After Yoga got a strong leg up on the world stage following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for observing an International Yoga Day, the European Union (EU) has backed the initiative.
“EU supports your initiative for a Yoga Day,” the EU President Herman Von Rompuy told the Prime Minister during their meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Summit.
The European Commission (EC) is the executive body of the 28-nation EU responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the treaties and day-to-day management of the EU.
Prime Minister Modi in his maiden address to the UN General Assembly in September had made a passionate plea for observing an International Yoga Day, describing the ancient science as “India’s gift to the world”.
Modi’s unexpected reference to Yoga came when he was talking about climate change and going back to basics.
Yoga is not just about fitness or exercise, it is about changing one’s lifestyle, the Prime Minister had said, plugging for ancient practice that was introduced to the west by Modi’s spiritual inspiration, Swami Vivekananda.
About 130 countries, including the US, Canada and China, have have signed up for co-sponsorship of a draft resolution which India’s UN mission is preparing for declaring June 21 as the International Day of Yoga.
The resolution is expected to be submitted soon to the UN secretariat with the government looking to aggressively push for its adoption before the end of this year.
Yoga has invariably found mention in Modi’s exchanges with important world leaders, including US President Barack Obama.
He explained the benefits of Yoga to Obama over their White House dinner, which saw Modi sipping only warm water as he was fasting, as the US President expressed admiration for the Prime Minister’s “energy and vigour”.
Modi had also gifted a book on Yoga to his Australian counterpart Tony Abbott.
Calling for a change in lifestyle and for creating consciousness, Modi in his UNGA speech had said Yoga could even help deal with climate change.
“Yoga is an invaluable gift of our ancient tradition. Yoga 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 the nature,” he had said.