International Day of Yoga is celebrated on 21st of June every year around the globe.
"Yoga For Humanity" is the theme for this year.
United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres said that this year's theme is a reminder that Yoga is for everyone and is truly universal. He added that Yoga has helped people during the Covid-19 pandemic, providing an important means of coping with the challenges of social isolation and stress.
The United Nations General Assembly declared this day to be of special significance in 2014, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's meaningful speech. 21st June has been selected also because it is believed that on this day, the first yogi or the Adiyogi turned towards south and looked at the Seven Sages known as the Saptarishis. The Saptarishis were his first disciples who contributed in spreading the science of Yoga in various parts of the world. Therefore this day holds much importance in the history of humanity.
On this purposeful day, we need to ask ourselves some questions to build our sense of connection and deepen our understanding of the unfolding practice of Yoga,
How does this reflect in our practice?
So many of you have been on this journey with me for the past 6 - 7 years; you have attended umpteen classes with me, month after month, year after year!!
We have stretched, moved, twisted, breathed, laughed, felt the body in a deeper way, connected to this Breath in a deeper way, felt that Deep Relaxation at the end of class, experienced the quietness within when the chatter of the mind has dissolved, maybe, just for a brief moment..
How do we maintain this connection, this purpose, this significance as we step into the mat today, tomorrow and for this Lifetime?
- Take this moment to reflect on your Journey on the mat for the past years
- As the day begins tomorrow, maybe take a few mindful breaths
- How did you begin? What was your spark , your 'AHA' moment on the mat?
- Connect to this body, imperfect, flawed, but yours for this lifetime.
- Did you sustain that inner spark? Did you allow your practice to engage, not just your body, but your mind & heart? If not, can you overcome the numerous reasons of resistance the mind offers, and take the step back on the mat? What's preventing You from doing that?
- Have you started to develop a sense of Compassion and Maitri (friendliness) towards this human body? Practicing with Ahimsa / Less Suffering is an important reminder in today's perfect pose/perfect body world of social media onslaught!
- Are you able to detach, just a little, from negative energies, and naysayers and focus on your well-being?
- Are you working on accepting this human condition - fraught with change, noticing random points of pain, the niggling sense of the passage of time, the inevitable looming cloud of aging of this body?
Is it possible to work with all these changes in a compassionate way?
Is it possible to ponder, reflect, introspect and pause for a few moments and feel your innermost answers percolate to the surface?
That's the only practice of Yoga that will sustain You for your consequential journey of this lifetime.
That's the true meaning of the International Day of Yoga. Do you agree? :)