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India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed holding an International Yoga Day in his UN General Assembly speech on September 27 this year. In his speech, Modi went beyond the view of Yoga as physical and mental discipline and stated that yoga stresses "harmony between man and nature". The resolution on International Day of Yoga was introduced by India's Ambassador to the UN, Mr. Asoke Mukerji, on Thursday and had 175 nations joining as co-sponsors, making a record support for any General Assembly resolution. "Yoga, an ancient but perfect science, deals with the evolution of humanity. ... Yoga means union - the union of body with consciousness and consciousness with the soul. Yoga cultivates the ways of maintaining a balanced attitude in day to day life and endows skill in the performance of one's actions," said Mukerei when quoting Yoga by BKS Iyengar.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the decision of the General Assembly. "Yoga can contribute to resilience against non-communicable diseases. Yoga can bring communities together in an inclusive manner that generates respect. Yoga is a sport that can contribute to development and peace. Yoga can even help people in emergency situations to find relief from stress," said Ban in an official statement.