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Yoga Day 2024 Yoga for Self and Society

Yoga Day 2024 Yoga for Self and Society

Join the global movement! Yoga Day 2024 Yoga for Self and Society, Dive into the essence of International Yoga Day 2024, themed “Yoga for Self and Society.” Discover the profound benefits of yoga for the mind, body, and community.

What is International Yoga Day?

Every year on June 21st, the world unites to celebrate International Yoga Day, a global event that honors the ancient Indian practice of yoga and its significant impact on physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.

Yoga, a term derived from the Sanskrit word “yuj,” means “to yoke” or “to unite.” It embodies the philosophy of harmonizing the mind, body, and spirit. Far more than just physical postures, yoga is a holistic approach to health, integrating breathing exercises, meditation, and ethical principles.

The Ministry of External Affairs explains, “The word ‘Yoga’ is derived from the Sanskrit root ‘Yuj,’ meaning ‘to join’ or ‘to yoke’ or ‘to unite.’ According to yogic scriptures, practicing yoga leads to the union of individual consciousness with Universal Consciousness, indicating a perfect harmony between the mind and body, man and nature.”

Why Do We Celebrate International Yoga Day?

International Yoga Day aims to raise global awareness about the numerous benefits of practicing yoga. It recognizes this ancient Indian discipline’s role in enhancing mental and physical well-being.

Ancient Tradition Patanjali and Yoga – A Comprehensive Overview

Introduction to Yoga

  • Common Perceptions: Often associated with asanas, meditation, wellness, and India.
  • Reality: Yoga is deeper and more complex than commonly perceived.
  • Documentary Goal: To present the complete picture of yoga in a simple format.

Chapter 1: The Story of Patanjali

  • Origins: According to Shiva Mahapuranam and other scriptures, Patanjali is the incarnation of Adi Sesha, the serpent of Lord Vishnu.
  • Patanjali’s Birth: He fell from the skies into the hands of a praying woman named Gonika, hence the name Patanjali.
  • Service to Nataraja: Patanjali served Lord Shiva in Chidambaram, where Shiva is worshipped as Nataraja.

Contributions of Patanjali

  • Ayurveda: Authored Patanjali Tantra, a foundational text for Ayurveda.
  • Sanskrit Grammar: Wrote Mahabhasya, a commentary on Panini’s grammar.
  • Yoga Sutras: Provided the foundational text for yoga, known as Patanjali Yoga Sutras.

Patanjali’s Legacy

  • Holistic Health: Contributions span physical health (Ayurveda), social health (grammar), and spiritual health (yoga).
  • Lineage: His teachings were passed down to Adi Shankaracharya and continue through the four peethas (centers of learning).

Chapter 2: Understanding Yoga

  • Definition from Bhagavad Gita: Yoga is being steadfast in duty, treating success and failure equally.
  • Patanjali’s Definition: “Yoga is the process of restraining chitta (mind) from any fluctuations.”

Human Brain and Yoga

  • Scientific Classification: Brain divided into frontal, parietal, occipital, temporal lobes, and cerebellum.
  • Yoga Siddhantam Classification: Mind states are Manus (pleasure/pain), Ahamkara (ego), Buddhi (rational thinking), and Chitta (highest state of consciousness).

The Eight Limbs of Yoga (Ashtanga Yoga)

  1. Yama: External discipline (non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, energy conservation, non-greed).
  2. Niyama: Internal discipline (purity, contentment, spiritual observance, self-study, devotion).
  3. Asana: Postures for long, comfortable meditation.
  4. Pranayama: Control of breath.
  5. Pratyahara: Withdrawal of senses.
  6. Dharana: Focused concentration.
  7. Dhyana: Meditation.
  8. Samadhi: State of oneness with the object of meditation, achieving the highest state of Chitta.

Chapter 3: Kundalini Yoga

  • Misconceptions: There are many misunderstandings and commercializations around Kundalini Yoga.
  • Definition: Channeling energy from the body to the brain to reach Chitta state.
  • Human Anatomy and Nadis: Energy channels (nadis) complement the nervous, muscular, and skeletal systems.

Kundalini Yoga and Energy

  • 72,000 Nadis: Channels of energy in the body.
  • Objective: To pump energy towards the brain for higher consciousness.
  • Scientific Studies: Research on yogis controlling involuntary body functions supports the profound capabilities of yoga.

Holistic Wellness

Yoga extends beyond physical exercise, encompassing mental and spiritual dimensions that promote overall well-being.

Global Appeal

In recent times, yoga has gained immense popularity worldwide. International Yoga Day celebrates its universal acceptance and practice.

In September 2014, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed the idea of an annual International Day of Yoga during his address to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). He highlighted yoga’s health benefits and its holistic approach to wellness. Modi suggested June 21st as the ideal date, coinciding with the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, a day of significance in many cultures.

The proposal quickly gained traction, leading to the UN adopting a resolution in December 2014, officially declaring June 21st as International Yoga Day. An unprecedented 175 member states endorsed the resolution.

The UN noted, “The draft resolution establishing the International Day of Yoga was proposed by India and endorsed by a record 175 member states. Prime Minister Narendra Modi introduced the proposal during the opening of the 69th session of the General Assembly. He described yoga as ‘an invaluable gift from our ancient tradition’ that embodies the unity of mind and body, thought and action, and provides a holistic approach valuable to our health and well-being. Yoga is not just about exercise; it is a way to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world, and nature.”

Furthermore, the resolution emphasizes the importance of individuals and populations making healthier choices and following lifestyle patterns that promote good health. The World Health Organization has also encouraged its member states to help their citizens reduce physical inactivity.

Yoga Day 2024 Yoga for Self and Society

This year’s theme, “Yoga for Self and Society,” celebrates a significant milestone—the 10th anniversary of International Day of Yoga.

The theme encapsulates the essence of yoga, highlighting that it’s not just about individual well-being but also fostering a connection between the inner self and the outer world. Yoga harmonizes the mind and body, aligns thoughts with actions, and unites discipline with personal fulfillment. By integrating physical, mental, spiritual, and soul aspects, yoga offers a holistic path to health and well-being, providing much-needed peace in our fast-paced lives.

International Yoga Day 2024: Pledge Certificate

To commemorate the 10th International Yoga Day on June 21st, 2024, with the theme “Yoga for Self and Society,” the Government of India offers a special opportunity to reinforce your commitment to this transformative practice.

Continuing the tradition from previous years, you can take a pledge and download a certificate to mark your dedication to yoga. This year, the pledge is accessible through the Yoga Ayush website.

Over 7 crore people have already pledged to integrate yoga into their lives. Join them and embark on this transformative journey. By participating, you not only enhance your personal well-being but also contribute to a healthier, more harmonious society.

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