Yoga is an age-old practice that took birth in the diverse land of India. Off late yoga has acquired an increasing audience in the West, with many Hollywood celebrities taking it up.
While it is proven that yoga does wonders for the body in terms of physical health and flexibility, a lot of people don’t know that yoga has some marvellous psychological effects also.
With such incredible benefits, there was no doubt that such a beneficial practice should be taken more seriously and encouraged in different parts of the world.
Before Narendra Modi has spoken about the importance of Yoga and why it must be recognised in the international forum, Yoga was merely like another art form which people practiced for their growth. But, with PM Modi’s continuous emphasis on the need of this ancient Indian tradition, Yoga has now become much more. He wanted to ensure that Yoga becomes a norm and not just something people practice sometimes. His vision was to see Yoga as an essential element in every individual’s life. To fulfill this extremely important dream he suggested to the UN that 21st June be declared as the International Yoga Day all over the world. This would make sure that enough awareness is spread about this refreshing and rejuvenating art form, and that Yoga becomes a critical part of everyone’s lifestyle.
Since 2015, International Yoga Day has been celebrated annually every 21st June, and all over the world, people gather in huge numbers to practice Yoga together. The date was chosen to coincide with the Summer Solstice, which makes this day the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere.
The very first Yoga Day was celebrated with great pomp and fare in Delhi at Raj Path. PM Modi who was also an attendee had led the way and performed about 21 yoga asanas- which also helped to create two Guinness World Records- one record was recreated for hosting the most number of people for Yoga, while the other was created for having the most number of nationalities taking part in it. Along with Modi, there were several other politicians and celebrities who showed the common folk how important and essential Yoga is.
Over the years the attendees on this day have only grown and people from all over the world come to India to take part in this brilliant initiative.
With such great celebrations, India paved the way for several other countries like the US to follow and have their own International Yoga Day celebrations. Yoga is such a practice that has the power to traverse through social, class, caste and global boundaries. With the advent of the International Yoga Day, such crossing over boundaries is more visible than ever.
This year’s Yoga Day preparations have already started with a bang with celebrities and even politicians joining the bandwagon and promoting the importance of the day. PM Modi himself has posted a few videos doing Yoga Poses while talking about the benefits of said poses. From education institutes like CBSE, NCERT to forming a Common Yoga Protocol, everyone has started with the grand preparations. The Common Yoga Protocol is more like a rulebook formulated by the Yoga Gurus, about how long one session should be or what asanas should be practiced.
This will not only ensure uniformity but also it makes sure that the asanas are practiced properly and the full benefits and the beautiful experience of performing Yoga are attained. This wondrous main event will be held in Ranchi this time around. Every year the venue for the main event changes- last year it was Rishikesh, prior to which it was Lucknow. However, there will be events all over the different states in India and even in schools and offices to celebrate this pious day.
India, who is also the motherland of the art of Yoga, is one of the best places to actually immerse yourself and learn the ways of Yoga. If you are really looking forward to celebrating this International Yoga Day in India then there are some wonderful places where Yoga in is the air.
Rishikesh, which is also one of India’s holiest hamlet, is also home to so many yoga institutions and ashrams that will surely make you fall in love with Yoga. Often called the Yoga Capital of India, nothing can beat the feeling of practicing Yoga in the serene and pollution free atmosphere of Rishikesh. As you stare at the dense trees and start with your Yoga you will find your lungs filling with the purest of air that will cleanse you from inside out. The feeling here is magical, and you will feel fulfilled after practicing a healthy dose of Yoga in this lovely town. The International Yoga Day here is celebrated with thousands of people gathering and practicing mass Yoga. You will feel motivated just by being in the presence of such wonderful people. Rishikesh even hosted the main event for the 2018 International Yoga Day.
If you want to practice yoga with a view then head over to God’s own country- Kerala. The landscapes here are so scenic and majestic you will find yourself experiencing something more than just bending your body into poses. As you overlook the beautiful backwaters and inhale a deep satisfying breath, you will feel that your senses are heightened and all your worries are evaporating. With the mindfulness of Yoga and the fresh air of Kerala, you will feel alive like never before.
Another Yoga haven in India has to be the spiritual city of Auroville. The moment you enter this city your nose will be flooded with the aroma of several incense sticks that pop up in this ashram city. Practicing Yoga here is more of a spiritual experience than a physical experience. Auroville has this amazing gift of putting your mind to ease the moment you enter here. This is the perfect place for you to open up your mind, practice some Yoga and let yourself introspect through Yoga. If you are not a fan of mass Yoga and would like to practice your Yoga in your own personal space then there is certainly no better way to celebrate International Yoga Day than by being here.
Yoga is a beautiful practice that has the practice to open your mind, make you know yourself better and heal you from the inside. It is not merely an exercise like running that primarily involves the physique of a person. Yoga is a merger and a beautiful confluence of the mind and the body. The international Yoga Day is the perfect initiative to bring this quality of Yoga out to the whole world.
The Day allows everyone to practice or at least see the mystical effects of Yoga and how critical it is to our life. Day is a step towards promoting Yoga in every household as a norm that is followed every day without fail. This International Yoga Day lets pledge to head over to our nearest Yoga event and perform some magical asanas along with the all wide world.