Over 35,000 people showed up for one single yoga class in India. Thousands followed worldwide.
Image via Flickr user Diamond Mountain
Yoga in America tends to take place in small intimate studios or large public parks, running the gamut from gorgeous to gross. But just yesterday, millions across the U.S. and the world over came together to celebrate the first ever International Yoga Day. In the city of New Delhi, India alone, over 35,000 people stretched out together, hoping to break the Guinness World Record for the largest number of people in a single yoga class.
While people from all backgrounds participated—including high-powered businessmen, high school students, and advanced practitioners of the form—most notable was the presence of Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. According to The New York Times, Modi had previously lobbied the United Nations to make June 21st World Yoga Day. “This is a program for the benefit of mankind, for a tension-free world and to spread the message of harmony,” he told participants at the event. Modi helped to lead the New Delhi celebration, where he was joined by U.S. Ambassador Richard Verma.
Image via Flickr user Narendra Modi
New Dehli might have had the largest turnout, but other states reported high numbers, including Gujarat, where public yoga events were held at nearly 30,000 places. Even Times Square, the belly of New York capitalism, was home to a highly well-attended event. But Modi emphasized that yoga was more than just stretching, calling it a program for: “human welfare, stress-free living, and a message of love, peace, and harmony.”