Sunday was the inaugural International Day of Yoga.

At sunrise on Sunday morning, more than 35,000 people (a world record) turned up to practice 35 minutes of yoga with the Indian Prime Minister in New Delhi.

Last year Narendra Modi the Indian Prime Minister  gained approval from the United Nations to make a world day dedicated to the ancient practice of yoga.

There are several reasons behind this; firstly the PM is an avid yoga practitioner practicing daily with his private yoga teacher and secondly as a public relations exercise for India.

The PM believes yoga is the greatest gift India has given the world and I’d have to agree. What other country has brought an ancient, holistic approach to health and wellbeing?

“Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition. This tradition is 5000 years old. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfilment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help us deal with climate change. Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day.”

—Narendra Modi, UN General Assembly

Yoga promotes harmony between individuals, their community, their natural environment and the wider world. The asanas of yoga can increase your flexibility, strengthen and tone muscles, balance hormones, cleanse and flush the internal systems of your body, calm your mind and reduce stress.