International Yoga Day
Yoga is a life science. Yoga is a practice of coordinating physical body, mind and inner soul together. It is a science of regulating the physical body and mind. It also gives the divine feel for those who approached yoga spiritually. It helps control the thoughts and body. In simple words yoga is tool or fuel to regulate the body to run a healthy and happy life. There are different kinds of yoga, but all the techniques (sutras) are dealt with the proper breathing, slow physical movements. The aim of Yoga is that, to get awareness of processes and changes happening in our own body.
Yoga is originated from the ancient India. We have a textual reference about Yoga on the Vedic period in Rigveda. Sage Patanjali, who compiled the Yoga Sutras (Yoga techniques) on 400 CE. Yoga is not just a physical exercise like stretching, turning, breathing and twisting, the yoga is a key to unfolding the potential of the human. Even though Yoga is existing from 1st millennium CE, it gained some importance in the 20th century only. United Nations General Assembly declared June 21st as an International Yoga day on 11 Dec 2014.
Science of Yoga
Types of Yoga
The yoga sutras are varied based on the practicing methods. There are several kinds of such as
Yin etc.. You can find ‘n’ number of yogas.
Here I have given some major types alone. You can get more on the internet.
Ashtanga Yoga (Eight limbs yoga step)
Patanjali detailed about the Ashtanga yoga in his work. Ashtanga Yoga has systematically practiced steps. Ashta means Eight and Anga mean limbs, so this yoga consists of 8 steps. That are
Yama : - It is about the principles of human life
Niyama : - It means the personal disciplines
Asana :- Yoga techniques and yoga positions
Pranayama :- breathing control
Prathyahara :- Mental preparation- free the mind from other aspects
Dharana:- Focusing on a specific object
Dhyan : It is meditation process
Samadhi: - Resting position- lie on the floor without any movement
“Hatha” the word gives a meaning of forceful or willful. It is a most popularized yoga. Hatha yoga is consist of physical movements, which comprises of asanas (positions), pranayama (breathing), mudras (energy releasing techniques). The hatha yoga prepares a person for the last 4 steps of Ashtanga yoga.
Kundalini yoga is slightly differing from other kinds of yoga. It requires a lot of patience and mind control because it consists of repetitive processes. Kundalini Yoga includes repetitive physical movements, breathing practices while chanting, meditation, mantras. Kundalini yoga is triggering and awakening the six psychic centers in a human body. Every individual has seven psychic points, which is also called as chakras, in their body. Awakening of this requires conscious mind, proper way of chanting, mantra yoga, an effect of mantras.
Mantra or Japa Yoga
Mantra Yoga is a pure science of sound, repetitions, timing, and concentration. The mantra is a sequential combination of sacred words. This yoga practice includes meditation, chanting of mantras with proper pronunciation, timing, focus, the number of repetitions and duration. This yoga creates a divine feel and positive vibration in the body and inner self. Mantra yoga can be practiced in 3 ways such as,
Baikhari – Chanting the mantras loudly
Upanshu - Chanting the mantras low voice
Manasik – chanting mantras silently within ourselves
Fundamentals of Yoga
History of Yoga Day
Yoga wasn’t recognized or didn’t popularize to the world until 2014. Yoga is there in India from the 2nd century. Our old ancestors were expertise in the Yoga techniques (Yoga Sutras), but it was not spread too much to the outer world. The people who were following the Buddhism, Jainism and some people following are used to practice yoga in their day to day life. Late 19th century, yoga got a little recognition because of Swamy Vivekantha. He practiced and he popularized the outcomes of yoga. His followers from all over the world tried to practice yoga and reap the benefits of yoga. He spread the yoga to the world. Since then the yoga schools were started and yoga slowly starts gaining prominence among the people. In the 20th century, the yoga got a better recognition from all over the world. After 1970’s most of the schools in India started practicing Yoga in Drill sessions. The stressful and machine cycle life lead the people to practice yoga to get some relaxation. Yoga helps them to get rid of their stressful mind. Meantime, Yoga training classes and yoga practicing centers are started by the corporates and the famous yoga gurus in India.
On 27th Sep 2014, Indian prime minister Narendra Damodardas Modi addresses on UN General Assembly and proposed about the adoption of yoga day. In 11th Dec 2014, after the call from Indian prime minister, UN general assembly declared June 21st as an International Yoga day. Since 2014, 188 Countries are observing Yoga day on June 21.
There are lots people contributed to popularizing yoga. Here I have given some of the top renowned yoga gurus of modern day yoga.
Swami Vivekananda (12 January 1863 – 4 July 1902)
Swamy Vivekananda is a well-known philosopher and key figure who introduced Vedanta and Yoga to the western countries such as America and European countries.
Swami Sivananda Saraswati (8 September 1887 to 14 July 1963)
Swami Sivananda Saraswati was a doctor and well-known teacher of Yoga and Vedanta. He wrote more than 200 books about yoga, Vedanta, and many other subjects. He found the spiritual organization which is named as “THE DEVINE LIFE SOCIETY” which follows 6 principles such as Serve, Love, Give, Purify, Meditate and Realize. He listed out the 18 properties which should a saint (Yogi) posses. In that, he placed Humor in the first position. He introduced Trimurti Yoga (Yoga of Trinity) by combining Hatha Yoga, Karma Yoga and Master Yoga.
