As the calendar marks the arrival of Wednesday, the 21st of June 2023, the world prepares to celebrate a momentous occasion—the 9th International Day of Yoga.
This highly anticipated annual event serves as a unifying force, bringing together thousands of individuals from diverse corners of the globe, united by their shared passion for yoga.
This is a special day when thousands of individuals gather in different places to practice yoga to spread awareness about the practice and the benefits reaped from it.
“A healthy body and a disciplined mind are the foundations of a world free from fear.” Shri Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India
What is Yoga & Why Do We Need to Celebrate it?
Yoga is a way of exercising and finding inner peace. It is for everyone, no matter where they come from or what they believe in. On this day, people from diverse backgrounds and cultures join in the spirit of unity and participate in yoga activities.
The International Yoga Day is to commemorate the practice of yoga which unites humans together from all over the world. It doesn’t matter what religion you follow, what caste you belong to, or what country you come from.
Yoga is for everyone.
During the celebrations, people will practise various yoga postures, breathing exercises, and meditation. It’s a time to experience the positive effects of yoga on our bodies and minds.
Let’s celebrate the 9th International Day of Yoga with joy and enthusiasm, embracing the power of yoga to bring harmony and unity among people all over the world.
Recommended Article: Yoga and Spirituality: How the Body, Mind and Soul Unify As One
9th International Day of Yoga
“Yoga is an ancient physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in India. The word ‘yoga’ derives from Sanskrit and means to join or to unite, symbolizing the union of body and consciousness.” The United Nations
On 11th December 2014, the 21st of June was announced as the International Day of Yoga by the United Nations. The main aim of this is to spread awareness of the innumerable benefits one can gain from practising yoga.
India proposed and received endorsement from a record 175 member states for the draft resolution establishing the International Day of Yoga. The proposal was initially presented by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the opening of the 69th session of the General Assembly.
In his address, Mr Modi highlighted the legacy of yoga and its ancient traditions, representing the unification of mind and body, thought and action.
He emphasized that yoga is not limited to exercise alone but is a holistic approach that promotes well-being and helps individuals discover a profound sense of interconnectedness with themselves, the world, and nature.
The resolution stresses the significance of individuals and communities making healthier choices and adopting lifestyle patterns that promote good health.
It acknowledges the World Health Organization’s call for member states to assist their citizens in reducing physical inactivity, which is a major contributor to global mortality and a key risk factor for non-communicable diseases like cardiovascular conditions, cancer, and diabetes.
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Novel Qualities of Yoga
धैर्यं यस्य पिता क्षमा च जननी शान्तिश्चिरं गेहिनी
सत्यं सूनुरयं दया च भगिनी भ्राता मनः संयमः।
शय्या भूमितलं दिशोSपि वसनं ज्ञानामृतं भोजनं
एते यस्य कुटिम्बिनः वद सखे कस्माद् भयं योगिनः।।
Centuries ago, the renowned Sanskrit poet Bhartrhari highlighted the unique qualities of yoga with the following verse:
“Through regular practice of yoga, Courage becomes a protective father, Forgiveness embodies a nurturing mother, Mental peace becomes a lifelong companion.
Truth becomes a cherished child, Mercy transforms into a caring sister, Self-control takes the role of a supportive brother, The earth serves as a comforting bed,
And knowledge satisfies our hunger.
With such a family, my friend, Tell me, why would a yogi fear?”
In this verse, Bhartrhari beautifully expresses the transformative power of yoga.
Regularly practising yoga cultivates virtues such as courage, forgiveness, and inner peace. Truth, mercy, self-control, and knowledge are personified as beloved family members.
The verse evokes a sense of harmony, protection, and contentment that can be attained through the practice of yoga, emphasizing its profound impact on one’s well-being and perspective on life.
My Yoga Story – The Journey of Transformation & Revival
At the tender age of 13, my journey into the world of yoga began. I stepped into a nearby yoga class, and for that one precious hour each evening, I found solace and tranquillity. The sense of peace I experienced during and after the class was truly priceless.
As I progressed through college, I made a resolute decision to turn my passion for yoga into a career. My journey began through a transformative trainer education course, delving deep into the exercise of yoga.
It was there that I not only mastered the physical asanas, but also delved into pranayama, and meditation, and explored the profound philosophical and anatomical aspects of yoga.
Nutrition & Yoga
With my background as a nutritionist, this comprehensive understanding of yoga proved to be immensely valuable. It allowed me to incorporate its principles into the lives of my clients, guiding them towards holistic well-being.
Combining the knowledge of nutrition and the transformative power of yoga, I found myself equipped to make a positive difference in their lives.
My journey with yoga has not only brought me inner peace but has also ignited a deep passion within me to share its benefits with others. Through my own experiences, I have come to believe that yoga is not just a physical practice but a pathway to personal growth, mental clarity, and overall wellness.
I am inspired to continue spreading the light of yoga and guiding others on their transformative journeys.
Yoga’s remarkable ability to address a wide range of physical and mental ailments compelled me to take it seriously and not just as another physical activity.
