Why international yoga day is celebrated on the 21st of June? The 21st of June is the longest day in the northern hemisphere. From the point of view of yoga, this day has a special significance as well. It is believed that it is on this summer solstice day that Lord Shiva began imparting the knowledge of yoga to the world. This is the reason why the Prime Minister of India, Mr. Narendra Modi, recommended 21st June to be observed as the international yoga day. Yoga: India’s gift to the world Even before there was an official day dedicated to the practice of yoga, this ancient Indian practice was quite popular in the West as well as the other parts of the world. In fact, the introduction of yoga to the west can be traced back to Swami Vivekananda’s speech at the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago. Thereafter through the exchange of the people, ideas, and goods, yoga flourished beyond India. Benefits in COVID19 Before I go into explaining how yoga can help during pandemics like COVID19, here is what I want to talk about. How does a pandemic affect us? Apart from being a physical threat pandemic affects you mentally and emotionally. The constant fear of being infected, the continued concern about the wellbeing of your loved ones, and the nonstop news update on the rising numbers of those suffering from coronavirus infection – all this can take a major toll on one’s sanity. Add to this being confined in your homes with limited interaction with the outside world. The icing on the cake is the new trend of work from home (WFH). While on the one hand, WFH is the best solution to not only keep one occupied but also help stabilize the economy – there is no denying to the fact that working in an isolated atmosphere is pretty daunting. It is in these conditions that we look for ways in which we can maintain our sanity and stay healthy and happy at the same. Yoga by virtue of being beyond just a physical exercise calms the mind, gives you the time and space for some soul searching, and most of all focuses on connecting with your own inner-self. Apart from yogic practices like asanas and pranayamas, hatha yoga is something that even beginners can do and benefit. One major complaint of every person WFH, in front of their computers, is that of backache. Long working hours in chairs that are not meant to give your back the much-needed support can lead to this condition. Yoga can rescue you from your pain. Bitiliasana also known as the cat-cow pose is the best move to get your back, back on track. Sleeplessness is another major complaint in this lockdown period. Apart from meditation with om chanting, viparita karni or the legs-up the wall pose also is what you have to do get your sleep pattern regular. This pose not only relaxes you but improving the blood circulation throughout your body balances all your chakras. I can perhaps write hundreds of words more on how yoga can help you overcome anxiety and stress. Yet the only thing which I want to highlight is that this is perhaps one of the most economically and no nonsensical way of bringing your health back on track. || Samatvam Yoga Uchyate || Uchyate = Said to be Samatvam = Balanced state The above-given line is from the Bhagavad Gita. Here Lord Krishna defines yoga as “a balanced state” of both body and mind. If you think about it, balance is what we need in these rather daunting times. The year 2020 will go down as one of the most dreaded years in human history. A tiny virus has brought the entire human race on its knees. It has destroyed economies; it has exposed how fragile we all really are… and most all, the COVID19 pandemic has shown the need to balance the requirements of our body and mind. I am glad that the discourse of international yoga day this year will no longer be about maintaining a healthy body. Rather what we all need is a change in our lifestyle and life choices. What makes this yoga day unique is also the fact that yogis from several parts of the globe will unite through virtual platforms and perform the best of the yoga asanas in tandem. Watch: Mindful Yoga Due to its benefits, many organizations encourage their employees to practice yoga on a daily basis. There are several companies that have one workday a week dedicated to practicing yoga with colleagues. This international yoga day is all about learning to go back to your roots and practicing the time tested ancient wisdom. Happy yoga day to all of you. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti! Vocabulary Bhagavad Gita: Also known as Gita or “Song of the Lord” is among the most important texts of Hinduism. Composed of 18 chapters with 700 verses, the Bhagavad Gita will lead to an understanding of God, truth, purpose, and liberation. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti!: Recited at the end of a traditional yoga class or a Vedic prayer. The word Shanti is recited three times to pray for peace in the face of the three sources of suffering mentioned in the ancient Hindu scriptures. (The three sources of suffering are: i. of divine origin, ii. originated in the physical and material being, iii. created by ourselves.) Mastering India focuses on blending various methods of learning (blended learning) through its online courses, events, and travel-based experiences. We give you an insight into the rich culture and heritage of the world’s biggest democracy – India. At Mastering India we are driven towards building awareness around India and help you understand the growth opportunities in this country. The post Yoga: The Ancient Panacea to Modern Maladies appeared first on Masteringindia.