NEW DELHI: Having generated vast global attention for the first International Day of Yoga in 2015, the Modi government is pulling out all stops to ensure that the next edition is equally impressive. Coming up in this June, is an even longer one hour long Yoga protocol, advanced yoga retreats for foreigners in scenic locations in India and a mass Yoga demonstration in one of the BJP-ruled states.That apart, the government is set to ensure a “100% participation” in the event by all institutes including the IITs, NITs and IISERs. Add to it a special 4-minute long ‘Yoga Geet’ to be sung aloud.
A high-level committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Yoga guru Dr HR Nagendra—Vice chancellor of the Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana (S-VYASA), has been holding rounds of meetings with top officials across ministries to plan the next Yoga day with considerable fanfare. It took a range of decisions in its most recent meeting held on 8th February, 20-16.
It has been agreed to extend the common Yoga protocol from the 45 minute long duration practiced last year to an hour long one this time. The additional 15 minutes will be for ‘institutional Yoga practice’ which will be ‘preferably Pranayama, Dhyana, Yoga Nidra and Satsanga’.
It has also been agreed that a week long “advanced Yoga retreats and camps” will be organised for foreigner in April-May period at scenic locations like Goa, Mumbai, Mount Abu, Jaipur, Delhi, Mysore, Rishikesh and other tourist destinations. A token financial assistance will be provided by the Department of AYUSH to leading Yoga institutions to help organise these special Yoga retreats for foreigners.
While Rajpath in New Delhi was the centre for the mass Yoga demonstration in 2015 where even Prime Minister Narendra Modi participated, in 2016 a similar “major mass Yoga demonstration program on the lines of the International Conference on Yoga” will be organised in some of the states. The preferred choice is one of the BJP ruled states—Gujarat, Haryana, Rajasthan or Madhya Pradesh. It has been proposed that Yoga demonstrations be held in state capitals on rotational basis and state governments can volunteer for the same.
AYoga conference will also be held from 21-23rd June. The conference will look at aspects like the traditional approach of Yoga, its health benefits based on evidence, production of evidence-based research and Yoga for helath education.
Educational institutes will be engaged in a big way with. Courses on Yoga will be introduced in schools and higher educational institutes including BEd and other teacher training courses.
It is also aimed that there is “100 per cent participation” by all institutes including the UGC, AICTE, NITs, IITs, IIITs, IISERs, SPAS and NITTRs. A Yoga Olympiad coordinated by the NCERT is also on the cards.