The Significance Of International Yoga Day- 21st June
Yoga is an ancient art that has been part of numerous cultures and traditions around the world for centuries. It offers a plethora of mental, physical, and spiritual health benefits. Daily yoga practice helps you connect with the divine source of life. This ancient art has transitioned into a global phenomenon owing to numerous yoga schools sharing this knowledge with others. Have you heard about International yoga day?
The International yoga day came into being on June 21, 2015, following its inception into the United Nations General Assembly back in 2014. Ever since yoga has been practiced around the world by individuals from different age groups and having varying yoga experiences. In other words, yoga has become the new way of staying fit and healthy without chugging down protein shakes.
Keeping the last statement in mind, yoga experts have come up with a complete guide on why we have given yoga its own special day.
International Yoga Day – A Brief Intro
In his address to the UN on September 27th, 2014, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi suggested that June 21 be celebrated as International Yoga Day. The reason for choosing this date was it is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and holds a special place in many parts of the world.
Do you know about the logo of International Yoga Day? It is a person sitting in a cross-legged position with both hands raised and the palms touching each other. Let us now dive a bit into the logo.
International Yoga Day Logo – The Significance
The folding of both hands in the International Yoga Day logo signifies the union of the individual consciousness with that of the universal consciousness. This is what creates a perfect harmony between your body and mind, man and nature, and is a holistic approach to health and well-being.
Next, you have brown leaves on the side, which symbolize the Earth element, the green leaves representing Nature, blue symbolizing the Water, and the halo representing the Fire or Sun element, which represents energy and inspiration.
Now, you might think that this is all a drama and will fade with time, and there is nothing special that yoga does to help you stay fit and fine. You could not be more wrong! There is a lot of daily yoga practice does.
Don’t believe us?! Read further to know the truth.
8 Health Benefits Of Yoga
The International yoga day is itself a testimony to the numerous benefits yoga offers you as a practitioner.
Keeping that in mind, the yoga experts have come up with eight wonderful health benefits of daily yoga practice.
1. Improves Flexibility
If your day job includes sitting on a desk for 9 straight hours, it is time you consider practicing a little yoga. As you start aging, this problem only becomes worse since your flexibility decreases with time which leads to a lot of pain and suffering.
However, all this can be taken care of if you include a little Hatha Yoga into your daily schedule. This improves your cardiorespiratory and muscular endurance as well as physical strength. Over time, you gain flexibility in your hamstrings, shoulders, back, and hips.
For example, you should practice Reclined Pigeon Pose, Eagle Pose, and Reclined Big Toe Pose to give the major muscle groups in your body a good stretch and improve flexibility.
2. Improves Balance
Establishing a proper body balance is crucial at any stage of your life. It helps athletes perform better on the field and improve their level of fitness. An improved body balance also improves your body posture and functionality and helps you move with ease.
Yoga has numerous exercises that stabilize your core muscles and stability, thereby keeping you safe from accidental falls and stumbling. You can include yoga poses like Chair Pose, Warrior Pose, and Half-Moon Pose into your daily routine to develop excellent body balance. It is one of the yoga poses you can do on International Yoga day to pay your respects to this ancient art.
3. Helps Prevent Back Pain
With time, as your flexibility decreases, the first health problem to rear its ugly face is back pain. In the majority of cases, those with severe back pain have a history of either sitting at one place for too long or driving long distances which leads to the problem of spinal compression.
Luckily, there are numerous yoga asanas like Cat-Cow Pose, Cobra Pose, and Seated Spinal Twist pose which reduce compression in your lower back region. In the long run, yoga helps you get rid of back pain without the use of medications or undergoing expensive operations.
4. Develops Mental Calmness
One major reason why millions practice yoga on International Yoga Day is its ability to calm your mind. There are numerous meditation techniques in yoga that help you dissociate yourself from negative thoughts and feelings. Moreover, numerous studies have shown how yoga is also beneficial for those suffering from PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder).
To keep your mind calm amidst a chaotic situation, you should do Triangle Pose, Corpse Pose, or the Pigeon Pose. These help focus your mind on the task at hand and get rid of toxic thoughts.
5. Increases Self-Confidence
Daily practice of yoga has been found useful for creating a solid mind-body connection, which provides you improved awareness of your body. Yoga makes small and subtle changes to your body alignment and breathing which helps you connect more deeply with the physical body.
You learn self-acceptance and let go of the habit of judging yourself and others. In the long run, this makes you open and comfortable in who you are as an individual and develops self-confidence.
There are many yoga asanas like Lizard Pose, Crow Pose, Downward Dog Split, and Side Plank that improve your bodily strength and confidence.
