Yoga An Art Of Ancient Indian Principles
Yoga has been made known in India since pre-Vedic times. This has remained a part of the lifestyle of the Indians over the years. Yoga is a valuable part of Indian culture and civilization in which there are properties of both physical fundamentals of humanity and spiritual uplift. This is the classic blend of knowledge, karma, and devotion. Maharishi Patanjali's contribution to India is paramount; he has codified and organized yoga postures or practices in the Yoga Sutras.
It was Swami Vivekananda who introduced yoga to the Western world. Though initially yoga was considered mainly as a spiritual practice with religious - philosophical underpinnings, by the 1980, it became popular as the system of physical exercise across the Western world. But only one component of yoga - Hatha Yoga or the physical practice of the postures (asanas) - was understood. After that, many eastern gurus and yogis spread yoga throughout the world and on a large scale, people started accepting it. Even yoga began to be studied in the form of a subject, and then it came out that there are long-term benefits of yoga.
It was on 27 September 2014 when our Prime Minister Narendra Modi reintroduced yoga and gave it a grand acceptance in the United Nation General Assembly with an impactful speech mentioning the value of yoga and the role it can play in keeping the global population healthier in a cost-effective way. As a result, It was recognized through a resolution which had a record co-sponsorship of 177 countries. It was an endorsement like no other, where the globe had accepted the speech of Prime Minister Modi referring yoga as the ancient gifts of Indian sages to humanity. The UNGA on December 11, 2014, announced June 21 as International Yoga Day or World Yoga Day.
This new idea of International Yoga day was glanced as an art built upon ancient Indian principles, born of a desire to maintain inner well-being.
As yoga goes international on June 21 as World Yoga Day, the date actually has a very desi, mythological connection. The reason is that it is the day of summer solstice which means the North Pole is tilted towards the Sun or we can say that when the sun begins to move from north to south. From Yoga's perspective, this time is the transition period, i.e. a better time for meditation. It is also considered as the longest day of the year of the Northern hemisphere.
As per the Indian mythology, Lord Shiva, the grandmaster of yoga, the Adiyogi (the first yogi) left towards the south, where he first saw the 7 royal sages who further became his first disciples. They then propagated the science of yoga in many parts of the world
Celebrating the World Yoga Day all around the globe since 2015, The Indian Ambassador to Japan Sh Sanjay Kumar Verma, recalls, “The most memorable moment for me was to be a part of organizing a committee for International Day of Yoga (IDY) to be hosted at Pravasi Bhartiya Kendra in 2017, with participation from all resident diplomatic and multilateral Missions in New Delhi. The then External Affairs Minister led Indian participation. Vibrance of having the entire diplomatic community practising Yoga under one roof was a matter of pride, further demonstrating that Yoga is indeed a World Intangible Cultural Heritage.”
“IYD was a game changer in India's soft power diplomacy. The first time a UN resolution was voted with the highest number of votes. In 2015 when we were asked to celebrate IYD was not aware of how it will be received since it was Ramadan. But to our surprise, there were Jordanians practising yoga for decades and preferred to be at peace through meditation more during the fasting period besides holding Yoga at the Dead Sea which is the lowest point of the earth was an exhilarating experience. People were ecstatic and HRH Princess Rym Ali was the Chief Guest a unique endorsement from the Royalty. Now over a dozen Yoga centres are continuing with greater vigour." Shares Sh. Anil Trigunayat, Former Indian Ambassador Jordan, Libya & Malta.
It was fascinating to see the first yoga day marked with 35,985 people along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and dignitaries from 84 countries performing 21 yoga asanas at Rajghat in New Delhi followed by the second IYD in Chandigarh. In 2017, the third IYD along with 51,000 participants in Lucknow was the talk of the town whereas, thousands of participants were also seen practising yoga at Times Square, New York promoting the theme “Yoga for Health”.
Last year theme, ‘Yoga for Peace’ with the main event taking place in Dehradun, Kota in Rajasthan also gathered over 10,000 participants performing yoga together bagging the city with a Guinness World Record.
‘Yoga for Heart’ the theme of 2019 has commenced with the celebrations all across the globe. Sh. Ajit Gupte, Indian Ambassador to Denmark who celebrated the 5th IYD on 16th June, a sunny day in Copenhagen shares, “It attracted over 500 enthusiast participants. The most enthralling moment was the participation of tiny tots with two Danish girls demonstrating Surya Namaskar. In addition, many mothers had brought their children and babies, Further to my delight was to see a mother brought her 3-month-old baby who was playing in the grass while the mother was doing yoga.”
With World Yoga Day doing wonders across, one needs to understand that yoga means a personal tool to well-being. When done right and when done regularly over a period of time, it will stimulate positive changes in the body and mind, which affects the way one looks, moves, thinks and talk. And yes, by virtue of doing all this, you will burn calories, make muscle tone and also lose weight. But make no mistake: this is merely a side effect of doing yoga and not a sole purpose. Be sure to know that yoga is about well-being and not a weight loss program.
So, this International Yoga Day unleash yourself and commence your day with your well-being.
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