A Journey towards Health and Harmony on International Yoga Day- History, Facts, Benefits & Celebration

Updated January 15, 2023

International Yoga Day is celebrated on June 21, every year. The word ‘yoga’ has been derived from the Sanskrit words ‘Yuj’ and ‘Yujir’ meaning ‘Together’ or ‘ To Unite’. Yoga is not about exercising or stretching only, it is beyond that. Many different meanings can be created from the word ‘Yoga’ like the unity of soul, mind, and body, togetherness of thoughts & actions, and so on.

There are many ways of relaxing, some of which are healthier than others. Some peoples enjoy a glass of wine, some prefer to doze off in front of the television, while others prefer active activities. Yoga is one of the most effective and ancient methods for releasing tension in both the mind and body.

Performing yoga can have multiple benefits including reducing mental stress, maintaining balance, increasing stamina, and developing physical and muscular strength. Every year in June, the International Day of Yoga is celebrated to raise public awareness about the indispensable benefits of Yoga and its impact on people’s lives.

If you are a theist, then practicing yoga can connect your body, mind, and soul to god. On Yoga Day, people from all over the world assemble in various locations such as yoga studios, playgrounds, stadiums, and parks to practice yoga together.

History of International Yoga Day

On International Yoga Day, people around the world take out their yoga mats and start exercising, but many may not be aware that yoga has a long history. Yoga is a priceless gift from India’s long history, originated in India about 6,000 years ago. It has changed and grown throughout the ages, developing into its own philosophy.

Yoga was created as a technique to unite the mind, body, and spirit in order to advance toward enlightenment. According to Vedas, Lord Shiva was the first Yogi, and he passed on his knowledge of Yoga to the ‘Seven Sages’ (Saptarishis). It is believed that all seven Saptrishis traveled to different parts of the world to spread their knowledge of Yoga.

When Western culture started showing interest in Eastern culture and its philosophy in the 19th century, yoga eventually came to their attention. Soon after, Swami Vivekananda travelled to Europe and the US as the first Hindu instructor to actively promote and explain yoga to a western audience.

On September 27, 2014, the idea of International Yoga Day was first proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly. On December 11, 2014, the UNGA (UN General Assembly) officially declared 21 June as ‘International Yoga Day.

The date of June 21 was chosen because it is the Summer Solstice, the day of the year when the sun reaches its highest position in the sky (for areas outside of the tropics) and is the day with the longest period of daylight.

Overall, 177 countries signed on to declare June 21 as International Yoga Day, the biggest number of co-sponsors for any UN resolution.

On June 21, 2015, the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, along with many high-profile political personalities and nearly 36,000 people from around the world, performed 21 asanas (yoga poses) for 35 minutes in New Delhi.

What are the Benefits of Yoga?

When it comes to Yoga, there are plenty of things to rave about. Yoga encompasses a wide range of contemplative and self-disciplined activities, including chanting, mantra, breath, meditation, prayer, work, ritual, and even selfless action.

Although the science behind yoga’s health advantages is still in its infancy, the majority of the available data seems to confirm what practitioners have reportedly known for thousands of years: Yoga is incredibly good for our overall well-being.

Some benefits of Yoga are:

  1. Betters your bone health
  2. Helps keep you drug-free
  3. Guides your body’s healing in your mind’s eye (mental benefits of yoga)
  4. Keeps allergies and viruses at bay
  5. Increases your blood flow
  6. Drains your lymph and boosts immunity
  7. Increases your heart rate
  8. Builds awareness for transformation
  9. Improves your flexibility
  10. Protects your spine
  11. Drops your blood pressure
  12. Makes you happier
  13. Founds a healthy lifestyle
  14. Builds muscle strength
  15. Perfects your posture
  16. Regulates your adrenal glands
  17. Prevents cartilage and joint breakdown
  18. Lowers blood sugar
  19. Boosts your immune system functionality
  20. Helps you focus
  21. Relaxes your system
  22. Prevents IBS and other digestive problems
  23. Gives your lungs room to breathe
  24. Increases your self-esteem
  25. Eases your pain
  26. Improves your balance
  27. Releases tension in your limbs
  28. Maintains your nervous system
  29. Helps you sleep deeper
  30. Gives you inner strength

How to celebrate International Yoga Day?

International Yoga Day is celebrated on June 21st each year and there are several ways to celebrate it. Some of the ways to celebrate International Yoga Day include:

  • Attend a yoga class or workshop: Many yoga studios and community centers around the world offer special classes and workshops to celebrate International Yoga Day.
  • Host a yoga event: Organize a yoga event in your community and invite friends and family to participate.
  • Practice yoga at home: Take some time to practice yoga at home by following a video or tutorial.
  • Spread awareness about the benefits of yoga: Share information and resources about the benefits of yoga with friends and family and encourage them to give yoga a try.
  • Organize a yoga charity event: Use International Yoga Day as an opportunity to raise awareness and funds for a cause you care about by organizing a yoga charity event.
  • Participate in online events and webinars hosted by yoga organizations and communities.
  • Share your yoga experience on social media platforms and participate in online discussions.

These are just a few ways to celebrate International Yoga Day. The most important thing is to find a way that feels meaningful and enjoyable to you.

10 Amazing Facts on International Yoga Day

  1. There are more than a hundred styles of yoga.
  2. The Yoga mat was invented in 1982
  3. 72% of yoga practitioners are women.
  4. People aged between 30 to 49 years old practice yoga more than any other age group.
  5. In 2016 there were over 52,000 registered yoga teachers.
  6. There are close to one billion #yoga posts on Instagram!
  7. Research has shown that practicing yoga can delay aging.
  8. Yoga is one of the oldest physical disciplines in the world.
  9. Yoga was originally practiced as a form of healing.
  10. Yoga can work every muscle in your body.
  11. Yoga is not just a physical practice, it also includes mental and spiritual elements.
  12. Yoga has been found to have a positive impact on mental health, physical health, and overall well-being.
  13. Yoga has been found to be beneficial for conditions such as anxiety, depression, and chronic pain.
  14. Yoga is now practiced in more than 190 countries around the world.
  15. The International Day of Yoga is celebrated by millions of people in various countries, through mass yoga events, yoga competitions, and other yoga-related activities.
  16. Yoga is a practice that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, cultures, and abilities.
  17. Yoga is not just a form of exercise; it is a lifestyle that promotes balance, harmony, and well-being.
  18. The United Nations has recognized the potential of yoga in promoting peace and harmony, which is why it has declared June 21st as International Yoga Day.

Most Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What does Om mean?

Ans: Om is the fundamental sound of the universe; by chanting it, we may tune into that sound and recognize our interconnectedness with everything in the world and the universe.

Q. How can I begin to practice yoga?

Ans: There is no incorrect way to start. You can look online for nearby gyms or yoga studios that offer yoga classes, or you can practice at home with some calming music and video tutorials.

Q. What kind of equipment do I need to practice yoga?

Ans: The most important equipment is flexible athletic clothing and a yoga mat.

Reads Beyond International Yoga Day Under Awareness

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