21st June was recognised as the International Day of Yoga (IDY) by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Dec 14 at the initiative of Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi. Since 2015, IDY has been observed worldwide with great enthusiasm and fervour. To commemorate IDY 23, the Ministry of AYUSH has planned an event ‘Ocean Ring of Yoga’ (symbolising unity and solidarity) in coordination with the Ministry of Defence and other ministries. In support of the IDY-23 initiative, Indian Navy ships deployed in the Indian Ocean Region are visiting various ports of friendly foreign countries and spreading the message of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ which is also the theme for IDY 23.
The Indian Navy has been an ambassador for Yoga across the seas for several years now and Yoga sessions are scheduled at most foreign ports visited by Indian Naval ships; thereby spreading the message of the benefits accrued from Yoga towards leading a healthy lifestyle. This year, Indian Navy is actively supporting the IDY at a global scale as port calls are planned at Chattogram, Bangladesh; Safaga, Egypt; Jakarta, Indonesia; Mombasa, Kenya; Toamasina, Madagascar; Muscat, Oman; Colombo, Sri Lanka; Phuket, Thailand; and Dubai, UAE by IN Ships Kiltan, Chennai, Shivalik, Sunayna, Trishul, Tarkash, Vagir, Sumitra and Brahmaputra respectively.
In all, as part of IDY 23 Ocean Ring of Yoga, nearly 3500 naval personnel onboard 19 Indian Naval ships have travelled over 35,000 Km as ambassadors of Yoga in both national and international waters. This includes over 2400 personnel on 11 IN ships at foreign ports/ international waters. Notably, IDY celebrations are also planned onboard ships of several foreign Navies in concert with our overseas Missions, involving over 1200 foreign Navy personnel.
The IDY-23 activities by the Indian Naval ships at foreign ports are planned to involve the ship’s crew and personnel from the host country and would be focused on the ‘Common Yoga Protocol’ (CYP), to increase awareness about yoga on an international scale and to highlight its immense potential to enhance the physical, psychological, and emotional aspects of well-being, towards an endeavour to facilitate its worldwide adoption.
IDY activities at all naval ports, bases, ships and establishments have commenced. These activities include practising CYP and conducting Yoga-related activities daily in the run-up to the final event on 21 Jun 23. Yoga awareness campaigns to encourage maximum participation by naval personnel, defence civilians and families as promulgated in the portals of the Ministry of AYUSH including ‘Har Angaan Yoga’ are being ensured. Mass camps, workshops, poster-making competitions, quizzes and lectures on ‘Health Benefits of Yoga’ are being conducted across the Navy.