India on Sunday set two new Guinness World Records for Yoga with 35,985 participants performing asanas at one venue and as many as 84 nationalities joining in the official observation of International Yoga Day on Rajpath in New Delhi.
"It is a matter of pride for India that we have broken two records on one day. First, 35,985 participants performed asanas at a single venue (Rajpath) and 84 nationalities participated in the event," said Minister of AYUSH, Shripad Naik.
He said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has congratulated all for the record and the successful conduct of the event.
The Rajpath event set two new Guinness World Records on the first International Day of Yoga.
"Category one was for the largest number of participants in a Yoga Lesson at single venue. 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.
"(The second record) was for the most number of nationalities at a Yoga Lesson, a category introduced for the first time for a yoga event. The minimum criteria set for any yoga event to enter the record books was participation of at least 50 nationalities and on Sunday 84 nationalities performed Yoga at Rajpath. It was an astounding achievement, a very rare one," Frigatti added.
Ernst and Young were the official process adviser and validator for the International Day of Yoga.
"They (EY) used a three-layered approach to not only count the number of participants but also 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.
The prime minister, along with officials of various ministries, schoolchildren, NCC cadets, Army personnel and officials performed yoga asanas at the mega event on Rajpath.
Celebrations were held in the national capital after the United Nations had in December declared June 21 as International Yoga Day, with 177 countries voting in favour of the resolution.
The proposal had been mooted by the Prime Minister during his first address to the UN General Assembly in September last year.
Image: Rajpath seemed alive as over 35,000 participants arrived to participate in the International Yoga Day celebrations. Photograph: PTI