International Yoga Day

UN's decision to commemorate the International Day of Yoga underlines the appreciation for India and its growing soft power, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has said.

Swaraj, who addressed the first International Day of Yoga celebrations at the UN, also attended a function marking the day at the Hindu Temple Society of North America yesterday.

The way the day was commemorated around the globe, "the world had made the first International Day of Yoga its own," Swaraj said at the Hindu Temple Society of North America.

The impressive participation around the world on International Yoga Day is indeed a testimony to India’s immense reservoir of soft power. In his energetic engagement with world leaders, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has put a special emphasis on cultural diplomacy. Modi should, however, remember that India’s soft power has the greatest impact when official New Delhi keeps its heavy hand away from it. India is not new to cultural diplomacy. India’s self-discovery of its rich cultural heritage and its global reach played an important role in shaping its modern nationalism.

The more significant question to ask is whether it serves as an important tool for India’s aspirations as a global power. Many have written that yoga is one of the best “soft power” tools in India’s global tool kit. In the US alone, it claims to be a heavy-duty industry worth more than $30 billion. Most people who practice yoga know that it emerged in India almost 5,000 years ago, and recognise its holistic attributes. So, how will this grand-scale exercise enhance India’s global image?

India’s armed forces yesterday demonstrated the country’s ‘soft-power’, participating in the first International Yoga Day at the highest battlefield of Siachen to the South China Sea and Mediterranean Sea.
Soldiers practised yoga at the Siachen glacier, the world’s highest battlefield at 5,400m altitude, and also in Ladakh and Kargil, along with all major stations across the country.
The Indian Navy, observing “Yoga across the Oceans”, had ship crews stationed in international waters, from the Mediterranean to the South China Sea practising yoga.

Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar today performed yoga asanas with more than a thousand participants at a mega event organised here as part of International Yoga Day celebrations. Javadekar inaugurated the yoga session at 7 am at the Forest Research Institute premises here along with IFS probationers, officers and faculty members and followed it up with another programme held by Patanjali Yogpeeth at the Rangers Ground where he was accompanied by state BJP chief Tirath Rawat and Leader of Opposition in Assembly Ajay Bhatt. In his brief speech, Javadekar appealed to people to embr

To commemorate the International Yoga Day, the Indian embassy in Indonesia has released a special publication, a comic book focusing on the historic India-Indonesia relationship. "Travels through Time", is a part of the ongoing "Sahabat India: Festival of India in Indonesia" which has revived and revitalised India's cultural links with Indonesia at large. The comic book begins with when Indonesia and India came into contact and goes through different periods of historic, social and cultural interaction.

New Delhi: The heart of India's capital will transform into a sea of colourful mats on Sunday as thousands perform the camel, cobra and other postures for the first International Yoga Day championed by Narendra Modi.

Shortly after dawn on a New Delhi boulevard, some 35,000 bureaucrats, students, soldiers and others are to take part in the 35-minute mass outdoor yoga session, hopeful of qualifying for theGuinness Book of Records.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken on the role of a yoga guru for Chinese Internet users. He is providing his followers on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, a daily lesson of yoga exercise complete with sketches about different poses, and a list of benefits. Modi’s yoga posts are but the latest in a series of sweeping efforts by India to connect directly with the public in China, and try to capitalize on the two neighbors' shared links to Buddhism and other traditions in a bid to build sentimental bridges.