International Yoga Day 2020
Why do we celebrate only selected days out of our busy calendar every year? There are diverse things that we celebrate, including birthdays, anniversaries, days, amongst others. But why are these days unique or of significance?
These specially marked dates help us in clearing our mind, re-shift our focus on the small things that get left behind in our restless life. Such days help us in varied ways, whether it is to be free, to celebrate, commemorate, take a step back, to relive our memories, etc. And amidst the times like these, in our social distancing timeline, in the outbreak of a deadly virus, it is crucial that we take care of our body, celebrate it by savoring every small thing that it has done for us. And under that checklist, celebrating this year’s yoga day is a must.
Yoga originated in India and is linked with pre-Vedic Indian cultures by a group of physical, psychological, and spiritual practices. The ultimate objective of the practice is to attain moksha or liberation and to reach the state of Samadhi in the classical Ashtanga Yoga System.
Not long ago, Prime Minister of India Hon. Narendra Modi made a proposal for an International Yoga Day that would take place on June 21 during his lecture at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on 27th September 2014. Modi said in his speech that Yoga is the embodiment of a unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraining and fulfillment; a unity of nature and man.
As such, the first International Yoga Day was held on June 21, 2015, in Delhi’s Rajpath and nearly 36,000 people, including PM Modi, held yoga to spread awareness throughout the world with a strong deal of enthusiasm.
Since then, the day has been celebrated around the world on June 21 every year to raise awareness of the health benefits of yoga and its distinctive activities. It also aims to educate people about the physical, mental, and spiritual advantages that it can bring.
But why June 21? The date of June 21 was proposed by PM Modi as it is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and is particularly noteworthy in many areas of the world. This date is thought to have a major impact on people. The transition is an appropriate time to practice yoga, according to yoga gurus.
A further powerful reason for the selection of this day is that Adiyogi, the first known Yogi, embarked with seven Royal Sages on a journey to the south. Eventually, these Sages were the first disciples of Adiyogi and helped spread the importance of yoga across the world.
Every year, the International Yoga Day is celebrated with passion and excitement in India and around the world. There are many camps in which the government and non-governmental organizations organize themselves at mass level, including seminars, training programs, workshops, etc.
For people to meet in sizable groups in a park or field and do yoga, mudras or asanas is a favored activity. Conferences and discussions are also arranged to disseminate the importance and value of yoga practice in our everyday lives. Many yoga gurus and trainers organize special training courses or sessions throughout the country.
However, this year’s celebration might be slightly different. With the ongoing pandemic, it would be wise not to gather in large groups to celebrate.
Nevertheless, we will celebrate this important day of our lives with our home and in the comfort of our families and friends. We will definitely see virtual celebrations all day long. With the world being connected via mobile devices, cocial media and digital platforms will be our hands in uniting and slowing the spread of COVID-19 while staying at home.
Not to mention, on this day, when the entire world is fighting the pandemic, Ministry of Ayush has started a campaign called “Yoga at Home. Yoga with Family” to promote Yoga to counteract the effects of viral infections, while practicing all the precautionary measures aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19.
In hard times like these, people must remember that Yoga can help combat the effect of the virus spread and the pandemic on physical and mental well-being and can also provide people with a safe body and peace of mind.