Today sees the celebration of the International Day of Yoga, and fittingly this years theme is “Yoga for Health – Yoga at Home”.
What is Yoga and why do we celebrate it?
Yoga is an ancient physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in India. The word ‘yoga’ derives from Sanskrit and means to join or to unite, symbolising the union of body and consciousness.
Today it is practiced in various forms around the world and continues to grow in popularity.
Recognising its universal appeal, on 11 December 2014, the United Nations proclaimed 21 June as the International Day of Yoga
The International Day of Yoga aims to raise awareness worldwide of the many benefits of practicing yoga. “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 the nature.”
But yoga is more than a physical activity. In the words of one of its most famous practitioners, the late B. K. S. Iyengar, “Yoga cultivates the ways of maintaining a balanced attitude in day-to-day life and endows skill in the performance of one’s actions.”
Yoga can quite literally be life-changing for many people. It is not just about flexibility but more the subtle changes you will notice in your mind and how your body shape changes.
Some proven benefits of yoga include:
- reducing stress
- breathing awareness and relaxation
- reduce likelihood of back pain
- rehabilitation and recovery from injury
- improved respiratory function
- improved circulation
- better quality sleep
- happier and more contented, as better able to live in the moment
- weight management or weight loss through having less desire to overeat or eat through emotional reasons.
While the social distancing measures adopted by countries to fight the COVID-19 pandemic have shut down yoga studios and other communal spaces for now, yoga practitioners have turned to home practice and online yoga resources to support us all with our yoga practice. Yoga is a powerful tool to deal with the stress of uncertainty and isolation, as well as to maintain physical well-being. The staff team at Neighbourhood Networks start their working week with a gentle yoga session facilitated by Julie at Absolute Wellness. Why not look for an online yoga class yourself and join in this truly international activity. It might just change your life!
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