The first International Yoga Day saw nearly 20 crore people from 200 countries participating in the common protocol, but this year we plan to have 40-50 crore people from more than 230 countries to practice the common protocol, said HR Nagendra, Chancellor, Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana (S-Vyasa) Yoga University and chairperson of the inaugural International Yoga Day. He is also Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s yoga guru.

Last year, the session duration was 35 minutes but this year, it will be extended by 10 more minutes, apart from a 15-minute provision to include pranayama (breathing), yoga nidra (cooling off), dhyana (meditation) and satsang (congregation of the truthful) which takes the total duration to an hour of yoga on International Day of Yoga on June 21. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be joining Dr Nagendra at Chandigarh between 7am and 8am.

“The inaugural event was a great hit. We had an overwhelming response from not only across the country but also the world. This year we have planned much more grandeur. Every year we plan the day in a different state. This year, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan and the UT of Chandigarh were shortlisted, and finally it was decided on Chandigarh. We are hoping for a bigger turnout. We have added two more asanas. On June 20, Brahmakumaris will be performing yoga at the Red Fort. Yoga gurus Jaggi Vasudev, Ramdev and Ravishankar will also play a huge role in promoting yoga across the country and globe, informer Dr Nagendra.

PM Modi doesn’t want to restrict yoga to International Yoga Day, he wants yoga to be a continuous process, so we have made yoga mandatory in schools and colleges. He has also mooted 200 conferences on yoga across the country in colleges and universities.

Since May, many colleges and universities have started conducting conferences, which will go on till the end of this month. In the United States alone, there will be 50,000 yoga programmes which will conclude by the month-end. All top institutions in the world have joined hands, pointed out Nagendra.

Last year, nearly Rs 120 crore was spent on International Yoga Day celebrations. The major contribution was from the defence ministry which spent nearly Rs 60 crore. This year, all ministries are involved in organizing International Yoga Day, he added.

(Courtesy: TNN)

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