New Delhi: For the first time since 2015, the celebrations of the International Day of Yoga will be celebrated on digital media platforms sans mass gatherings and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s message would be the highlight of the occasion.Also Read - Try These Yoga Apps at Home to Stay Fit During Lockdown

This year’s theme is ‘Yoga at Home and Yoga with Family’ and people will be able to join the celebrations virtually at 7 am on June 21. The Indian missions abroad are trying to reach out to the people through digital media as well as through the network of institutions which support yoga, officials said. Also Read - 'Those Practicing Yoga Have Less Chances of Getting Infected by COVID,' Says AYUSH Minister Sripad Naik

The Ministry of AYUSH had planned to hold a grand event in Leh but cancelled it due to the pandemic. Also Read - Sadhguru's Message on International Yoga Day 2020: Simple Yoga Asanas Has Power to Liberate You, Enhance Your Immune System

On December 11, 2014, the United Nations General Assembly declared June 21 as ‘International Day of Yoga’, months after Modi had proposed the idea.

A message from Prime Minister Modi will be the highlight of the International Day of Yoga which will be observed on electronic and digital platforms on June 21.

“Due to the current global health emergency due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the focus this year is less on such celebrations and more on people performing Yoga at their respective homes with the participation of the entire family,” the ministry said.

The prime minister’s remarks will be televised at 6.30 am.

As has been the practice in International Day of Yoga (IDY) observation, the PM’s message will be followed by a live demonstration of a 45-minute Common Yoga Protocol (CYP) by a team from Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga.

The CYP drill has been designed keeping in mind people of different age groups and of varied walks of life, the ministry had said in its statement.

“Yoga is found to be especially relevant in the pandemic situation, since its practice leads to both physical and mental wellbeing, and increases the individual’s ability to fight diseases,” it said.

The ministry and ICCR, through the ‘My Life – My Yoga’ video blogging competition which was launched by the prime minister on May 31, has sought to raise awareness about yoga and inspire people to prepare for and become active participants in the observation of IDY 2020.

The contest has two legs — the first one consisting of an international video blogging contest wherein the winners will be picked within a country. This will be followed by global prize winners who will be selected from different countries.

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