Revitalize your mind, body, and spirit as you dive into the ancient practice of yoga, celebrated worldwide on June 21st as International Yoga Day.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed the idea of dedicating a day to yoga during his address to the United Nations General Assembly in 2014.
June 21st was officially declared International Yoga Day on December 11th, 2014 with the validation of more than 175 member states.
On June 21st, 2015, the first International Yoga Day was celebrated with the theme "Yoga For Harmony and Peace".
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was joined by other international political figures, and together they performed 21 asanas for 35 minutes.
The event took place in New Delhi.
History Of Yoga
The history of yoga dates back thousands of years and originates from India. While the exact details are not clear, it is believed to help unite the mind, soul, and body together.
The earliest recorded scriptures of yoga are found in the Rigveda, the oldest known Vedic text in Hinduism dating back to around 1500 BCE. These scriptures mention practices similar to yoga, such as meditation and breath control.
One of the most influential figures in preaching the significance and benefits of yoga was sage Patanjali, who lived around 200 BCE. He authored the 'Yoga Sutras,' a classical yoga text that describes the philosophy of yoga. Patanjali defines yoga as
which is Sanskrit for "Yoga is the control of the mind.'
Yoga continued to evolve over the centuries, and one of the most notable texts about yoga is the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, written in the 15th century CE. This text is still practiced today and holds valuable teachings about yoga.
The global attention towards yoga began in the 19th and early 20th centuries when Swami Vivekananda introduced the benefits of yoga to Western countries during the late 1800s. Since then, yoga has gained popularity worldwide as a holistic practice that combines physical postures, breathing exercises, and meditation.
Benefits Of Yoga
Yoga includes several physical, mental, and spiritual exercises, including asanas (physical positions), pranayama (breathing exercises), and dhyana (meditation).
It also improves strength, flexibility, balance as well as overall physical and mental health. Practicing yoga daily helps in enhancing memory, focus, and cognitive function.
Our respiratory system, cardiovascular system, and immune system also benefit greatly from practicing Yoga. It also helps in managing diseases like hypertension, diabetes, and arthritis and promotes better sleep. .
How to Celebrate Yoga Day
Every year, International Yoga Day is celebrated with a specific theme. In 2023, the theme is 'Humanity.' The Ministry of Ayush in India, which is responsible for alternative medicine and traditional systems of medicine, plays a significant role in the celebrations. The United Nations also hosts an annual yoga event at its New York headquarters, attracting hundreds of participants.
To commemorate International Yoga Day, individuals can try practicing yoga poses, create their own flow, and discover a new way of exercise. Many professional yoga studios and public places organize special yoga workshops to spark interest in the public. Yoga requires minimal equipment, such as comfortable, stretchy clothing and a yoga mat or towel.
Embrace the ancient wisdom of yoga, cultivate harmony within yourself, and join the global celebration of International Yoga Day on June 21st.