Yoga is an invaluable ancient Indian practice with numerous benefits to both physical and mental health. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic including restrictions on the movement of people and a slowdown in economic activity, the benefits offered by Yoga have become especially important for physical and mental wellbeing. Of particular importance are its proven benefits on general health and immunity enhancement, along with its globally accepted role as a stress buster. nternational Day of Yoga (IDY) is being observed around the world every year on 21st June by mass performance of the Common Yoga Protocol (CYP), which will remain at the heart of International Day of Yoga. In the context of the COVID - 19 pandemic, this year IDY was observed in a non-congregative manner by doing YOGA@HOME; YOGA with FAMILY. The Common Yoga Protocol developed by accomplished Yoga experts, to facilitate harmony in the observation of IDY. Over the last few years, it has become one of the most popular Yoga programmes in the world. It is designed to be easily adoptable by the majority of the people irrespective of age and gender, which can be learnt through simple training sessions, even through online classes.
At ICAR-Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, awareness was created among staff and their family members on celebration of IDY on 21st June, 2020 through organisational emails, WhatsApp messages, banners etc. They were sensitised to join thousands of others on IDY from their respective homes by doing the 45 - minute long CYP drill at 7.00 AM on 21st June 2020. Staff were also informed regarding ‘My Life, My Yoga’ Video Blogging Contest which was launched by the Hon’ble PM on 31st May 2020. To make the observation of IDY at home possible, the Ministry of AYUSH and other stakeholders have been running multiple training programmes on Yoga and CYP on the Ministry’s Social Media Platforms as well as partner TV Channels, the links for this was also circulated among the staff for their benefit. ICAR-IIHR staff and their family members were enthusiastically participated by doing the Common Yoga Protocol which was broadcasted on various television channels. Around 150 staff and 410 family members attended the CYP session and got benefited. Given the context of the current COVID-19 pandemic including restrictions on the movement of people and a slowdown in daily activity, this year’s observance will aim to highlight the health-building and stress-relieving aspects of Yoga, which are hugely relevant.