Yoga : India’s rendezvous with fitness; Ninth edition of International Yoga Day : 21st June 2023

“Yoga allows you to find an inner peace that is not ruffled and riled by the endless stresses and struggles of life.”   

                        – B.K.S.Iyengar

Yoga – A spiritual practice or physical or both?

As far as I know about Yoga, it is an ancient Indian tryst with Philosophy, Peace of mind and Physical fitness in a go.

It simply means that we are fit only and only when we are maintaining an amicable balance in between soul, soil and surrounding with our body.

History of Yoga : India boasts of.

The history of exercises goes back to humankind thousands of years and the then civilizations have their own versions of physical exercises.

In the third century BCE, the Brahmanical systems of India emphasized on natural therapeutics for different parts of the body.

This all started with the wrestling kind of exercises as described in an ancient book  ‘Malla Yuddha’.

Pre – Buddhist era, before the advent of Christianity, the ‘Yoga Sutras’ by the sage Patanjali describes extensively about the wholesome well-beingness using certain rules and methods of worship, meditation, eating, breathing, thoughts, behavior and physical activities maintaining an equilibrium with inner self to divinity.

Physical fitness : A well deserving personal responsibility.

Who doesn’t know,” Health is wealth.” and also “ A sound mind lives in a sound body.”

People always get confused between being fit and being healthy.

In an era that is too fast and messy at the same time, it is imperative to maintain sound health and a fit body.

Healthy people can be physically unfit just because of the lack of exercise.

Not everyone can afford gym and not everyone has enough time to opt even for free exercise workshops.

It is our own responsibility to save some time for physical activities along with some meditation to combat some stresses of our day to day lives.

And yes, Yoga is here to answer all our needs – exercise, meditation, agility and mental peace.

International Yoga Day : A GOI initiative accepted by UNESCO.

The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed in the 69th session of the general assembly of the UN to dedicate a day to Yoga on June 21 every year.

The proposal got the support from 177 member states and since 2015,International Yoga Day is being celebrated.

21st June being the longest day in the Northern Hemisphere was rightly selected for the International Day of Yoga.

Yoga – Is it a religious practice?

After recognition through the UN, the International Day of Yoga attracted much criticism from varied religious groups and other quarters for touting it as a promotion of Hinduism.

Believe nothing until you find it out for yourself. 

                                                        Swami Vivekananda in Chicago Parliament of Religions,1893

India does have enough inherited knowledge and religion based practices but Yoga is somehow different from them though some Yoga Asanas ( as they are called for their exercise postures) do have chants of some hymns directly connected with Hinduism.

Yoga is a wholesome system and some omissions make it more acceptable by people of other faiths.

Yoga and the famous Indian Yoga Gurus

With a lustrous history dating back to 5000 years, the first one who advocated for it internationally was Swami Vivekananda who presented it as the ‘Science of Mind’ in 1893 in Chicago.

Tirumalai Krishnamacharya is known as the ‘Father of Modern Yoga’.

Swami Sivanand Saraswati, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Swami Rama, B.K.S.Iyengar, Swami Kavalyananda, Krishna Pattabhi Jois and Baba Ramdev.

Many more Yoga experts are putting all efforts to take it to new avenues.

Munger in Bihar ( India ) has a full-fledged Yoga institution named as Bihar School of Yoga established in 1963 by Sri Swami Satyanand Saraswati.

Conclusion : Relevance of Yoga 

At a time like this when the atmosphere is so demanding, personal life in dire need of care, professional life is looking for motivation every now and then, managing and balancing everything is what everyone wants but fails somewhere, Yoga is an answer, Yoga is a method, Yoga is a coolant amid many frustrating situations.

It may be not everyone can join the expensive exercise groups or gyms but Yoga can be done by amateur persons too by just going through some videos that are easily available in online platforms.

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