Celebrate International Yoga Day 2019 All Around the World
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Wondering where to find the world’s biggest yoga gathering on 21 June, the 5th annual International Day of Yoga? And what’s happening nearby you to celebrate Yoga Day?
As an official UN-recognised event - International Day of Yoga (IDY), World Yoga Day, or International Yoga Day - is aimed at raising awareness of yoga across the globe and sharing the importance of the practice. With one of last year’s events gathering 200,000 people in one place for a yoga session, its importance is rapidly increasing every year.
IDY reminds us that yoga is for everyone regardless of our beliefs, nationality, religion, race, or gender. From stress relief and a more flexible body to a healthier lifestyle, most of us could benefit from even a little bit of yoga.
Wherever you are and whatever your current knowledge of yoga is, you can join the celebration or. Read on to learn about the events being held around the world and the many ways you can get involved.
Alternatively, you can go on a retreat and benefit from the special discounts offered for International Yoga Day, and even win a free yoga retreat in India, the USA, or Greece!
Where to find Yoga Day events around the world?
International Yoga Day 2019 is organized around the theme of ‘Climate Action’ and taking care of nature in an effort to stress the importance of taking good care of Mother Earth. And while a yoga session won’t reduce global warming on its own, the practice does teach us to connect with nature and respect all forms of life on a daily basis.
As it’s become a tradition, many places all across the globe organize special events for Yoga Day. Here are some of the thousands of events you could attend this year:
Can’t find a way to celebrate nearby? There are plenty of ideas for you to join IDY in your hometown.
International Yoga Day 2019 events in the USA:
- The official UN event is a yoga session with recognized masters at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on June 20th from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. The event will be held on the United Nations North Lawn. It will be followed by a panel on June 21st, where topics about the environment and yoga will be discussed. Find out more about this event.
- Each year, thousands of yogis from around the world travel to Times Square to celebrate the Summer Solstice on June 21st, with free yoga classes all day long. Find out more about this event.
- The Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center in San Francisco is hosting a full-day event from 6:00 am to 9:00 pm. There will be several yoga classes, workshops, conferences and vegetarian meals on offer. Find out more about this event.
- In Southern California, there’ll be a big event at the Veterans Sports Complex in Carson. Starting at 6:30 pm, four yoga teachers will be leading free classes focusing on four different styles. Find out more about this event.
- The Consulate General of India has organized a public yoga session at Midtown Park on June 21st, starting at 6:00 pm. This all-levels yoga event is free and open to the public. Find out more about this event.
- Start the day with a yoga class in Founders Square at Babcock Ranch. Beginning at 8:00 am, the session is free to all participants. Find out more about this event.
- End the day with a sunset yoga class in Jacksonville at 7:00 pm by St Johns River. Find out more about this event.
- The Embassy of India is organizing a public yoga session to celebrate the 5th International Day of Yoga at the Washington Monument. The event will be held on June 16th at 8:30 am. There’ll be workshops, talks, yoga, meditation and much more. Prior knowledge of yoga is not essential and the event is free. Find out more about this event.
- On June 21st, meet at Athleta on Newbury Street at 6:00 pm. Afterward, you can head over to the Public Garden with teacher Sara DiVello for a meditative class to calm, ground, and rejuvenate. Free and open to all. Find out more about this event.
- The Consulate General of India will have its official celebration on June 15th. Starting at 9:30 there’ll be a yoga session at the Naperville Yard Indoor Sports Complex. Find out more about this event.
International Yoga Day 2019 events in India & Asia:
Events to celebrate IDY in India are among the most important ones and, just as the massive event of 200,000 people in Kota last year, they’re normally the biggest ones as well.
However, they haven't been officially announced yet. We'll be sure to add them on here once we know about what’s happening in New Delhi, Kota, Rishikesh, Ahmedabad and all the places that join the 2019 celebrations. Stay tuned!
