International Yoga Day

Every year, millions of people around the world observe International Yoga Day. This holiday is observed annually on June 21st and promotes this ancient practice. It’s estimated that over 300 million people practice yoga regularly worldwide, and about 10% of the U.S. population (approximately 35 million people) practice it.

Although yoga has been around for thousands of years, it began to gain significant popularity after 2010. In fact, between 2010 and 2021, the popularity of yoga increased by over 64%, with no signs of it slowing down. For this reason, an increasing number of people observe this holiday every year.

The History Of International Yoga Day

While no one knows exactly how long yoga has been practiced, historians agree that it has a long history. It was first mentioned in the Rigveda, a sacred Indian text from around 1,500 BC. Originally, yoga was purely a spiritual practice, but over time it developed into a physical and mental practice as well.

Yoga wasn’t introduced to Western culture until the 20th century, and it didn’t become popular immediately. It started to gain some popularity in the 1990s. This is when yoga began to attract more attention.

Its popularity slowly increased over the next two decades until 2010. This is when a large number of people in the U.S. and Europe began discovering yoga’s benefits for their physical, mental, and emotional health. Yoga has several positive effects on a person’s mind and body.

It can relieve stress, promote relaxation, and foster deep inner peace. It also improves flexibility, circulation, strength, and balance. With such proven benefits, it’s no surprise that International Yoga Day was established as a holiday by Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, in 2014.

Modi proposed the idea of this holiday, but it didn’t become a reality until 2015 when the United Nations made it official. Since then, this holiday has become a global celebration that promotes yoga and encourages everyone to participate in this practice.

Some Interesting Facts About Yoga

Below are some of the most fascinating facts we’ve learned about yoga. We think these facts are perfect for learning in anticipation of International Yoga Day.

  • Over the past five years, the number of Americans practicing yoga has increased by 50%.
  • Approximately 72% of yoga practitioners in the U.S. are women.
  • Over the past six months, more than 15% of Americans have practiced yoga.

Observing International Yoga Day

Whether a person is seeking inner peace or better physical health, yoga is a useful tool to achieve these goals. International Yoga Day is the perfect opportunity for people to start practicing yoga for the first time or to continue a routine they’ve already established. It’s also a good day for people to spread the word about this holiday using the hashtag #InternationalYogaDay on social media.

When is it?
This year (2024)
June 21 Friday
Next year (2025)
June 21 Saturday
Last year (2023)
June 21 Wednesday
Health & Body, United Nations