UNITED NATIONS, June 21 (Xinhua) -- More than 100 UN diplomats and staff members celebrated the International Day of Yoga by practicing Yoga here at UN headquarters on Monday.
Renowned Indian spiritual leader Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev led the crowd into doing simple yoga practices like stretching and twisting in front of the UN Secretariat building.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, in his message to the day, that practicing yoga can help raise awareness of people's role as consumers of the planet's resources and as individuals with a duty to respect and live in peace with our neighbors.
"By improving fitness, teaching us how to breathe correctly, and working to diminish stress, yoga can help to cultivate healthier lifestyles," said Ban.
In this regard, Ban urged everyone to embrace healthier choices and lifestyles and to commit to unity with our fellow human beings, regardless of ethnicity, faith, age, gender identity or sexual orientation.
Yoga is an ancient physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in India. The word "yoga" derives from Sanskrit and means to join or to unite, symbolizing the union of body and consciousness.
The mind-body practice continues to grow in popularity worldwide. On Dec. 11, 2014, the UN General Assembly proclaimed in its resolution June 21 as International Yoga Day. Enditem