Silhouette photograph of woman doing yoga

Celebrating the 10th International Yoga Day

International Yoga Day, celebrated annually on 21st June, highlights the ancient practice of yoga and its global significance in promoting holistic health and well-being. This year, the theme is “Yoga for Self and Society.”

Originating in India, yoga has gained worldwide popularity for its physical, mental, and spiritual benefits

The history of International Yoga Day can be traced back to 2014 when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed the idea of an international day dedicated to yoga during his address to the United Nations General Assembly, according to the UN. He emphasised that yoga is not solely about physical exercise but also a means to discover a sense of unity with oneself, the world, and nature, and contribute to creating a healthier planet.

In 2014, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 69/131, which proclaimed June 21 as International Yoga Day. The resolution called on all UN member states to “observe International Yoga Day annually, to raise awareness of the many benefits of yoga.”

International Yoga Day was introduced in 2015

The first International Yoga Day was celebrated on June 21, 2015, with events taking place in over 190 countries. Events and activities have continued each year on this day, in the aim of raising awareness about yoga’s transformative effects and to encourage people of all ages and backgrounds to incorporate it into their lifestyles for improved health and mindfulness (UN, 2023).

In celebration of International Yoga Day, our teams participated in an online Desk Yoga session, promoting the incorporation of yoga into daily routines to reduce stress, restore energy, and balance and enhance concentration. The session was led by Associate Director of Scholarships and internationally certified Hatha yoga instructor, Dr. Gretchen Dobson.

Dr. Gretchen Dobson leading a group through a 15-minute desk yoga session over Microsoft Teams

Currently, Gretchen leads weekly Scholar Yoga for Australia Awards scholars and morning Desk Yoga for our Australia Awards PNG team. She has previously also brought yoga into the Fiji Program Support Facility with 10-minute ‘Desk Yoga’ sessions and full balanced classes after the workday.

Read more:

Gretchen Dobson

Associate Director Scholarships

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