INTERNATIONAL YOGA DAY
Every year on June 21st, the International Day of Yoga raises awareness about the benefits of this mind and body practice. It’s also a day to encourage people around the world to engage in Yoga.
The word yoga means to unite or to join. This symbolizes the union of body and consciousness, and the philosophy originated in India about 5,000 years ago. One of the original goals of yoga was spiritual growth. Another goal was mastery over the physical and mental body. Today, two billion people around the world do yoga, some a form of exercise, and others to relieve stress. They have discovered all of yoga’s health benefits and that attributes to its growing popularity.
Some of these health benefits include:
- Improves flexibility
- Builds muscle strength
- Prevents cartilage and joint breakdown
- Increases blood flow
- Lowers blood pressure
- Regulates adrenal glands
- Improves balance
- Prevents some digestive problems
- Eases pain
For those who want to give yoga a try, they should consider the different types of yoga. For example, Vinyasa yoga focuses on different postures and is the most athletic of all yoga styles. During Yin yoga, participants practice in seated postures and hold positions for longer periods of time. For a more meditative yoga, Anusara yoga focuses on the mind-body-heart connection.
There is even prenatal yoga, which is geared toward moms to be.Expectant moms practice prenatal yoga because it concentrates on pelvic floor exercises and breathing. One more modern type of yoga is called goat yoga. And yes, it’s practiced in the presence of goats.
Each type of yoga incorporates different poses and postures. Each of the poses has spiritual significance. Some of the most popular poses include Anjali mudra (the posture for prayer), mountain, tree, cobra, happy baby, downward-facing dog, and Savasana.
HOW TO OBSERVE #InternationalDayOfYoga
The celebration encourages yoga practitioners and studios around the world to hold family-friendly yoga classes. And many do! They host them in a variety of indoor and outdoor locations. Some of these yoga events schedule vendors, food trucks, and workshops, too.
To participate in this day:
- Attend a yoga event in your community.
- Learn about the different types of yoga.
- Buy a new yoga mat or some new yoga pants.
- Try a new style of yoga you’ve never done before.
- Watch a movie that features yoga and meditation, such as Kumare, Nobody’s Trip to Nowhere, or Living Yoga.
To help spread awareness for this day, share your favorite yoga pose on social media with #InternationalDayOfYoga.
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF YOGA HISTORY
In 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India proposed the draft resolution for International Day of Yoga. Recognizing the universal appeal of Yoga, 175 member states endorsed the resolution. On December 11, 2014, the UN proclaimed June 21st as International Day of Yoga. June 21st was chosen as it is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. This date also holds special significance in countries across the globe.