City of New York,” the City Council resolution reads.
The resolution cited a study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology that showed that yoga produced significant changes in body weight, diastolic blood pressure, cholesterol and heart rate.
The resolution also points out that the US Centres for Disease and Control recognises yoga as a “great activity for everyone.”
The resolution added that according to a 2012 study, 20.4 million Americans practice yoga and Forbes magazine has listed New York as one of the top 10 cities in the US for yoga.
This year will mark the first commemoration by the UN of International Day of Yoga.
In the run up to the highly-anticipated event on June 21, Indian Consul General Ambassador Dnyaneshwar Mulay launched the ‘Yogathon’ website yesterday focussing on the yoga movement in the US.
The website by the Overseas Volunteers for Better India (OVBI) aims to serve as a one-stop portal that will provide information and details about various yoga events planned in over 100 US cities on June 21.
Mulay said that several events will be held across the US in the run-up to June 21, aimed at spreading awareness about yoga and to celebrate yoga as a world heritage.
“We have been celebrating yoga for 5000 years and it has evolved as a holistic life mechanism and not just a lifestyle,” he said.
The Ambassador said that yoga should not be seen with a religious perspective alone and the ancient Indian practice provides solutions in current times of anger, stress and disputes.
He said the City Council resolution is a “recognition of yoga as well of India’s heritage.”