The United Nations has declared June 21, the Summer Solstice, International Day of Yoga. Yoga is a practice that began over 5,000 years ago in India, benefiting physical, mental and spiritual aspects of life. Today marks the first time Canada and the rest of the world will have an opportunity to celebrate this new health promotion day.
In December 2014, following a recommendation from Indian Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi, the United Nations General Assembly recognised that yoga "provides a holistic approach to health and well-being" and that the health of the world population could be enhanced by learning the benefits of practising yoga. Canada was proud to support Mr. Modi's draft resolution as one of a record number of 175 co-sponsors. This level of support is a testimony to the cross-cultural and universal appeal of yoga.
The Government of Canada is committed to improving the mental and physical health of all Canadians as they play an important role in well-being and quality of life. That is why we support research and programming to promote the mental health of all Canadians.
As Minister of Health, I encourage you to make a commitment to incorporate physical activity and mental wellness practices as part of your daily routine. Why not consider trying yoga? As always, consult a health professional if you are unsure about the types and amounts of physical activity most appropriate for you.
The Honourable Rona Ambrose
Minister of Health