Yoga has often been described as the elixir of life. A complex mixture of poses, asanas, exercises and breathing techniques, Yoga is an art of disciplining the body and mind, towards a higher purpose of getting closer to the Almighty. However, Yoga has a large number of health benefits too, due to which it is been increasingly adopted by peoples and nations across the globe. On 21st June, over 192 countries, including 44 Islamic countries celebrated International Yoga Day, in diverse corners of the world.
Yoga was originated in India approximately 5,000 years ago. Its precise instructions and techniques were initially laid down by Sage Patanjali and was later passed on through different traditions and channels of history. Thus, Yoga has always been present in the fabric of Indian society through ages and it has been for long practiced by holy men, sages, renunciates, priests and even common men for the keeping their body and mind healthy and active.
However, it has only been recently that its importance and significance has been realized by peoples and nations outside the borders of India. Principally through the efforts of the Indian Government and particularly through exertions of many Yoga Gurus who have travelled to the west spreading this ancient science, Yoga has been known by citizens in the remote parts of the globe, although on a minor scale.
11th December, 2014 was a historic day for India when United Nations through its general resolution proclaimed 21st June as International Yoga Day, citing its wide appeal. This was not only a successful projection of India’s soft power, but a popular recognition of the relevance and significance of the age-old wisdom and knowledge of India in the modern world.
Since its proclamation by the UNGA, Indian Government has taken on vigorous action to promote and publicize Yoga on still wider scale. In fact, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself has thrown in his weight for the advocating the importance of Yoga. On 21st June, 2015, the prime minister created history by joining thousands of his countrymen on Raj-path engaging in subtle techniques of Yoga, devised to create harmony between man and nature.
Yoga is a wonderful way to discover the inner peace and become more sensitive towards happiness and well-being of our environment around, including the animals. Thus, it is essential to include Yoga in our daily lives and also encourage others to join this remarkable endeavor. Wishing everyone a Happy International Yoga Day