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Friday, December 9, 2022

Celebrate International Day of Yoga, this June 21

It isn’t too hard to note the importance of something as function-oriented as Yoga in our everyday lives. Yoga isn’t anymore a novel idea regarded by monks as a tool to access the ‘divine’ and has become quite a necessity in today’s day and age. The world we live in today is quite a complex one. It isn’t all hunky-dory. In an age of instant gratification, we have lesser time on hands from which to derive the best of our efforts.

Hence, there is an increased stress by and large with whatever we do. No matter what your profession, there are fledgling anxieties and a sense of waywardness that has eaten into our lives. We seek satisfaction but aren’t always satisfied, and in our constant lookout for happiness, we often tend to lead insular lives. This in turn affects the harmony between mind and soul, an absolute ‘must have’ if one is to seek pure contentment in life. In here lies the brilliance of Yoga as a saviour from life’s woes.

Yoga is not just a meditative practice. It is a combination of the science of mindfulness attained through the art of yogic practices. While attainment of mind-body-soul harmony is the key, Yoga stands on the pedestal of concentration and meditation. In simple words, in order to attain silence or contentment, it is important to break away from noise. Similarly, Yoga implies that in the process of attainment of mind and body harmony, it is important to train and silence the mind. This can distill the mind from resentful or unwanted thoughts. And once our inner being reaches the state of ‘nothingness, or, thoughtlessness’, that is when harmony sets in.

That said, Yoga has increasingly found an important space in our lives. What began years back as a sophisticated, new age ‘trend’ has become a lifestyle stabilizer, safeguarding us from mental, physical and emotional pain and anxieties. On the occasion of the International Yoga Day, celebrated each year on June 21, IMP is delighted to inform you of some common facts associated with this important global event.

Celebrating the 7th International Yoga Day

The theme of IDY 2021 is #YogaForWellness. As the world gears up to observe the 7th IDY on 21st June, on your best tree pose!

The United Nations General Assembly has to be credited with taking cognizance of the meditative practice of Yoga and building an entire day around it, celebrating it each year. The milestone date in this regard was December 11, 2014, when the United Nations adopted a resolution proposed by India.

A historic implementation by the United Nations

What is known universally about June 21 is that this is the only day every year when the world unites in celebrating the cult practice of Yoga. But what isn’t known is that it is also the first time that such an initiative has been proposed and implemented by a country in the UN body in less than 90 days.

A massive global celebration

June 21, each year brings about massive global celebrations in the wake of commemorating unarguably the most ‘aware’ festival about human consciousness. In fact, so popular is Yoga in the modern world today that as many as 175 countries in the world, from 195 UN nations celebrate the said event.

Not just a cure for mental issues or concerns

Like with every popular facet in the modern world that has gained higher ground of human participation, Yoga, too, has certain common misconceptions. It is commonly believed that Yoga is the near perfect antidote to mental anxieties, stresses, and other stimulants that cause distress. Truth be told, Yoga is a natural remedy for chronic pains and other lifestyle related ailments such as hypertension and diabetes.

The role of Indian swami’s and gurus in harnessing Yoga

Even as history suggests the umbilical cord of Yoga connected to Tibet and China, it is India where the meditative science and practice truly found its home and in turn, its intense decoration. And just who are the great spiritual masters responsible for making Yoga accessible to the larger world?

While Shri Aurobindo is credited with translating the essence of Yoga and Yogic practices from celebrated Hindu scriptures like Bhagwad Gita and the Upanishads, the likes of BS Iyengar and Maharishi Paramhansa Yogananda are widely regarded for disseminating the important knowledge of Yoga through important spiritual scriptures and by virtue of their superbly disciplined and inspirational lives.

In fact, Swami Vivekananda and science genius Nikolai Tesla are credited with having immensely fruitful and potent discussions regarding life giving “Prana” and Vedic Sciences.

Few record-breaking events

In 2015, when an entire India came together to celebrate the International Yoga Day on June 21, an event widely discussed date owing to the celebrated presence of PM Modi, it wasn’t just a normal celebration. It went on to become a huge gathering from all corners of the country. The event was registered ‘as an entry into the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest Yoga demonstration ever with a historic attendance of 45000 people.

A great celebration world-over

Yoga may have originated in India, where it was developed, nuanced and honed as a skill to master the self and control the mind, but it is now a global sensation with around 175 countries avidly taking to it to smooth sail in the testing waters of life.

Countries such as the United States have developed tremendous franchises around this ancient practice, encouraging eager participation from the wider public. Commonly, nations like the United Kingdom, South Africa, Australia, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, China, Japan, South Korea, and Ireland have taken to Yoga like a fish takes to a pond.

Yoga is a major stress buster and enabler of deriving a greater sense of meaning and completeness in life.

Yoga’s starry DNA

A major reason for Yoga’s mind-boggling popularity around the world, especially in the West have been the A-list star actors who have transformed into avid Yoga practitioners in everyday life. Some regard it as a life-changing reformist activity, others seek in Yoga an escape from the morose and mundane in life.

High profile movie icons like Robert Downy Jr., Charlize Theron, Julia Roberts, Demi Moore to popular music stars such as Sting and Madonna, have sought a refuge in Yoga’s alley of calmness and clarity.

Begin again

Yoga, like your closed ones and loved ones is a friend and nothing less than that. In the initial stages of practices, it may seem hard to implement Yoga into your everyday life, but eventually, with little dedication, Yoga simply grows on you.

Amidst today’s times marred by massive uncertainties, could there be a soother balm on life’s woes other than that of Yoga?

It’s totally free

Just think of it, this is an activity that is absolutely economical and light on your wallet and even your time! How much are you required to pay for indulging in those simple, easy routine Yoga exercises?

Yoga, unlike gymming or other professional sports doesn’t require a membership fee! Nor does one need to attend a specific institute or facility to practice Yoga. All you need is a clear head and a focused mind, and yeah, that Yoga mat! That’s about it.

So when life begins to turn its back on you and you can’t help but see only dead-ends in life, worry not. Just take an easy breath, relax, sit back and rediscover yourself! Release yourself from worries, woes and anxieties whilst unlocking an exhaustive well of peace ‘within’. And how can you get there? Simply practice Yoga.

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