In 2014, the United Nations proclaimed June 21 as the International Day of Yoga, which aims to raise awareness about the benefits of practising yoga across the globe. This was done shortly after PM Narendra Modi put forth his suggestion for the occasion of a 'Yoga Day' in September 2014 and the first edition of the occasion was observed globally in 2015. Now, yoga is a globally-recognised practice, and Saudi Arabia, too, is seen promoting and practising yoga in the country.

Saudi Yoga Committee, a government body that acts as a federation established by the Saudi Arabia Olympic Committee, Ministry of Sports, to promote yoga in the country, has been actively promoting yoga in the country and has had immense success. The committee is now partaking in the 100 days countdown campaign to International Day of Yoga 2022, which commenced on March 13.

International Yoga Day 2020
Photo by kike vega on Unsplash

"We are honored to be part Yoga Mahotsav 2022 and the 100 days countdown campaign to the International Day of Yoga 2022. As we prepare to celebrate the International Day of Yoga, it is a very important to highlight Yoga's message for health, well-being and world peace. With today's challenges around the world, yoga promotion is needed the most," Nouf Al-Marwaai, president of the Saudi Yoga Committee, said in her speech.

Saudi Arabia's countdown to IDY-2022

Saudi Yoga Committee announced the launch of 81 days yoga awareness program in Saudi Arabia on April 1. Al-Marwaai made the announcement at a virtual event, which was held to give a wider promotion and publicity to various dimensions of yoga and promote the 100 days countdown campaign to International Day of Yoga 2022 under the theme "Health, Well-being and World Peace."

Al-Marwaai highlighted in her speech that yoga is expanding remarkably in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia due to its importance in physical health. She added that thousands of yoga trainers and practitioners are spread across the kingdom.

Nouf Al-Marwaai
Nouf Al-MarwaaiWikimedia Commons

Yoga in Saudi Arabia

Last year, an MoU was also signed between AYUSH Ministry and Sports Ministry, including Saudi Yoga Committee. The first-ever yoga festival was conducted in Saudi Arabia earlier this year, which witnessed a gathering of more than 1,000 people. The event was organised at the Juman Park in King Abdullah Economic City.

Last month, the Saudi Yoga Committee had also organised a lecture on yoga in all schools across Saudi Arabia in collaboration with Saudi Schools Sports Federation.

Yoga Mahotsav 2022

Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga under the Ministry of Ayush is organised Yoga Mahotsav 2022 to commemorate 100 days countdown to International Day of Yoga 2022, the 8th edition. The ministry also started a campaign "100 days, 100 cities and 100 organisations" between March 13, 2022, to June 21, 2022, across the globe.

Yoga day
 International Yoga Day.Twitter

Union Minister of Ayush Sarbananda Sonowal inaugurated the event to commemorate 100 days countdown to the International Day of Yoga 2022. Union Minister for Labour & Employment and Environment and Forest Bhupender Yadav, Chief Minister of Haryana Manohar Lal Khattar, Chief Minister of Sikkim Prem Singh Tamang, Union Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture Meenakshi Lekhi joined the event to formally start the 100 days countdown at Vigyan Bhawan.

Benefits of Yoga

Yoga has been in practice in India since the 5th century. It is beneficial in keeping the body and mind in good health as it targets different systems of the body and mind in a holistic approach. The asanas practised in yoga make the body strong and flexible, improving the overall health of the body all while renewing the mind with confidence.

For instance, the practice of Pranayama regulates the purification of the internal system and the organs. The energy that is generated in the body through these physical practices is then channelled into meditation or Dhyan for stability, peace and calm.