Yoga is a 5,000-year-old physical, mental and spiritual practice, having its origin in India, which aims to transform both body and mind. On December 11 in 2014, the United Nations General Assembly declared June 21 as the International Day of Yoga. The declaration came after the call for the adoption of 21 June as International Day of Yoga by Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi during his address to UN General Assembly on September 27, 2014 wherein he stated: "Yoga is an invaluable gift of India's ancient tradition . It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; 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. " In suggesting June 21, which is the Summer Solstice, as the International Day of Yoga, Narendra Modi had said, "the date is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and has special significance in many parts of the world."
Yogi and mystic, Sadhguru notes the importance of this day in the yogic tradition: "On the day of the summer solstice, Adiyogi [the first yogi] turned south and first set his eyes on the Saptarishis or Seven Sages, who were his first disciples to carry the science of yoga to many parts of the world. It is wonderful that June 21 marks this momentous event in the history of humanity."
"175 nations, including USA, Canada and China co-sponsored the resolution."
"It had the highest number of co-sponsors ever for any UNGA Resolution of such nature."
The idea to celebrate World Yoga Day has been proposed by many. Amongst them is a call by significant international Humanitarian and meditation and Yoga Guru Shri Ravi Shankar in December two thousand and eleven. Following the adoption of the UN Resolution, Shri Ravi Shankar lauded the Efforts of Mr. Narendra Modi, stating that "It is very difficult for any philosophy, religion or culture to survive without state patronage. Now, official recognition by the UN would further spread the benefits of Yoga to the entire world."