The United Nations Declared June 21st As International Yoga Day Or World Yoga Day. This came after India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi had urged the World community to celebrate Yoga at the international level. He had said, “Yoga is an invaluable gift of our ancient tradition. It is not about exercise, it’s a path through which an individual can discover his sense of oneness with nature. It embodies unity, unity of the mind and the body, thought and action, restraint and fulfilment. On the whole, it’s a holistic approach to health and well being.”
The 21st of June is a historic day. It illustrates that people from all walks of life and all backgrounds are embracing Yoga all over the World. It is estimated that close to 200 million people around the World practice Yoga (of some form or the other), a majority of them in India, and over 20 million of them in the United States alone. With the creation of International Yoga Day, more people will become aware of the benefits of Yoga and will be encouraged to follow a Yogic life style, a life that is healthy, humble and devout. The goal of International Yoga day is – The World Will Be One.
The reason why the 21st of June was chosen is because it is the Summer Solstice, and from the perspective of Yoga, it marks the transition in the Sun’s celestial passage from north to south. This is Summer’s height, midsummer, the longest day and the shortest night of the Earth’s solar year. On that day we celebrate the completion of the cycle that began at the Winter Solstice.
In the midst of the longest day of the year, we simultaneously begin our return to the dark half of the year. Solstice means “Standing Of The Sun” we can celebrate and connect to this great turning point in the Earth’s yearly cycle by taking a moment to stop, be still and look back and remember our days since the Winter Solstice. We can use this time to focus on what we wish to nurture and develop in ourselves during the coming months. The Summer Solstice is a doorway into the second half of the year.
Stand, look up and ask yourself what you wish to encourage in your life? As a lover of Yoga I urge you to join this historic moment and to celebrate the upcoming International Yoga Day. Check with your local Yoga studios to find a time and place to join in the celebration.