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International Day of Yoga 2024 – Yoga for Self and Society

Awakened soul, aware mind, healthy, flexible and strong body, a holistic well-being that unifies one’s consciousness with the universe, leading to awareness. These are the outcomes of the singular ancient most practice invented in India since the dawn of civilization – the ‘Yoga’.

Yoga is precious gift of our rich ancient culture, it is a practice that was developed by our ancestors thousands of years ago to achieve harmony of body, mind and soul. Yoga and meditation are the greatest gifts bestowed upon mankind by our religions. Evolved through years of observation of natural elements and experimentation on their own bodies, the yogic saints discovered this beautiful amalgamation of science and art that touches upon every aspect of physical and mental well-being, called ‘Yoga’.

While meditation can help one achieve those milestones which are far beyond the imagination of human mind, ‘yoga’ itself provides health and rejuvenation which are near impossible to obtain through medicines or scientific research. By practicing yoga one can keep himself fit, it leads to enhanced physical strength, flexibility, mobility, lightness and longevity. In ancient times, the yoga practitioners or the Yogis were able to achieve the feat of levitating their bodies in air in samadhi.

Yoga also leads to longevity. Pranayama, a form of yogic practice in which one practices slow and controlled breathing, was often practiced by the ancient yogis. Through controlled breathing, their lifespans would span across hundreds of years, as has been mentioned in religious scriptures as well.

Yoga is the ultimate balance of breath and body, thoughts and actions, and is the most effective tool for attaining physical, mental and spiritual well-being.

Yoga – the ancient most practice

While the period between 500 BCE and 800 CE is widely regarded as the golden age of yoga’s flourishing, evidence suggests its roots delve much deeper, potentially reaching back to 3000 BC. There are different schools of thoughts on the origin. Yoga finds its mention in the pious Vedas (the Rig Veda), which are the oldest knowledge scriptures of the world. Hence, it can be deduced that Yoga has existed since times unknown or since the ancient human civilization evolution in the Indian sub-continent.

International Day of Yoga – Global Celebration of Transformative Power of Yoga

The foundation of International Day of Yoga

It was in September 2014, that the Honourable Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed an annual “Day of Yoga” during his address at the UN General Assembly. He described yoga as “an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition,” highlighting its ability to unite body and mind, promote well-being, and offer inner peace. This idea resonated globally.

Following Mr. Modi’s proposal, India’s UN representative, Mr. Asoke Mukerji, introduced a draft resolution in December 2014. It gained remarkable support, with 177 member states co-sponsoring. This showed global recognition of yoga’s benefits and its potential to bridge cultures and promote peace.

On December 11th, 2014, the UN General Assembly unanimously adopted the resolution, officially establishing June 21st as International Day of Yoga. This milestone recognized yoga’s profound global impact, encouraging individuals worldwide to explore its physical and mental benefits.

Every year on June 21st, the world comes together to celebrate International Day of Yoga.

2024 International Yoga Day Theme and its Significance

The theme for International Day of Yoga 2024 is “Yoga for Self and Society”. The theme truly resonates with the need of the hour and is a call to recognize yoga’s multifaceted nature, where the benefits experienced on a personal level radiate outwards to create a more harmonious society.

Inner Transformation, Outer Impact:

Yoga’s core principles like self-discipline, mindfulness, truthfulness and non-violence cultivate inner peace and well-being. As we become more centered and grounded through practice, we develop greater empathy and compassion for others, transforming into more responsible and caring individuals, making positive choices for not only for ourselves but also for the environment and those around us.

Strength Within, Strength Together:

Physical yoga postures (asanas) build strength, flexibility, and resilience within the body. This translates into a stronger community of individuals who are physically and mentally capable of contributing to society. Group yoga sessions further foster a sense of connection and shared experience that breaks down barriers and builds stronger social bonds.

Holistic Health, Collective Well-being:

Yoga recognizes the interconnectedness of mind, body, and spirit. By promoting personal well-being through stress reduction and improved mental clarity, individuals become more effective contributors to the collective well-being of society.

Ultimately, “Yoga for Self and Society” underscores the transformative power of yoga, reminding us that our journey towards well-being is intertwined with the well-being of the world around us and encouraging us to share the benefits of this mindful practice with the society.

Dera Sacha Sauda’s Contributions to Yoga Awareness and Practice

Dera Sacha Sauda plays a vital role in humanitarian endeavours, uplifting the downtrodden and serving humanity in innumerable ways, with welfare of every individual at the core of its welfare services.

Acknowledging and recognizing the all-round benefits of yoga in holistic well-beings of individuals, the current Spiritual Master, Saint Dr. Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insan began elucidating the common masses on the positive impacts of Yoga, inspiring them to incorporate yoga practices in daily routine.

