What is Yoga?
Originated in India, Yoga is an ancient spiritual, mental, and physical practice. Yoga is derived from the Sanskrit word that means to join or to unite as symbolizes the union of body and mind. It has spread across the world in various forms and is continuously gaining popularity.
International Yoga Day
Acknowledging Yoga’s universal appeal, the United Nations (UN) manifested 21 June as ‘the International Day of Yoga’ on 11 December 2014 by passing a resolution 69/131, to generate global awareness around a plethora of benefits of practising yoga. India had proposed a draft resolution establishing ‘the International Day of Yoga by India’. The resolution was endorsed by a record 175 member countries. During the opening of the 69th session of the General Assembly, the proposal was moved by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said, “Yoga is an invaluable gift from our ancient tradition. Yoga embodies unity of mind and body, thought and action … a holistic approach [that] is valuable to our health and our well-being. Yoga is not just about exercise; it is a way to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and nature.” The UN resolution also observes “the importance of individuals and populations making healthier choices and following lifestyle patterns that foster good health.”
The 2021 International Yoga Day Theme: Yoga for Well-being
International Yoga Day 2021 is being observed amidst unprecedented times as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to claim lives and disrupt the livelihoods of people worldwide. Besides hurting physical well-being, the Covid-19 has worsened psychological and mental health problems by causing depression and anxiety owing to pandemic-triggered financial, emotional, and physical restrictions in many countries. The situation has underscored the urgent need to manage the mental health as well as physical health aspects. In the light of this, International Yoga Day 2021 focuses on ‘Yoga for well-being’ that highlights the role of Yoga practice in promoting the holistic health of every people.
Yoga Remains Ray of Hope in Covid-hit World: PM Narendra Modi
On the occasion of the seventh International Yoga Day, Prime Minister Narendra said Yoga has proved a source strength and poise for people during this difficult time. He pointed out that it was easy for countries to forget Yoga Day during the pandemic as it is not intrinsic to their culture but, instead, enthusiasm for Yoga has increased globally. One of the key ingredient of yoga is fortitude in the face of adversity. When pandemic appeared, no one was ready from the point of view of capabilities, resources or mental toughness. Yoga helped people to muster confidence and strength to fight the pandemic world over.
The Prime Minister recalled how frontline Corona warriors made Yoga their shield and made themselves strong through yoga and how people, doctors nurses took to Yoga to deal with the effects of the virus. Instances of yoga sessions conducted by doctors and nurses in the hospitals appeared everywhere. The Prime Minister noted experts are stressing the importance of breathing exercises like Pranayama and Anulom-vilom for strengthening our respiratory system.