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| Last Updated: 14/11/2019

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International Day of Yoga: 21 June

 International Day of Yoga: 21 June

 

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.

Today it is practiced in various forms around the world and continues to grow in popularity. Recognizing its universal appeal, on 11 December 2014, the United Nations proclaimed 21 June as the International Day of Yoga by resolution 69/131. The International Day of Yoga aims to raise awareness worldwide of the many benefits of practicing yoga.

 

2019 Theme: Climate Action

 

What Is Yoga?

 

 Before we get into the benefits of yoga, it is important to understand what yoga really is. Many people call it an ancient method of training, and others call it a set of difficult poses. Yoga comes from a Sanskrit word “Yoke” which means union. Yoga is a form of discipline – a physical, mental and spiritual practice. It is a technique of controlling mind and body. The renowned Yogi, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev calls yoga “an expression of life.” He says, “Yoga essentially means finding the keys to the nature of the existence.”

Yoga is not just about bending or twisting the body and holding the breath. It is a mechanism to bring you into a state where you see and experience reality just the way it is. If you allow your energies to become exuberant and ecstatic, your sensory body expands. This enables you to experience the whole universe as a part of yourself, making everything one – this is the union that yoga creates.

 The founder of Yoga, Patanjali said, “Sthiram sukham asanam.” It means that a posture that seems firm and comfortable is your asana. You might be surprised to know that an asana is only a preparatory step in the practice of yoga. It is a means that helps you achieve the greater good. Yoga aims to create perfect harmony between your mind, body, and spirit. When you fine-tune yourself so that everything functions wonderfully within you, you will bring out the best of your abilities.