June 21, which is the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere, is Yoga Day. Tons of people around the world gather in huge groups to practice it, especially in the morning.

The United Nations (UN) made this day the official international yoga day last year after Narendra Mondi, the 14th Prime Minister of India, proposed the celebration to the United Nations General Assembly back in 2014. He wasn’t the first to give birth to the idea, in Nepal people had been celebrating it for 36 years, but he was the first to establish it as a global celebration.

International Yoga Day
In 2014, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed to the UN the celebration of the International Day of Yoga. Today, he led more than 35,000 people through a Yoga session in New Delhi. Credit: Mashable

“Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition. This tradition is 5,000 years old. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfilment; 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. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help in well-being. Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day,” said Narendra Mondi at the United Nations General Assembly.

Nowadays, artists and celebrities promote it as part of their workout routine. However, yoga is mainly described as an ancient mental, physical and spiritual practice. Originated in India, no one knows the exact origin, but some estimate that the first form of modern the practice was born around the 6th century before the Common Era.

International Yoga Day
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is seen lying on the ground in front of a huge crowd, as he led a Yoga session in New Delhi, India. Credit: Mashable

 The world gathers and bends to celebrate the practice

 As it is a strong Indian tradition, people from that country meet at different points to do yoga at the sunrise, and no one is left behind. Yoga is one of the oldest traditions in the country, and even the army takes part in the celebrations. In military bases all around the country, soldiers bent at sunrise this morning. The governor of Goa, Dr. Smt. Mridula Sinha followed the Prime Minister’s lead and joined a yoga session with a lot of women and children in the western Indian island.

The United Arabic Emirates also held many rallies all along with Tunisia, Sudan, and Iraq, which is no surprise since all of these populations are formed by extremely spiritual and traditional people who like to honor ancient traditions.

International Yoga Day
People gathered together practicing Yoga down the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. Credit: Mashable

New Yorkers, a very contrasting community, met at Time Square to forget about their jobs, appointments, relationships, and so on, to engage in a peaceful and very prolonged yoga session to welcome summer. It was a rather different morning in the city that is always in a hurry.

The gentle exercise that feeds the body, mind and soul alike broke the barriers and is now an international practice. People in Sidney gathered at the Harbour Bridge to greet this morning’s sun with Yoga poses.

The ancient traditions are universal, people that want to participate in this kind of events should check online for possible schedules, and they will probably find something nearby their location.

Source: Daily Mail