The Making of the International Day of Yoga

In 1956, Swami Sivananda Saraswati gave the mandate to Sri Swami Satyananda to 'spread yoga from door to door and shore to shore'. In 1963 Sri Swami Satyananda founded the Bihar School of Yoga to fulfil this mandate and proclaimed, "Yoga will emerge as a mighty world culture and change the course of world events." More than fifty years later, his vision is becoming a reality as yoga enters the world community at large.

On 27 September 2014, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the United Nations General Assembly. Speaking on the subject of yoga, he said:

"Yoga is an invaluable gift of India's ancient tradition. This tradition is 5000 years old. 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 nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help us deal with climate change. Let us work towards adopting an International Day of Yoga."

On 11 December 2014, the United Nations General Assembly declared 21 June as the International Day of Yoga. The text of Resolution 69/131 received broad support from 177 Member States which adopted the text without a vote. It was the highest support ever given to a UN Resolution.

The Bihar School of Yoga supported and honoured the first International Day of Yoga with its own commitment to use yoga for the well being. and happiness of all.