Tirumalai Krishnamacharya (November 18, 1888 – February 28, 1989)
Tirumalai Krishnamacharya is known as the father of modern day yoga. He developed Vinyasa yoga and credited to recovering and popularizing of Hatha yoga. He is also known a healer, it was believed that he had the ability to control the heartbeat. He combined Ayurveda and yoga sutras.
Paramahansa Yogananda (5 January 1893 to 7 March 1952)
Paramahamsa Yoganantha is a spiritual guru and yogi. He is one of the popular teachers of Yoga in western countries. He teaches yoga to millions through his book “The Autobiography of Yogi”.He is the founder of “Kriya Yoga”.
B K S Iyengar (14 December 1918 to 20 August 2014)
B K S Iyengar was considered as one of the world foremost yoga teachers. He was the student of Tirumalai Krishnamacharya. He credited to popularize yoga more than 70 countries. He redefined the Patanjali Yoga Sutras and he gave the new modernized “Iyangar Yoga” to the world. His book “Light of Yoga” is translated into 19 languages with the name “Bible of Yoga”, which sold more than 3 million copies.
Present Yoga Guru’s
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (13 May 1956)
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is an Indian humanitarian leader, ambassador for peace and spiritual teacher. He is the founder of Art of Living foundation which is established around 156 countries. He teaches breathing practice, meditation, and yoga.
Jaggi Vasudev- Sadh Guru (3 September 1957)
Jaggi Vasudev is Indian yogi and spiritual leader. He is the founder of Isha Foundation. He teaches and spread awareness about the Yoga to the people all around the world. His yoga foundation offers yoga program all around the world, which includes India, Canada, Nepal, The United States, Lebanon, The United Kingdom, Australia, Uganda, China, Malaysia, Netherlands, and Singapore. He wrote a book called “Inner Engineering”, which was the best seller of New York Times.
Baba Ramdev (25 December 1965)
Baba Ramdev is a Yoga guru and Businessman. He is a founder of Patanjali Groups, Divya Yog Mandir Trust, and Patanjali Yogpeeth. He promotes yoga through his yoga learning centers and yoga events. He wrote the several books about Yoga and Ayurveda. His books are Prāṇāyāma Rahasya: Secrets of Pranayama with Scientific Factual Evidence, Yog Its Philosophy & Practice, Aushadh Darshan, and Vitality Strengthening Astavarga Plants.
International Yoga day events in India
First International Yoga day - 21 June 2015
First International Yoga day was celebrated around 180 countries. India, USA, Malaysia, Singapore, Canada, China, etc.,.
In India, 37000 people participate in Yoga at Rajpath, Delhi. Honorable Indian Prime Minister Lead the Yoga day event.
Second International Yoga Day - 21 June 2016
Second International Yoga day is celebrated at Chandigarh. 30000 people participated in that yoga and Indian Prime Minister Lead the Yoga day event.
Third International Yoga Day - 21 June 2017
Ramabai Ambedkar Maidan, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
Date and Time: 21.06.2017 6:30am to 7:50am
Lead by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, and Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev.
Expected head counts: 55000 (51000 participated in rehearsal on 19.06.2017)
Date and Time: 21.06.2017 & 7.00 am to 7:45 am
Venue: Lodhi Garden, Nehru Park, Talkatora Garden and Childrens' Park at India Gate.
Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal
10,000 participants (Expected)
Isha Yoga Center, Coimbatore, Tamilnadu
Date and Time: 21.06.2017 & 7.00am
Lead by Thiru CH. Vidyasagar Rao, Hon’ble Acting Governor of Tamil Nadu and Dr. Mahesh Sharma Hon’ble Union Minister of State (IC), Tourism & Culture.
Date and Time: 21.06.2017 & 6.00 am -7.30 am
Venue: CII NR Region Headquarters Chandigarh, Sector 31 A Chandigarh, India
Art of living foundation, Himachal Pradesh
lead by Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Himachal Pradesh, India.
International Yoga Day on other parts of World
Inverness (Scotland), United Kingdom
Inverness Leisure Centre
Ms. Avanti Pethe, a Yoga teacher from 'ISHA' Foundation
Participants included inter-alia local Councillors, Government officials and local community of Inverness
Other Yoga Camps in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Patna (Ayrshire), Aberdeen and Hamilton
It will end at Aberdeen on 24th June 2017.
North Lawn, United Nations
UN Headquarters in New York
20 June 2017 & 21 June 2017
led by Swami Sivadasananda of Sivananda Yoga Retreat, Austria, Swami Chidananda Saraswati and Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati of Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh, India
Levy Park, Houston, Texas, USA
June 21, 2017 & 6:00 PM (local time)
June 17 to June 25, 2017
Shanghai, Zhejiang and Jiangsu
Tel Aviv, Rabin Square, Israel
June 26, 2017 (18:00-23:00)
Organized by Embassy of India, Tel Aviv.
Fort Canning - Lawns
Holy Tree Temple
10 Yishun Industrial Park A