Today, 21st June 2015, at Yashwant Stadium, Nagpur, history was created with over 21000 people participating in the first ever World Yoga Day celebrations organised by Janardanswami Yogabhyasi Mandal, Nagpur with Nagpur Municipal Corporation!
It was unthinkable the night before when the Rain Gods were testing the skills of the entire organising team, lashing the city with torrential & incessant rains until 2 am in the morning of 21st June. However, despite the rains, the entire team was working round the clock and preparations picked up pace at around 3am with all electronic equipment, audio & video arrangements, etc. could be installed and tested. By 6 am the picture had changed in Nagpur, the sky was clear and the atmosphere was simply inspiring. Participants from across the city had started arriving and settling down in the stadium from 5 am itself, but by 6h30 the grounds were full and rest of the participants had to take to the stands. Imagining such a turnout for the first ever World Yoga Day was impossible the night before and possibly even hours later, when the city started experiencing heavy downpours, quite as per the predictions of the Met Department warnings.
Hon CM & beloved legislator Shri Devendra Fadnavis along with Hon Union Minister of Road Transport, Highways & Shipping, city’s beloved parliamentarian Shri Nitin Gadkari graced the occasion not just by their presence but even performing Yog along with the thousands who had occupied the length and breadth of the city’s oldest stadium. Fadnavis stated in his address later that “Yoga is India’s gift to mankind, a cultural heritage of India and it’s a scientific practice which not only strengthens the physical body, but also helps a person lead a stress-free life”. Entire stadium was charged up with the entire top political leadership of Nagpur performing Yoga & inspiring everyone to take Yoga seriously. Guardian Minister Shri Chandrashekhar Bawankule, Minister for social justice Shri Rajkumar Badole, Hon Mayor of the city Shri Pravin Datke, legislators Shri Anil Sole, Shri Krishna Khopde, Shri Vikas Kumbhare, Shri Sudhakar Kohale, Dr. Shri Milind Mane, Shri Prakash Gajbhiye, Divisional Commissioner Shri Anoop Kumar, Disctrict Collector Shri Sachin Kurve, Director of SCZCC Shri Piyush Kumar, NIT Chairman Shri Shyam Wardhane, Zilla Parishad President Shrimati Nisha Sawarkar, Shrimati Kanchan Gadkari along with several other dignitaries, VIPs and invitees participated in World Yoga Day 2015.
Yoga is India’s gift to mankind, a cultural heritage of India and it’s a scientific practice which not only strengthens the physical body, but also helps a person lead a stress-free life. – Shri Devendra Fadnavis
Thousands of participants from across Nagpur representing various organisations which willingly participated in the World Yoga Day celebrations at Yashwant Stadium were happy and content after performing the sequence of 11 Yogasanas, Pranayam, Omkar Sadhana as they watched the video of demonstrators along with live instructions from JS Yog conductor. Asanas like Taadasan, Veerasan, Utkatasan, Katichakrasan, Gomukhasan, Jaanushirasan, Ushtrasan, Kati-Vakrasan, Yoganamanaasan along with Surya-Namaskar, were meticulously selected out of the dozens of Yogasanas to ensure that even if it rains during the event. The entire team from Janardan Swami Yogabhyasi Mandal, Nagpur had carefully planned out all foreseeable scenarios months ahead of the event and it helped enormously to make the event successful.
The United Nations declared 21st June as the International Day for Yoga this year in 2015, but Shir Janardan Swamiji had envisioned the need for a Yog Din which he had urged the then Mayor of Nagpur to organise and celebrate in Nagpur by donating a sum of Rs. 1000/- at that time. Thanks to India’s firebrand leader & Hon Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi & his efforts, today we have that 42 year old dream of Shri Janardan Swami realised creating History in Nagpur and starting a health revolution.
Not long before the World Yoga Day was declared, Yoga was mainly considered an activity of the health freaks, although it had already reached every nook and corner of the world. However, now with the grand celebrations of the World Yoga Day across 250 cities with major events and countless others where small groups or individuals participated and performed Yoga, there is a sudden wave of curiosity amongst the masses. Press across the world put Yoga celebrations on the front pages and center spreads with pages full of photos of people of all ages performing Yoga from the record number at Rajpath in Delhi, to beautiful formations of groups under the Eiffel Tower, Thousands at Times Square, Armed forces performing on glaciers, all Indian embassies & consulates across the world organising big events and a long list of innovative locations and combinations.
What a visionary Shri Janardan Swami was! He knew the world shall embrace Yoga one day and benefit from it, to be Happy, Content and have a healthy body, mind & soul.
It is difficult to express simply in words how a few dozen children mostly teenagers or younger, held a crowd of over 21000 awestruck for almost half an hour, simply by performing Yogasanas! The entire team from Bapunagar High School & Unity Sports Club, Nagpur, which included many international medal winners and many time national champions in India, performed Sanghik (collective) Asanas, Vaiyattik (Individual) Asanas & Pyramid formations all of which displayed unimaginable flexibility and set an example for all those who wish to take up Advanced Yoga to keep their bodies away from all physical and mental problems which are ever increasing in today lifestyles.
Karywahah (secretary) of Janardan Swami Yogabhyasi Mandal Shri Rambhau Khandwe was felicitated at the hands of CM Shri Devendra Fadnavis & Union Minister Shri Nitin Gadkari for his 75th birth year and a lifetime dedicated to further the cause of Yoga that Shri Janardan Swami started here in Nagpur well before 1951 when he setup the Yogabhyasi Mandal here. Guruji, as he’s popularly known to thousands of people who’ve been learning Yoga at JS Yog, across over 100 centres in central India, has been an epitome of Ashtanga Yog and leading a life dedicated to the cause of Yoga, Yogabhyasi Mandal and it’s activities.
Guruji has not only carried forward Swamiji’s Vision and Mission but grown it manifolds and engaged 1000s of volunteers who work for the Yogabhyasi Mandal Teaching Yoga FREE across the world. Janardanswami Yogabhyasi Mandal is perhaps the largest network in the world teaching Yoga for free. In fact that was the gurudakshina (guru’s fees) that Shri Janardan Swami had asked his devotees that every student of JS Yog should teach FREE yoga to atleast 5 people in his life.
Guruji has been undertaking FREE treatment of chronic ailments as well as many a hopeless cases (according to modern medicine) and curing them through Yoga. Guruji spends most of the day at Janardan Swami Yogabhyasi Mandal, Nagpur and leads by example when it comes to inspiring young individuals to take up yog, volunteer for activities at the mandal and eventually spread Yogabhyas to one and all.
Marking a new chapter in the book of world’s health progress, this World Yoga Day 2015, has set a new direction for mankind to ingrain Yoga in everyone’s daily routine and internalise the benefits of Ashtanga Yog in everyone’s lives. Asanas are just a part of the eight module Ashtanga Yog, which is a complete route to Kaivalya (Nirvana) and logically the first & comparatively easy step to understand & start with while moving up the ladder to a perfect health of Mind, Body & Soul.