6. Improves Sleep
There is a growing body of research and studies concerning how daily yoga helps you sleep peacefully at night. The reason why the logo of International Yoga Day includes a meditative pose is due to the sleep-inducing benefits of daily yoga practice. You can practice yoga asanas like Legs Up The Wall, Happy Baby, or the Reclined Goddess Pose to calm down the nervous system and enjoy quality sleep every day.
7. Helps With Weight Loss
If you want to lose a few pounds, there is no need to sign up for an expensive gym membership. Numerous scientific and medical studies have shown how deep breathing in yoga with long holds can help you lose weight.
Yoga does a lot to help you lose the extra weight. It helps you burn those extra calories, minimize stress levels, prevent over-eating, and enhances the effect of exercising. You should give Hot or Corepower yoga a try to get rid of the fat.
8. Reduces Mental Health Issues
Although pharmaceuticals are probably the first choice for those suffering from anxiety and depression, there is a much better option. One reason why anxiety and depression impact you is due to excess release of the stress hormone, Cortisol. This in-turn reduces your brain’s capacity to generate feel-good hormones, Serotonin.
You might wonder why International yoga day had a following of millions. Everyone brought a mat to get rid of all the negativity and unnecessary stress in their life by practicing yoga.
However, for you to reap all these benefits of yoga, you must choose the right place to kickstart this spiritual journey. Welcome to India!
Why Learn Yoga In India?
India is not just a land with diverse cultures and traditions, it is also the birthplace of this ancient art of yoga. This mystical land has a long and illustrious history with yoga. Millions of yogis have come to this place to seek their inner self and connect with the divine source of all life.
With that said, let us check out why is it that India had the confidence to lead the world on International Yoga Day and why you should choose this place to learn yoga.
1. Birthplace Of Yoga
Yoga took birth in India, in the North Indian town of Rishikesh some 5000 years back. Rishikesh is also known as the Yoga Capital Of The World. Historical evidence takes back the yogic practices to Indus Valley (3000 – 1800 BCE), Quetta, Harappa, and Mohenjo Daro civilizations. Excavations done in these parts have brought out the famous Pashupati seal, which shows a person sitting in a meditative pose.
In other words, when you come to India to learn yoga, you will come to learn the ancient yoga knowledge handed down by generations of yoga masters, and not the studio version.
2. True Yoga
Yoga in western countries is mostly physical and ignores its mental and spiritual aspects. There has been so much commercialization and marketing of yoga that the original essence has been lost. However, that is not the case when you come to India to learn this ancient art in its most authentic form. It is a major reason how India was at the forefront of International Yoga Day.
3. First-Hand Ashram Experience
Although many prefer to learn yoga from the comfort of an air-conditioned yoga studio in their hometown or country, that is not what actual yoga is about. The yogic lifestyle is one of the disciplines of your body and mind. India is one such place where you stand a chance to experience the actual ashram life which a yogi lives.
4. Affordable Yoga
For a place with thousands of yoga schools, India is still a place where you can learn yoga at an economical cost. If you decide to sign up for a luxury yoga resort, you have the best of all amenities along with the top yoga gurus to help you learn this ancient art.
Moreover, it is not just about paying less for the yoga courses, you also get inexpensive options when it comes to food, traveling, and accommodation. In short, you enjoy the best time of your life at the fraction of the cost. So, on the next International Yoga Day book your tickets and pay a visit to this holy land.
5. A New Experience
India is a place with rich culture and numerous traditions. Learning yoga in India gives you the opportunity of a lifetime to experience a totally different culture while traveling to a new place. Moreover, you get to experience a different side of the world which you might not get to do in your home country. The reason why India was at the top on International Yoga Day was due to its rich diversity and culture.
6. Experienced Yoga Teachers
Just like you would find the best football players in Brazil, and martial artists in Japan and China; India has an affinity towards yoga. There are countless ancient texts explaining the lives of yoga masters who were able to transcend their physical limitations and unlock their true selves.
Thus, without a doubt, if you want to dive deeper into the ancient art of yoga; India gives you that opportunity to learn from the best in the field of yoga teaching.
7. The Hospitality
In India, treating a guest is seen as equal to treating god and Indians go out of their way to keep you happy. If you decide to enroll in a certified yoga school, there is every chance you would experience the best of Indian hospitality.
You would meet strangers who carry a caring and loving attitude towards their guests. In other words, if you decide to come to this holy land on the next International Yoga Day, yoga experts make sure you leave a happy and satisfied person.
8. Diverse Local Cuisines
If you are a food lover and want to experience the best cuisines other than burgers and pizzas, India is the place to be. No other country in the world offers this much variety of food with every state carrying its own unique culture and local cuisines.
Thus, if you decide to come to India to learn yoga; you also have a chance to taste the best of local delicacies. In short, it will be a win-win situation.
Do you want to learn the mysteries of the ancient art of yoga? Book your tickets for the next International Yoga Day to India and learn yoga from yoga gurus.