Image - Prasanth Inturi
International Yoga Day is celebrated to raise worldwide awareness of the many benefits of practicing yoga.
On 11th December 2014, the United Nations declared 21st June as the International Day of Yoga by passing a resolution.
The draft resolution establishing the International Day of Yoga was proposed by India and endorsed by 175 member states. It was first introduced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address at the opening of the 69th General Assembly, in which he said: “Yoga is an invaluable gift from our ancient tradition. Yoga embodies unity of mind and body, thought and action ... a holistic approach that is valuable to our health and our well-being. Yoga is not just about exercise; it is a way to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature.”
Yoga is a way of life, a way of living and it is a very powerful path to beating the uncertainty , isolation and social distancing woes that the current Covid-19 pandemic has brought about; thereby maintaining physical and mental well-being.
The pranayama techniques that forms a very integral part of yoga practice is most beneficial to maintaining lung and respiratory health. The important techniques have been described in my earlier blog post - Best Pramayama Techniques .
Apart from this, meditation further helps boost immunity by lowering stress levels, reducing fear and helps bring about clarity in our life. It is a well known fact that stress and fear beats down heavily on our immune system...and it is this very immune system that we need to strengthen and safeguard to keep Covid-19 from infiltrating our bodies.
Simple way to start Meditation -
Best time to do it is first thing in the morning. Put your alarm for 10 minutes , to start with. Sit comfortably on a straight back chair. Close your eyes and take some slow deep breaths.
Just keep your focus on your breath. Thought will come and go, but keep coming back to your breath.
Do this eveyday, in the same place, at about the same time, and with 3-4, you'll be finding yourself drawn to do it. Slowly increase your time moving forward. Like everything else, this too is a habit that needs to be formed.
So as we celebrate this Day of Yoga, let us keep in mind that EVERYDAY IS YOGA DAY. Practice yoga, more pranayama and meditation than asanas, everyday. Treat it as your daily vitamin pill and lets protect ourself and everyone around us paving the way to a healthy future.
Further reading -
Keeping mind and body fit through Covid-19 pandemic and beyond
Managing anxiety, stress and isolation during lockdown