By FnF Desk | PUBLISHED: 21, Jun 2021, 9:38 am IST | UPDATED: 22, Jun 2021, 15:09 pm IST
Celebrated on June 21, International Yoga Day celebrates the physical and spiritual prowess that yoga has brought to the world stage. While it is an important source of exercise and healthy activity millions join in and practice on a daily basis. For many, these routines are a way to connect the body, mind and soul in a way that has existed for centuries.
Yoga is a trend that has been flourishing from the years; rather this has become a trendsetter in maintaining both physical and mental well-being. Each Yogic activity is a key to improving flexibility, strength, balance and attaining harmony. Yoga Portal is a platform to help people embrace, practice and enjoy yoga every day. It is a perfect gateway to search for the best yoga resources, common yoga protocol training videos and the latest yoga events to take part in.
History Of International Yoga Day
For International Yoga Day, people around the world are all set to take out their yoga mats and start exercising, but they might not be aware that yoga goes back centuries.
Yoga is considered to be an ancient practice that originated 5,000 years ago in India. Yoga was developed as a way to interconnect the mind, body and soul to step closer into enlightenment. As the practice became popular in the west, it became popularized as an exercise and relaxation method, with claims to help the body’s general well-being, alleviate physical injuries and chronic pain.
The idea of International Yoga Day was first proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 27, 2014, during his speech at the UN General Assembly, where a resolution to establish June 21 as International Yoga Day was introduced by India’s Ambassador, Asoke Kumar Mukerji.
The date of June 21 was chosen as it is the Summer Solstice, the day where there is the most sun out of every other day of the year. Overall, it received support from 177 nations, the highest number of co-sponsors for any UN resolution, proclaiming June 21 as the International Yoga Day.
On June 21, 2015, nearly 36,000 people, including Prime Minister Modi, and many other high-profile political figures from all around the world, performed 21 asanas (yoga postures) for 35 minutes in New Delhi in what was the first International Yoga Day, and the day has been celebrated around the globe ever since.
Traditions Of The Day
International Yoga Day is a relatively new holiday, so there aren’t any time-honored traditions. But yoga itself is an ancient art that refreshes the mind and soothes the soul. The day aims to encourage new people to adopt the yogi lifestyle and align with their inner chakra.
Newbies sign up for yoga and create their own flow of movements to their favorite relaxing music. Before starting yoga, new mats and yoga pants are bought. Those who are already skilled at yoga try out new combinations and introduce their friends to it. Special group yoga retreats are also offered by instructors.
What is Yoga and why do we celebrate it?
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.
The draft resolution establishing the International Day of Yoga was proposed by India and endorsed by a record 175 member states. The proposal was first introduced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address during the opening of the 69th session of the General Assembly, in which he said: “Yoga is an invaluable gift from our ancient tradition. Yoga embodies unity of mind and body, thought and action ... a holistic approach [that] is valuable to our health and our well-being. Yoga is not just about exercise; it is a way to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature.”
The resolution notes “the importance of individuals and populations making healthier choices and following lifestyle patterns that foster good health.” In this regard, the World Health Organization has also urged its member states to help their citizens reduce physical inactivity, which is among the top ten leading causes of death worldwide, and a key risk factor for non-communicable diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer and diabetes.
But yoga is more than a physical activity. In the words of one of its most famous practitioners, the late B. K. S. Iyengar, “Yoga cultivates the ways of maintaining a balanced attitude in day-to-day life and endows skill in the performance of one’s actions.”