India Must Shape Yoga’s Global Outreach

This year’s theme: IDY 2021: Be with Yoga, Be at Home, hosted by India’s Ministry of Ayush and Ministry of Youth and Sports Affairs further encourages yoga practice from home. Over the last year, it has been found that aside from in-person classes, 24% of people worldwide also use yoga apps or guided videos to practice. India's Center for Soft Power in collaboration with Indica Yoga and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) has launched Suryathon, a digital app to promote authentic yoga practice. This will allow individuals from all over the world to connect virtually and participate in this year’s celebration. Speaking at the launch, the ICCR Director General Dinesh Patnaik remarked, “Yoga is going to be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the tech-driven online platforms.”

Any attempt to convey the essence of yoga, as it was practiced by ancient seers, should include mantras and mindfulness, Sanskrit and shastras (teaching), as well as Ayurveda. Anything less would be a poor imitation. Realizing this, the Suryathon includes the most common and the oldest version of the Surya Namaskar (sun salutation), which predates modern variations and holds universal appeal.

This is just the starting point of a journey to explore the whole of yoga through the Indic lens, which is the key to India’s yoga diplomacy and would benefit the world at large.

Read more at USC Center for Public Diplomacy Blog by Arunima Gupta and Aparna Sridhar: India Must Shape Yoga's Global Outreach | USC Center on Public Diplomacy (uscpublicdiplomacy.org)