International Yoga Day on June 21: How the day was celebrated by thousands around the world

Participants perform yoga during World Yoga Day on a seafront promenade in Mumbai, India, on June 21, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

Thousands of yoga enthusiasts pulled out their yoga mats and took part in a variety of activities across the globe to mark the second International Yoga Day.

Celebrated on Tuesday (June 21), the International Yoga Day is the brainchild of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi who suggested this idea in 2014 during the opening of the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

On Tuesday, 173 countries had activities to celebrate this ancient discipline, which originated in India but has now spread around the world.

Here are seven ways yoga enthusiasts the world over celebrated the day.

1. Yoga poses on UN building

On Monday, the eve of International Yoga Day, the United Nations headquarters building in New York lit up with a projection of images of yoga postures.

According to Indian news organisation, Firstpost, one of the images on the UN building featured a woman doing the "inverted V" yoga posture.

The words "International Day of Yoga" were also placed below the image.

2. World record bid of continuous yoga

Tamil Nadu advocate K.P. Ranjana, 34, who is also a martial arts student and yoga teacher, took on the gruelling challenge of setting a world record for 53 hours of continuous performance of yoga exercises.

This event was organised by Mahamaharishi Foundation Charitable Trust Mahayogam at the University of Madras Senate House in Chennai, India, to commemorate the day.

Event organiser Ramesh Rishi, told Indian newspaper Deccan Herald that Ms Ranjana would be unable to sleep and eat, and could rest for only five minutes after an hour of yoga performance to drink juice or other liquids.

She would be striving to beat previous world record holder Uttam Muktan of Nepal, who holds the record of continuous yoga performance of 50 hours and 15 minutes.

3. Modi leads celebrations

Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi (centre) participates in a mass yoga demonstration at the Capitol Complex on the International Day of Yoga in Chandigarh, on June 21, 2016. PHOTO: EPA

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi celebrated the day with more than 30,000 people at the Capitol Complex in Chandigarh, India.

This was all part of the mass demonstration of Common Yoga Protocol, a set of exercises finalised by the Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha, & Homeopathy.

Mr Modi, a yoga enthusiast himself, was seen performing yoga exercises alongside participants of the event, according to India's business newspaper, The Economic Times.

4. Yoga on Summer Solstice

The Summer Solstice, also known as the longest day of the year, was celebrated by yogis who gathered at New York's Times Square for the annual event of Mind Over Madness Yoga, which was in its 14th year.

The Huffington Post reported that the Summer Solstice is often related to "the renewal of mind, body, spirit and creative expression".

Created by co-founders Tim Tompkins and Douglass Stewart, the event was held at the venue because "Times Square serves as a metaphor for our crazy urban lives", said Mr Tompkins in a HuffPost video.

The event on Monday featured eight free classes taught by different instructors.

5. Yoga class on Sydney Harbour Bridge

To commemorate International Yoga Day, the first yoga event was held at the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge as a collaboration between BridgeClimb and The Hindu Council of Australia.

The yoga event, held 134m above the harbour, took place at dawn on Tuesday with two yoga teachers from Isha Foundation and The Art of Living School of Yoga leading 12 participants, Australia's ETB Travel News reported.

6. Yoga at Eiffel Tower, Paris

On Sunday, more than 300 yoga enthusiasts gathered at the Eiffel Tower in Paris to mark the day in an event organised by the Embassy of India in Paris.

The Indian Ambassador to France Mohan Kumar highlighted the importance of yoga in ensuring a balanced and healthy life, according to The Economic Times.

This event proved to be so popular that the embassy declared on its Facebook page: "Due to space constraints and security reasons, we had to restrict the number of participants."

7. Yoga on glass platform 1,300 feet in the air in China

Chinese enthusiasts practising yoga at a glass sightseeing platform in Shilinxia scenic area in Beijing, on June 20, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

In China, around 150 fearless yoga enthusiasts took part in a yoga group performance on a glass platform suspended at a staggering 1,300ft above the ground.

This impressive structure at Jingdong Stone Forest Gorge, Beijing, is said to be the world's biggest glass-bottomed observation deck by the Chinese media, according to Daily Mail Online.

Sources: Firstpost, Deccan Herald, The Economic Times, The Huffington Post, ETB Travel News, Daily Mail Online

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