Originated in ancient India, Yoga is a group of physical, mental and spiritual practices. The word ‘Yoga’ is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Yuj’ which means “to join” or “to unite”. In yoga, the union is between mind, breath, and body, individual and nature.
Since 2015, the world is celebrating International Yoga Day annually on 21 June to spread awareness among the masses about the importance of the ancient Indian practice of yoga and its effects upon human health. The motive was to raise awareness worldwide about the benefits of practising yoga.
Why is 21 June celebrated as yoga day?
The UN General Assembly proposed on 11th December, 2014 and declared 21st June as “International Yoga Day.” The reason behind the International Yoga Day being made on June 21 is that this day is the Summer Solstice. 21st June is considered as the longest day of the year with the sun rising early and setting late for the northern hemisphere.
The usefulness of yoga during this pandemic has increased a lot. Many people have benefited a lot from yoga even after covid recovery. It may be that like last year, this year also in view of Covid-19, this year’s International Yoga Day should be celebrated on digital media platforms. Due to Covid pandemic, no mass function or program will be safe on this International Yoga Day. Every year Yoga Day is celebrated on a certain theme.
7th International Day of Yoga Theme
“Yoga at Home and Yoga with Family”
This year, the International Day of Yoga comes at a crucial time as the whole world is going through the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has disrupted the lives of people and shown the importance of strong immunity and healthy living. Countries around the world are on lockdown because of coronavirus. In this situation, it is impossible for people to go outdoor and do exercise or yoga. The world has been experiencing challenges for more than a year and has brought about unprecedented changes, and stress in our daily lives. Therefore, it is even more important to work towards enhancing well-being, health, immunity, inner balance, and vitality. For this reason, the theme for International Yoga Day 2021 is “Yoga at Home and Yoga with Family.” The theme focuses upon telling people to stay motivated at home and adopt yoga & exercise for a healthier lifestyle.
Thus venue of this International Day of Yoga is our home. Let’s appreciate the theme of IDY 2021 and practice yoga regularly at home until the COVID-19 virus leaves us. For maintaining social distancing and a strong body immune system, you can join online sessions focusing on yoga for health and wellness.
Yoga Day Celebration: Benefits of Yoga Practice
- Practising Yoga regularly helps to maintain a balance between the Physical and the Mental state.
- Daily practice of yoga helps us to deal with stress, physical weakness and several other problems.
- Brings our body, soul and mind into a healthy balance.
- Promotes self-healing, self-awareness, and enhances personal power.
- Lower levels of stress, negative thoughts and negative energy from the body.
- Strengthens mind and body muscles
- Increases flexibility, reduces body weight and also improves brain function.
- Help us to prevent various diseases and stay away from different health-related issues.
History of International Yoga Day
The idea for declaring an International Day of Yoga at the United Nations was formally proposed by the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi during his 1st speech on 27th September 2014 at United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
He stated there:
“Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help in well-being. Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day.”
(Indian PM Narendra Modi, at UNGA)
(27 September 2014)
Recognizing its universal appeal and its efficacy, The United Nations declared 21 June as International Yoga Day in December 2014. The celebration of International Day of Yoga (IDY) occurs in India, USA, Canada, Europe, the Middle East, China, Australia, and some other countries of South Asia including Pakistan.
How to participate in International Day of Yoga?
Every citizen of the world and every country of the world can participate in the movement. Due to coronavirus lockdown, people cannot go outside for yoga and exercise. From the comfort of your home, you can join online yoga classes and take part in awareness activities. The Government of India takes a special interest in promoting this IDY by arranging grand yoga classes.
There are the following ideas which you can consider to celebrate International Yoga day:
- Arrange a Yoga class with your family members and recreate the feeling of a group class at your home.
- Watch yoga class videos on YouTube and follow the steps.
- Tell your children about yoga and the importance of yoga for their development.
- Share your experiences about yoga and yoga stories with others especially with friends
- Read and share articles about yoga with others using social media platforms.
Today, various forms of yoga are practised by people around the world. The objective to celebrate Yoga around the world is to achieve global health and wellness. India believes in “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” which means “The world is one family” and “Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah Sarve Santu Niramay” which means “may all be at peace, may no one suffer from illness”. The goal of ‘Health for All’ can be achieved only by understanding the core strength of Yoga, following and practising Yoga.
On this International Yoga Day, stretch your body and relax your mind like never before.