International Day of Yoga: 21st June
The first International Day of Yoga was celebrated world-wide on June 21, 2015. On this day Ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy) organised an event to performed 21 Yoga Asanas (Posture) for 35 minutes at Rajpat, New Delhi in which around 35,985 people including dignitaries of 84 nations were presented. The event was clinched Guinness World Records and Ministry of AYUSH was awarded which was received by Minister Shripad Yesso Naik.
The day of International Yoga came into existence when the Honourable Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi call for adopting June 21st as the day of celebration while addressing UN General Assembly on September 27, 2014 wherein he stated:
"Yoga is an invaluable gift of India's ancient tradition. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfilment; 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 the nature. "
Hence, on October 14, 2014 UNGA drafted resolution for the entailment of “International Yoga Day”. “175 nations, including USA, Canada and China co-sponsored the resolution.” It had the "highest number of co-sponsors ever for any UNGA Resolution of such nature."
Brief History of Yoga
Yoga is an immortal cultural outcome of Indian Civilisation that has attributes of both material as well as spiritual upliftment of humanity. The practice of Yoga is believed to have started with the very dawn of civilization. The science of yoga has its origin thousands of years ago, long before the first religions or belief systems were born. In the yogic lore, Shiva is seen as the first yogi or Adiyogi, and the first Guru or Adi Guru.
Thousand years ago, on the banks of the lake Kantisarovar in the Himalayas, Adiyogi poured his profound knowledge into the legendary Saptarishis or "seven sages”. The sages carried this powerful yogic science to different parts of the world, including Asia, the Middle East, Northern Africa and South America. Interestingly, modern scholars have noted and marvelled at the close parallels found between ancient cultures across the globe. However, it was in India that the yogic system found its fullest expression. Agastya, the Saptarishi who travelled across the Indian subcontinent, crafted this culture around a core yogic way of life.
Although, it was practice from pre-Vedic age but it was Maharishi Patanjali who codified and systematised the then existing practices of Yoga, its meaning and its related knowledge through his Yoga Sutras. After Patanjali, many Sages and Yoga Masters contributed greatly for the preservation and development of the field through their well documented practices and literature.
Why 21st June was chosen as day of celebration?
1. The day 21st June was chosen to tribute the Sadhguru who put forth about the importance the day i.e. “On the day of the summer solstice, Adiyogi [the first yogi] turned south and first set his eyes on the Saptarishis or Seven Sages, who were his first disciples to carry the science of yoga to many parts of the world. It is wonderful that June 21 marks this momentous event in the history of humanity.”
2. The date is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and has special significance in many parts of the world.
What does the logo of International Day of Yoga disseminate?
1. International Yoga Day reflects peace and harmony for the humanity.
2. The folding of both hands in the logo reflects the union of individual consciousness with universal consciousness.
3. It also reflects a perfect harmony between mind and body, man and nature and the holistic approach to health and well-being.
4. The green leaves symbolise the nature and blue the fire element. While the brown leaves symbolise the earth element.
5. The sun in the logo symbolises the source of energy and inspiration.
How Yoga is important for Humanity?
1. It has the amazing and natural benefits of yoga.
2. It connects people to the nature by practicing yoga.
3. It reduces the rate of health challenging diseases all over the world.
4. It enhances growth, development and spread peace all through the world.
5. It helps people in their bad situations themselves by getting relief from stress through yoga.
6. It let people know their rights of good health and healthy life style to completely enjoy the highest standard of physical and mental health.
7. To link between protection of health and sustainable health development.
Difference between “Yogi practice” and “Yoga practice”
Yoga practice is describe as “essentially denotes a program of mind-training and meditation issuing in the realization of enlightenment, liberation, or isolation from the world of suffering existence,” at least in ancient terms.
Yogi practice, lies more in the supernatural — i.e., when yogis are able to enter other bodies to expand their consciousness.
Fundamentals of Yoga Sadhana
Yoga works on the level of one’s body, mind, emotion and energy. This has given rise to four broad classifications of Yoga: karma yoga, where we utilize the body; bhakti yoga, where we utilize the emotions; gyana yoga, where we utilize the mind and intelect; and kriya yoga, where we utilize the energy.