Let’s embrace the first ever International Yoga Day
A year ago, our Prime Minister proposed the idea at the UN general assembly to declare June 21st as ‘International Yoga day’,
it was unanimously welcomed and cosponsored by 175 nations making it the highest number ever for any general assembly resolution. Moreover, it was adopted by acclamation instead of voting. This clearly shows the world’s affinity to this form of practice.
Growing up in India, I was taught Yoga at an early stage in school. It was the one subject and class which everyone loved primarily because it didn’t involve anything that had to read and write. As years passed by slowly and steadily students started to lose interest in it. An impression was created that yoga was for the old and youngsters were wasting time on it. I used to practice regularly and have taken part in competitions and won a couple of medals too (Competitions were held to motivate the students). As I shifted to a boarding school in my 4th grade, the chance for me to practice became minimal and I happen to lose touch completely. After many years, I felt very unhealthy, my flexibility had reduced and I was prone to various illnesses and so I was suggested to practice yoga again.
After having spoken to couple of friends mostly in the age group of early and mid 20’s, I found out that ‘Yoga’ was actually something not cool, boring, mostly women do it and it is difficult to practice. They also said that people who practice yoga are generally those who have had some troubled past, suffering from illness, mental instability and so on. I was confused about their perception of Yoga. So I argued with them by citing the examples of the popular movie stars and celebrities practising and endorsing it, “They are all paid for it” was the reply. Well, Yoga indeed has a great market here and therefore with a lots of marketing happening all around with flyers and posters everywhere, it could be one of the reasons for that kind of a reply. Few others cited that they didn’t have the time to practice ‘Yoga’ as they were busy but they could manage time to head to the gym. Well, probably working out in the gym starts to show result on a day to day basis while in yoga it takes time. Generally, people start the practice of yoga when they face any health issues or when recommended by elders.
I have been to several yoga classes and it is mostly the people above the age of 40, few young women, fewer
youngsters who are a part of it. I have been to yoga classes where in a class of 30-40, I would be the only guy in the 20’s or there would be hardly 2-3 of them. I would find it strange but then when I tell my friends I have follow up classes to attend every Sunday, there would be varied reactions from them. Most of them would look at me as though I am doing something extra ordinary and few others would feel that I was totally jobless on a Sunday to attend the follow up class. I’ve also had people who would tell me to take them along the next time I attend but when I call them on the particular day, the reply would be that they will attend it the next week and the fact is that the next week never comes. Few others would cite religion as their excuse to not practice yoga and I have nothing to say on that because I don’t know what other religions say about yoga. Maybe if it had come from the west to here, the opinion of the youngsters could have been a lot different and I am sure we would have seen a lot of people practising it. Sometimes, we fail to appreciate what we have and a foreigner is educates us on the greatness of the things that we as a country posses.
So for those who are completely ignorant about Yoga on what it actually does and who can do it, here is a brief about it.
What is Yoga?
Yoga is an awareness practice that synchronizes body, mind and breath. The practice of Yoga has several physical and psychological benefits which include flexibility, joint mobility, improved strength, enhanced feelings, positive lifestyle, relief from stress, anxiety and depression. It is not just a physical exercise where people practice complex breathing, difficult stretching by turning and twisting their bodies as it is perceived by many. The science of it tells us that it is the essence of life.
Who can do Yoga?
The best part of yoga is that anyone irrespective of their age whether you are young or old, fat or fit, rich or poor, flexible or not flexible, a scientist or a doctor, Hindu or Buddhist can practice it without any problem. If you have any health issues or finding it uneasy then consult the Guru (teacher) before the class so that he can give you the Asnas (the term used for different movements) according to the fitness of your body. It will certainly help you get into better shape and gives you a holistic experience.
Why do Yoga?
Yoga helps you in more ways than one, as mentioned earlier it’s a way of life. It helps you to stay healthy, positive and with good health throughout. Internally, it leaves you with a positive frame of mind, relieving stress, reducing anxiety and so on.
Where to learn Yoga?
There are so many centres in almost every city that teach the practice of Yoga. Enroll yourself for a basic session and see how things turn out for you. A warning from me is that do not expect great results within a month of practice. It will take time provided you are committed and dedicated in doing it without fail. There is really no excuse for not doing it as it would hardly take an hour to complete all the Asnas.
Benefits of Yoga:
Though there is a detailed scientific explanation of the benefits of practising Yoga, here are a few simple ways how it helps you.
Makes you happier
Protects your spine
Increases blood flow
Helps body balance
Perfects your posture
Builds muscle strength
Gives you mental peace
Maintains healthy lifestyle
Regulates your blood flow
Encourages positive living
Benefits your relationship
Maintains your nervous system
As mentioned in the world economic forum that Yoga is one of the most successful products of globalization, there are many well known international personalities who practice Yoga which includes Robert Downey Jr, Ricky Martin, Madonna, Michelle Obama, LeBron James, Adam Levin to name a few. I just mentioned these names so that the list sounds cool and maybe the youngsters would give it a shot.
Let’s join together and embrace the practice of Yoga and celebrate the First ever International Yoga Day. I am sure every city is going to be having a mass yoga session at a common place for an hour. Even if you do not know yoga, do participate and show your support for something that started at home is now being celebrated as theirs by rest of the world.
Let the first International Yoga day & the longest day of the year be the start for a great beginning towards an awesome lifestyle.