June 21st has been celebrated as International Yoga day, world over. After Indian Prime Minister requested in the UN general assembly on last September, nations accepted and decided to observe 21st June as International Yoga Day. India set two new Guinness World Records on International Yoga Day, for Yoga with 35,985 participants performing yogasanas at one venue and 84 nationalities joining in the official observation of International Yoga Day on Rajpath in New Delhi.
Officials said the yoga programme at Rajpath saw the largest number of participants of 35,985 people and the most number of participating nationalities, 84nations. This conglomeration is being considered for Guinness book. “The deadline for this year’s book has passed so the record won’t appear on the book until September 2016 at the earliest. We receive 40,000 record applications per year and our editorial team decides which 3,800 records appear in the book based on a number of factors,” Doug Male, the Guinness World Records public relations manager told.
"The earlier record was set on November 19, 2005, when 29,973 students from 362 schools had performed a sequence of 'yogic kriyas' for surya namaskar simultaneously for 18 minutes led by Vivekananda Kendra at Jiwaji University, Gwalior," said Marco Frigatti, global head of record verification at Guinness World Records.
“It is a matter of pride for India that we have broken two records on one day,” minister of AYUSH, Shripad Naik, told. "They used a three-layered approach to not only count the number of participants but also to check the number of performers at the venue. In addition, they had put in place a robust process to count the number of unique nationalities participating in the event. During the process, they found 105 persons attending the event but not performing yoga," said a senior AYUSH Ministry official.
UN's decision to commemorate the International Day of Yoga underlines the appreciation for India and its growing soft power, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who addressed the first International Day of Yoga celebrations at the UN said. "The entire world is one family, and we can unite it with Yoga. At a time when ethnic conflicts and extremist violence are threatening to destabilise societies, Yoga can serve as the perfect antidote to stem such negative tendencies and move us on the path of harmony and peace," she had said.
In Dubai, a 40-year-old man of Indian origin, Ivan Stanley, a Dubai-based advertising professional stood on his head for 61 minutes in an attempt to set a new Guinness World Record. "It feels nice but a little disorienting. Those last five minutes were impossible, perhaps the longest of my life," Stanley said. "When I contacted the Guinness World Records international office and the Dubai one, there was no such challenge registered with the organisation. We have registered the attempt and will send the video to them. Hopefully, we should know soon enough," Stanley said.
There was a controversy regarding the absence of Vice President Hamid Ansari. The Vice President's office asserted that, "Vice President was not sick. He was never invited for the yoga programme. The Vice President only attends those programmes in which the minister concerned invites him as per protocol".