Alternatively, you can also keep an eye on the official website by the Ministry of Ayush.
- Bali is one of the best destinations for yoga in the world and an excellent place to celebrate IDY. This year, the Anand Yoga Foundation will collaborate with the 11th international Bali Meditators’ Festival to put together a 6-hour event in Ubud. Starting at 3:00 pm on the 21st of June, you’ll be able to experience dozens of different activities to commemorate yoga and meditation, as well as the opportunity to speak with yoga masters. Find out more about this event.
- Wake up early and salute the sun in Bangkok on a free yoga session at Chulalongkorn University. The date is on June 16th at 5:30 am on the lawn in front of the Royal Statues of King Chulalongkorn and King Vajiravudh. They’ll be giving away some yoga t-shirts as well as water and other refreshments. Find out more about this event.
International Yoga Day 2019 events in Australia
- Join one of the biggest yoga festivals in Queensland on June 1st. Yoga Day Festival is a community conscious event to celebrate the United Nations International Yoga Day and showcases everything yoga in a fun, educational and experiential way! Find out more about this event.
- One of the biggest ‘self-care’ Yoga Festivals will be held in Brisbane on June 29th. Find out more about this event.
- Whether you’re new to yoga or an experienced practitioner, you can join in the Yoga Day Festival on Sunday, June 16th. Find out more about this event.
- Yoga Day Festival in Adelaide is a wonderful community conscious event to celebrate IDY and showcases what’s yoga about in a fun, educational and lively way! From June 21st to July 4th. Find out more about this event.
- Join from 10:00 am for an unforgettable day of ecstatic drumming, two classes of creative yoga poses, relaxing mindfulness, sacred mantra immersions, and delicious plant-based food in Sydney! Find out more about this event.
- Whether you’re new to yoga or an experienced practitioner, you will absolutely love the Yoga Day Festival in Darwin! Attend from 2:00 to 6:00 pm, at Kitesurfer’s Corner, Nightcliff Foreshore (Rapid Creekside). Find out more about this event.
International Yoga Day 2019 events in the UK:
- With support from the Indian High Commission of India in the UK, there will be a celebration in the heart of Westminster, between the Houses of Parliament. The program will include a variety of different Yoga Guru's and Teachers - each sharing their practice and esteemed teaching. From 4:00 to 8:00 pm. Find out more about this event.
- An open day will be held from 10:00 to 16:00 at the Trinity Methodist Hall in Stockwell to learn more about the real Hatha Yoga. Find out more about this event.
- Are you new to yoga and fancy giving it a go? Do you love yoga and want to try something new? Whatever your motivation, celebrate International Yoga Day in Bitts Park, Carlisle. Find out more about this event.
International Yoga Day 2019 events in the rest of Europe:
- Berlin has an original way to celebrate IDY. Run for Yoga will take place in Volkspark Jungfernheide on June 23rd, starting at 11:00 am, with a race starting in Strandbad Jungfernheide. After it, there’ll be an open yoga session to stretch out and celebrate. Find out more about this event.
- The Torino International Yoga Day event is a great way to celebrate yoga. Starting on June 21st until the evening of June 22nd, there’ll be dozens of yoga classes focussing on any style you can imagine: Iyengar, Vinyasa, Acroyoga, Tantra, Pilates, Yin… whatever you want, you’ll be able to practice at this magnum event. Find out more about this event.
- The Yoga Festival Madeira will take place from June 20th to June 23rd. This comprehensive event will have yoga classes, workshops, surfing, hiking, concerts, paragliding and activities for kids. This isn’t a free event but you can get early bird tickets if you book in advance. Find out more about this event.
- In Stockholm, the Indian Embassy and Art of Living will celebrate the 5th IDY on June 18th, at the Stockholm Waterfront Congress Center. It’s open and free to everyone (registration required, limited seats) and the first 1000 to register will receive free yoga mats and t-shirts! Find out more about this event.