What captivates me the most about Yoga is its profound emphasis on the art of breathing. While society often associates age with a mere number, Yoga perceives age through the prism of breath count. This perspective is undeniably intriguing and thought-provoking. Pooja Chavan, Nutritionist & Yoga Instructor
Engaging in regular yoga practice not only alleviates physical issues but also fosters growth in relationships, careers, personal development, and mental tranquillity.
These aspects collectively contribute to a healthy and fulfilling life.
As a Nutritionist, I try to heal my clients with their health issues in the most organic way possible. When I learnt about the power of Yoga, I knew I had to go deeper into it. I knew the world needed it, I knew it will come back with a bang.
Why is Yoga Different from Other Exercise Forms?
- Improved Flexibility
- Enhanced Strength and Muscle Tone
- Better Posture and Alignment
- Increased Balance and Stability
- Stress Reduction and Relaxation
- Improved Mental Clarity and Focus
- Emotional Well-being and Self-awareness
- Improved Sleep
- Overall Health and Wellness
- Mind-Body Connection
- Focus on Breath and Mindfulness
- Spiritual Dimension
- Less risk of injuries
Hidden Secrets of Yoga Asanas
These asanas can be inculcated in our daily yoga practice!
Sukhasana or Easy Sitting Pose: Reduce anxiety, stress and mental tiredness.
Adho Mukha Svanasana or Downward-Facing Dog Stretch: Calms the brain
Dhanur Asana Or Bow Pose: Increases lung power and breathing power
Vakrasana or Twisted pose: Improves digestion by regulating digestive juices
Sirhasana or Headstand: Improves concentration and memory
Why Incorporate Yoga in Your Life?
Has the Power to Transform You
Through yoga, we gain the ability to positively impact our well-being by addressing the root causes of ailments. It allows us to cultivate a healthier lifestyle, manage stress effectively, and make conscious dietary choices. By focusing on these controllable factors, yoga becomes a transformative practice that empowers us to lead a balanced and enriching life.
It is universal
Its inherent wisdom and practices are universally applicable and can be embraced by individuals of any faith or belief system.
By highlighting this fundamental aspect, I strive to create a welcoming and inclusive environment where individuals can explore and benefit from the profound teachings of yoga, irrespective of their backgrounds.
Recommended Article: Sheetkari Pranayama: The Pranayama For Calmness and Peace
Reduces the Risk of Diseases
By incorporating yoga into our lifestyle, we can significantly reduce the likelihood of metabolic syndromes and other health challenges.
While genetic factors may be beyond our control, many diseases stem from modifiable aspects such as lifestyle choices, stress management, and diet. Yoga empowers us to actively improve these areas within our control, thus enhancing our overall quality of life.
Becomes an Integral Part of You
One of the most exhilarating sources of happiness and fulfilment for me lies in witnessing the transformation of clients who have never experienced the profound benefits of yoga before.
As they gradually become accustomed to this ancient practice, it becomes an inseparable and integral part of their lives. The sheer knowledge that I have played a pivotal role in facilitating this positive change and enhancing their overall well-being brings me an immense sense of joy.
As we commemorate the International Day of Yoga with the theme “Vasudhaiva Kutumbhkam,” symbolizing the world as one family, let us unite in our efforts to make our collective journey on this planet more remarkable.
By coming together and actively participating in the transformative and uplifting practice of Yoga, we can embark on a path of healing and support, both for ourselves and for one another.
Together, let us nurture a world where intentional and pure activities of Yoga bring beauty and harmony into our lives and the lives of those around us.
Frequently Asked Questions
1: Why is the International Day of Yoga celebrated on June 21st?
June 21st was chosen as the International Day of Yoga because it marks the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, which is the longest day of the year. This date holds significance in the yogic tradition as it represents the transition to a new phase of light and energy.
2: What is the significance of the theme “Vasudhaiva Kutumbhkam” for the International Day of Yoga?
The theme “Vasudhaiva Kutumbhkam” translates to “The World is one Family.” It reflects the idea that all human beings are interconnected and share a common bond. It encourages unity, inclusivity, and a sense of global harmony through Yoga.
3: Can I celebrate the International Day of Yoga at home?
Absolutely! You can celebrate the International Day of Yoga at home by practising yoga asanas, pranayama (breathing exercises), meditation, or any other yoga-related activities. There are also online resources, tutorials, and live-streamed sessions available that you can follow along with to enhance your practice.
4: Are there any specific guidelines or protocols to follow on the International Day of Yoga?
A4: While there are no specific guidelines set for the International Day of Yoga, it is recommended to practice yoga under the guidance of a qualified instructor, especially if you are a beginner. Follow proper alignment, listen to your body, and practice at your own pace to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.
5: How can I continue practising yoga beyond the International Day of Yoga?
The International Day of Yoga serves as a reminder to incorporate yoga into our daily lives. To continue practising yoga, you can join local yoga classes, access online resources and tutorials, follow guided yoga sessions, or establish a personal home practice. Yoga studios and fitness centres often offer regular classes, making integrating yoga into your routine throughout the year easier.
- Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha – Book by Satyananda Saraswati
- Certification of Yoga Professional Guidebook – Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India
- Website of Government of India