The first United Nations International Yoga Day is being marked tomorrow, June 21, across India. The run-up to the day has been unprecedented in scale. The nation holds its breath (pun intended), as yoga readies for its Kodak moments. While the world and India of course, as originator of this art celebrates the day dedicated to what has become a global phenomenon, one has to look at how adeptly and widely this day is being marketed.
In a world where hype and hoopla range and where social media is a catalyst for the widest publicity, yoga ironically, an age-old philosophy science and exercise for the body, is riding the hi-tech wave. There are a slew of programmes to be held all across the city. The capital, Delhi, is ready with a massive yoga session where the city will become a sea of colourful yoga mats. Excitement is at an all time high and though the Mumbai downpour looks to have put a bit of a dampener on things, it is still the world is gaga about yoga. Certain institutions have been celebrating yoga through the week beginning Monday, with symposiums, meetings and seminars in a run-up to the day.
While one hopes that the day sets a trend of sorts and yoga becomes even more popular than it is, let us do and use yoga for a simple end: for health.
Let this day not be used for political agenda, communalising yoga to get into headlines and score some kind of points over people is counterproductive too. While one is always entitled to an opinion to use yoga for political gain is heinous. There are also attempts by individuals to use yoga for publicity and are milking this yoga day dry for it. One can surely use yoga day as a fillip to further spread the message of the benefits of yoga but empty publicity is hollow and dangerous.
This first International Yoga Day is a milestone Let us retain purity and selflessness when marking it. Yoga is the science of the body and mind taken to its highest form. The first international day of yoga should be about that.