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on Second International Day of Yoga
My dear friends from all over the world,
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. When I outlined a vision foran 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. Your support and participation last year, and once again now redeems our commitment to nurture and promote this ancient discipline, and reaffirms yoga as an exemplary manifestation of "VasudhaivaKutumbakam" - 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. And the reverberations of their discipline found a natural home at the UN Headquarters in New York, where the journey had begun. I myself was fortunate to celebrate the event along with 36,000 of my fellow citizens and foreign guests in New Delhi.
As so many of you have already discovered, Yoga is much more than a physical exercise - it enables us to access a new dimension of the self, even while providing a holistic approach to preventive healthcare and wellbeing. 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.
Today all of you are the Ambassadors of Yoga, taking forward India's ancient message to the world. I thank you for your commitment and welcome you as sisters and brothers of India's family.
on 2nd International Day of Yoga
It is a matter of immense happinessthat at India's initiative the United Nations declared 21 June as the International Day of Yoga. This is the second year when we celebrate the International Day of Yoga with great fervor both in India and abroad. Last year also this event was celebrated on a grand scale and it is our expectation that this time the celebrations will be on twice the scale and will see twice the participation.
I would like to emphasize that Yoga is not mere exercise. Yoga is a combination of exercise for the body as well as the soul. For this reason, while a person feels exhausted after exercising, after Yoga the person is not exhausted, rather feels a sense of inner peace. If you start Yoga by doing Pranayam and end it with YogNidra or Shavasan you will achieve release from stress and you will feel new energy and vitality flow through your body. On the one hand Yoga is a medium to fight chronic ailments, on the other it is also a means to attain spiritual energy.
Given the grand scale at which we are celebrating the International Day of Yoga, I invite each and every one of you to join hands with us. I would also like to convey my best wishes to those who are unable to participate this time but who would be inspired by you to take up Yoga afresh and participate next time.
All our Missions and Posts abroad have made intense preparations to celebrate the International Day of Yoga. Extensive arrangements have also been made to celebrate this event in India. My warmest wishes to all of you for the success of the 2nd International Day of Yoga.