Guest blog by Sarah Thomas Pilcher
Thursday, June 21 2018 is International Day of Yoga
How did the International Day of Yoga get started?! It began where yoga began… in India. It was officially established by the current Prime Minister of India Mr. Narendra Modi during a 2014 UNGA speech. This initiative was the first by any country to be proposed and implemented by the United Nations within 90 days. It was adopted by the general assembly to provide a holistic approach for health and well-being.
“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 the nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help in well being. Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day.” — Narendra Modi
In India, teaching is the noblest profession. When someone passes their knowledge, it is an honor. I have been privileged enough to study under some great masters. Even though the language of instruction is English in India and America, there is a big difference in how yoga teachers instruct a class in each country. Most Indian teachers’ instructions are limited to the alignment, breathing patterns, focus of the mind and other guidelines around the asana and its benefits. The language used is plain and simple. In America, I’ve noticed how the yoga language is different for many teachers. Some speak about healing, relationships, heart opening, pain, sorrow, joy and trauma, among other things. Yet, different things work for different people. Like the Bhagavad Gita says, “there are as many yogas as there are people.”
Yoga is more than just burning calories and toning the body. It is a mind-body workout where strengthening and stretching poses along with deep breathing techniques relax the mind and body. There are more than 100 different forms of yoga. Yoga is an invaluable gift of ancient Indian tradition. It embodies unity of mind and body, action, restraint and fulfillment; harmony between mankind and nature. Indeed, it is a holistic approach to health and well-being.
So grab a mat or practice on the grass and enjoy International Yoga Day!