Guru ji urges everyone to practice pranayama with meditation, which leads to innumerable benefits, some of which are listed below:

  • Massive improvement in memory power, enabling students to retain their learnings and score well.
  • Boost in immunity leading to healthier self, enhancement in physical strength and stamina leading to better performance of players and athletes. Many such players went on to win international championships.
  • Heightened will power and self-confidence, leading to success in occupations like service, business etc.
  • Lakhs of people overcame their respiratory problems and those suffering from Asthma completely recovered.
  • Improved sense of discretion leading to better judgement

How to practice pranayama with meditation:

  • Sit comfortably in Sukhasana or on a chair.
  • Take a deep breath, engaging your diaphragm to fully inflate your lungs, and silently recite the meditation mantra within.
  • Hold the breath for as long as possible while maintaining your meditative focus.
  • Slowly exhale, using your diaphragm to expel all the air, continuing to meditate throughout the process.
  • After exhaling completely, pause and hold your breath for as long as you can, while meditating.

This is one breath of Pranayam. Saint Dr. MSG recommends practicing it for 15-30 minutes. One may begin small and gradually increase the practice timings.

Millions of people have benefitted from this practice. Some noteworthy achievements are mentioned below.

International Achievements

With Guru ji’s guidance, many students of Shah Satnam Ji Girls School took up Yoga as their primary athletic pursuit. These players were taught the intricate details of yoga skills, sattvic diet, ways to strengthen the supporting muscles, achieving lean and flexible body by none other than Saint Dr. Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insan, lovingly referred to as ‘Papa Coach’ by the players.

Practicing under the holy guidance of Guruji, these players of Shah Satnam Ji Girls School won 22 medals (9 Gold, 7 Silver and 6 Bronze), leading to India’s glorious win in the World Yoga Championship organized on October 12-13, 2013, in Paris (France).

They also won 2 golds, 8 silvers and 8 bronze medals at the 3rd Asian Yoga Championships held at Kuala Lumpur, bringing laurels to the nation.

Overall, 11 athletes of Shah Satnam Ji Girls school have won the following medals in 4 different International Yoga Championships till date:

Gold Medals: 36

Silver Medals: 50

Bronze Medals: 42

Defying Age, breaking barriers: Ilam Chand Insan

Yoga is miraculous beyond explanation and beyond comprehension, and 91 years old Ilam Chand Insan is a living proof of how Yoga can lead to mental and physical transformation.

Born in Uttar Pradesh, Ilam Chand Insan served as a principal, but at the age of 64, he started suffering from diabetes, cough, joints pain etc. It was in 1996, that he came to Saint Dr. Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insan to seek solace from his painful physical condition.

Guru ji guided him to practice yoga and meditation.

Unwavering in resolve, Ilam Chand ji started practicing yoga every single day and soon saw himself recovering and gaining strength with each passing day. From 2002 onwards, he started participating in veteran sports and then began the never-ending showers of medals.

Ilam Chand brought laurels India by winning a bronze medal in the 800 meters at the 2007 Asian Veteran Athletics Championship in Malaysia and silver and bronze medals in pole vault and high jump at the 2015 International Veteran Games in China. From 2015 to 2018, he continuously won gold medals at the annual International Yoga Championship in Pondicherry, India. In the Open National Sports Championship in Gurgaon, he won 4 gold medals, competing in the 85+ age group for pole vault, long jump, high jump, and yoga in the 30+ age group. Ilam Chand credited his success to the teachings of Saint Dr. Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insan of Dera Sacha Sauda. This competition, held from May 25-28, 2023, at Tau Devi Lal Stadium in Gurgaon, featured over 10,000 participants.

Till date veteran athlete Ilm Chand Insan has won over 450 medals, including 100 international, 200 national, and numerous district and rural medals. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Chief Minister of Haryana and the Veteran Award in Sportsman Adventure from Vice President Venkaiah Naidu. Recently, he was honored by the National Jat Mahasabha, Senior Citizens Association, Samant Samrat Salakshanpal Dev Tomar Trust, and Treasury Baghpat in Uttar Pradesh.

A big thanks to Saint Dr. Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji for dissipating the transformational wisdom of Pranayama with meditation and yoga amongst the common masses, enabling them to experience its far-fetched results.


As we celebrate International Day of Yoga 2024 and its theme “Yoga for Self and Society,” let’s remember that yoga’s power goes far beyond the poses we practice. It’s a beautiful transformation that starts within us and ripples outward, enabling us to find peace within the quiet rhythm of our breath, and touching the lives of those around us. Every pose on the mat becomes more than just a stretch; it’s a journey to discover ourselves, building not just strength and flexibility but also kindness, compassion and a sense of connection. Indeed, yoga’s essence transcends the physical realm, it can transform lives. Its benefits are multifaceted and lead to all round well-being.

This International Yoga Day, let us all pledge to embark on a path of self-discovery and communal wellness by integrating yoga into our daily lives, and embrace the true essence of yoga.

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