The United Nations declared in 2014 that June 21st would every year be marked as International Yoga Day. Ever since, the day of the summer solstice, June 21, is celebrated world over with people rolling out their mats and breathing deep, bending forward and back as they go through a couple of Surya Namaskars and other postures, ending with lying down to relax in the corpse pose or Shavasana.
As an effort at promoting Yoga, the day does its job, and on June 21 at least, many of us have breathed better than in the entire year so far, and experienced that yummy feeling that comes with alternating a flexion with a stretch.
But what about the rest of the year? And what about creating awareness about authentic Yoga, which is beyond the alternate flexion and stretching that we do as we get in and out of a pose?
At Pratimoksha, our endeavour has always been to educate those who come to us to learn, that Yoga is beyond the physical. You use the physical initially, but it’s a path to reach the deeper as yet unaccessed parts of your mind and your spirit, opening them up to introspection and discipline.
This Yoga day, in view of the pandemic, the theme set was ‘Be with Yoga, Be At Home’. At no time has Yoga been more relevant than today as we battle a respiratory disease that in its ugliest form ravages our lungs. With Yoga’s holistic approach, emphasis on breathing, and its higher practices such as meditation and Yoga Nidra, it is possible to use Yoga to sooth your mind of anxiety, stress and depressive thoughts and feelings, even while nourishing the body.
What is Yoga?
The word Yoga derives from the Sanskrit word Yuj, meaning to unite or join, thus alluding to the unity of the physical and mental states. Many seem to believe that Yoga is something magical, that you can attain mystical powers through its practice. Others associate Yoga with flexibility and getting into a headstand or handstand at will! And that having attained these, you are a Yogi in the truest sense.
However, these are misconceptions to a very large extent. Traditional and pure Yoga is a process of discovering your true self by working on your body, your breath and your mind. It leads you towards a true co-existence with the universal power, in the process providing you with peace and contentment.
The benefits you gain with Yoga
Improves Blood Circulation: With better blood circulation comes a better distribution of oxygen and vital nutrients throughout the body
Improves Posture: This comes naturally as there is a lot of emphasis on keeping the spine straight, particularly when sitting for breathwork and meditation. Poses are always coupled with counterposes and this helps in maintaining body balance and working equally on all parts. And all the Asanas help in strengthening major muscle groups.
Reduces Stress: Through your breath you can work on both hemispheres of your brain, calming yourself when you are under stress and anxious. Alternatively if you are feeling low and drained, your breath can once again be harnessed to give yourself more energy and vitality to carry on with the day’s tasks. Thus through Yoga you can equip yourself with techniques to reduce stress, stay calm and think better at all times.
Nourishes Internal Organs: Yoga has around 84 poses and each offers benefits for specific organs and helps improve the overall functioning of the system.
Better Immunity: With Yoga nourishing every part of the body and mind, it follows that our immune system gets the optimum environment to stay strong and healthy and on guard against disease.
Among other benefits of Yoga are improved sleep, awareness, focus and concentration.
So don’t make Yoga a one-off event. Use International Yoga Day to jumpstart your practice. Build a consistent practice and experience the transformation that takes place within you.
It’s the best gift you can give yourself.
For help and guidance to start you off, visit our studio in Dubai to experience the ‘Pratimoksha way of Yoga’.
Enlighten Yoga Center, Pratimoksha, is at the forefront of efforts to break the pattern of teaching ‘Yoga for weight-loss’ and to bring authentic and traditional teaching of Yoga to our communities. We are known for our Yoga Alliance certified RYT500 and RYT200 Teacher Training Course that have successfully trained 3 batches of teachers. We are also well-known for our Yoga therapy sessions. For more information, call us today at 050-395-5613.