Prior to the UN declaration of June 21 as International Day of Yoga, formal and informal groups of yoga teachers and enthusiasts have celebrated World Yoga Day on various other dates. It was in a conference organized at The Art of Living International Centre that a proposal for observing 21 June as the World Yoga Day was made.
The conference, titled ‘Yoga: A Science for World Peace’ was held between 4 and 5 December 2011. It was organized by The Art of Living Foundation and Deemed University,Bengaluru jointly with Portuguese Confederation of Lisbon, Portugal. According to Jagat Guru Amrta Suryananda, though the idea of observing World Yoga Day originated 10 years ago but this was the first time yoga gurus from India were endorsing it in large numbers. On that day, under the leadership of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar a proclamation was signed for having UN and UNESCO declare June 21 as World Yoga Day.