- Organized on the Sunday before the International Yoga Day, there’ll be an open yoga session on the largest square in Amsterdam, Dam Square on June 16th from 12:00 to 7:00 pm publicly available to everyone. The event will include a central yoga session and workshops about meditation and the art of living. Find out more about this event.
International Yoga Day 2019 events in South Africa:
- Over 5,000 people will gather in Johannesburg on June 22nd. Starting at 8:30 pm, there’ll be several events at the UJ Soweto Campus Stadium. Find out more about this event.
- In Cape Town, the celebrations for the 5th International Day of Yoga have been organized at a new exciting venue, 14 Hope Street, Gardens. The event will unite yogis to celebrate the gift of yoga and support raising funds for the EarthChild Project. Find out more about this event.
How did the International Yoga Day start?
Yoga might have waited quite a bit to have its ‘own’ day, but thanks to India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, since 2014 this special occasion is observed all over the world.
Being such an ingrained part of India’s history, the Prime Minister went to the United Nations in 2014 with a proposal to create a special day for yoga. In the assembly, he gave an inspiring speech that convinced more than 170 countries to approve the International Day of Yoga, which would take place annually on June 21st.
The date June 21st was chosen because of the summer solstice, the day with the most sunlight of the year, and an ideal time for transformation. No better excuse for a couple of sun salutations to recharge one’s body and mind!
“Yoga is an invaluable gift from our ancient tradition. Yoga embodies unity of mind and body, thought and action... a holistic approach [that] is valuable to our health and our well-being. Yoga is not just about exercise; it’s a way to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help in well being. Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day” — Prime Minister Modi at the UN General Assembly.
The largest yoga gathering in the world
In its first year (2015), around 36,000 yogis gathered in New Delhi for a record-breaking event, where people of over 80 nationalities performed the largest yoga session in history (although the number has increased every year since then).
It marked the biggest celebration of the first-ever Day of Yoga with the theme of yoga for harmony and peace. The original record for the largest yoga class didn’t last for long, though. Not only has the number increased year after year, but in 2018, an estimated 200,000 people gathered in Kota, India to enter the Guinness Book of World Records.
Let’s see what Yoga Day in 2019 will bring!
Yoga Day 2019: Taking care of nature
In an effort to stress the importance of taking good care of Mother Earth, it’s been decided that this year’s theme for IDY will be climate action. And while a yoga session won’t reduce global warming on its own, the practice does teach us to connect with nature and respect all forms of life on a daily basis.
Want to get in the mood with this year’s theme? Celebrate IDY at an eco-conscious yoga retreat!
Find your own way to celebrate
Can’t find an event to celebrate nearby? Travel to the destination you want and go on a yoga retreat! In light of International Yoga Day, several organizers on BookYogaRetreats are offering special discounts to promote the practice of yoga around the world, and you can even win a free yoga retreat in the USA, Greece, or India (contest closes at midnight on 21 June).
Want to stay closer to home? Here are some tips and tricks to participate in Yoga Day without leaving your own city:
- Organize a yoga session in a public park. Get a teacher who’d like to lead the session or just find one online and show your friends how to do it.
- Plan your mini yoga retreat. Find a secluded area around your city, bring your mat and leave your phone. Give yourself some time to be on your own and practice your asanas as much as you can.
- Learn a new style. Go to a new yoga studio or find a public session where you can experiment with a yoga style you’ve never done before. Aerial Yoga, Acro Yoga or Hot Yoga are good alternative options if you haven’t tried them.
- Help our planet. In honor of this year’s IDY theme, you could get more creative and help the environment hand in hand with yoga. Gather with a group of friends and find a good place to plant trees; afterward, you could do some sun salutations and tree poses as a symbol to help them grow tall and strong.
Whatever you do, just remember that the intention of International Yoga Day is to be united with all living beings around us.
Looking for a more festive atmosphere to commemorate IDY? Why not go on a yoga retreat in India?