International Yoga Day

A brief background to the International Yoga Day

It was on September 27, 2014 while addressing the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly our Honorable Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi proposed the world community to adopt an International Day for Yoga. In his words, ???Yoga is an invaluable gift from our ancient tradition. It embodies unity of mind and body. It is not just an exercise but a holistic approach towards our health and well being??? .This resolution was endorsed by 175 member states and 21 June was declared as the International Yoga Day.

What is Yoga?

Yoga is a mental, physical and spiritual practice that originated in India. It is an ancient practice. The word Yoga means Unity which symbolizes the unity of mind and body. It works on all the levels of the body including mind, body, energy and emotion. It is an easy and safe way to stay fit and healthy forever. It just need to be practiced regularly with right body movement and breathing. It regularizes the functioning of all the organs in the body and prevents our body to get disturbed due to some unhealthy situation. This is the message that the International Yoga Day wants to spread between people.

Ideally practicing yoga regularly in the morning provides outer and inner relief. It keeps away the countless ailments at both physical and mental level. Practicing the various Asanas strengthens the body and mind creating a feeling of well being. It sharpens the mind, improves brainpower and help in high level of concentration. The feeling of well being enhances the social well being. Improved concentration level creates inner peace to the mind. Yoga is a philosophy which develops self-discipline and self awareness within regular practice.

5 basic Yoga poses for beginners to do on this International Yoga Day:

1. Balasana (The Child???s Pose)

Kneel and bring your chest down onto your thighs and your forehead to the floor. Your arms should stretch by your side with your hands next to your feet. Slowly breathe in through your nose and notice the back of the chest expanding and the ribs widening. As you exhale try to sink the buttocks back down toward the heels feeling the spine gently bend over the thighs. Stay here for 5-10 breaths, or however long feels good for you.

Benefits:

  • Releases tension in the back, shoulders and chest
  • Helps ease stress and anxiety
  • Flexes the internal organs and keeps them flexible
  • Regulates circulation in the body
  • Cools the mind and body

 

2. Bidalasana (The Cat Pose)

Move into a tabletop pose with the wrists directly below the shoulders and knees below the hips. Push the palms into the mat to make sure your shoulder blades are broad.
While inhaling, look forward and reach the tailbone toward the sky. While exhaling tuck the chin to the chest and reach the tailbone to the floor. Continue through this movement. Allow the breath to lead and feel the entire spine being massaged. Try to keep the creases of the elbows facing each other to protect the joint from hyperextension.
Breathe through 5 rounds.

Benefits:

  • Develops posture and balance
  • Strengthens the spine
  • Stretches the hips, abdomen and back
  • Increases body synchronization
  • Massages organs like stomach, kidneys and adrenal glands

 

3. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Dog Pose)

Take the palms a little wider than shoulder width, tuck the toes and lift the hips into the air. The chest moves back toward the thighs. Relax the head and keep the arms straight. Roll the shoulders away from the ears. Bend the knees and start to walk with one heel down at a time. It is important to keep the hips high than to get the soles of the feet to the ground.

Benefits:

  • Builds strong bones.
  • Fights slumpy-posture syndrome
  • provide a great ankle and calf stretch
  • Increases blood flow to face and brain
  • It opens up sinuses and clears nasal congestion.

 

4. Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bent Pose)

Walk your feet toward the hands and let the upper body hang. The neck and head should be relaxed and the knees should be bent to start with. As you inhale find stretch through the spine and while exhaling move the head slowly towards the feet.
Breathe 10 rounds here.

Benefits:

  • Stretches hips, hamstrings, and calves.
  • Keeps the spine strong.
  • Releases stress, anxiety, depression, and fatigue.
  • Calms the mind and the nerves.
  • Activates the abs muscles.

 

5. Trikonasana (Triangle Pose)

From the standing position, widen your to about a leg-length. Turn the right foot out to the side, so that the heel is aligned with the centre arch of the left foot. Keeping the arms parallel to the ground reach out to the right side. Keep both legs straight with the thighs engaged. When you can???t reach any further, align the arms so that they are in one line. The chest remains open and the torso stretches. Breathe 5 rounds here and then repeat on the other side.

Benefits:

  • Improves the function of blood through body.
  • Strengthens the hips, back, arms, thighs and leg.
  • Reduces blood pressure and stress.
  • heal indigestion.
  • Calms the mind and reduces anxiety.

 

Approximately 200 million people around the world practice yoga, majority of them in India, and over 20 million in the United States. With the motion for an International Yoga Day, more people will become aware of the system of yoga and will be encouraged to follow a spiritual life style, a life that is healthy. Let this be a grand opening for the world community to realize the worth of oneness .

Let???s take this oath to stay healthy with peace and make this International Yoga Day a day of harmony.

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