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  4. Yoga Day 2022: Origin, development and international recognition of Yoga; what we have given to the world

Yoga Day 2022: Origin, development and international recognition of Yoga; what we have given to the world

Yoga Day was internationally given recognition by the United Nations General Assembly and the proposal of recognizing it specifically on 21st June was given by our Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.

Health Desk Edited by: Health Desk New Delhi Published on: June 21, 2022 10:31 IST
Representative image
Image Source : FREEPIK

Representative image

Yoga Day 2022: Being celebrated as an annual event globally on 21st June International Yoga Day has become hugely popular in recent years. Yoga, in a layman's language, is just a physical exercise that heals physical problems, but it is not just limited to physical issues. It's more of a therapy and a spiritual practice that heals both the mind and the body.

Origin of Yoga

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, symbolizing the union of body and consciousness. Coinciding with the summer solstice, the day is relevant in our nation as having a connection with the ancient practice of yoga. Yoga has got its origin before the Vedic period as mentioned in the oldest Veda, Rig Veda. But its popularity was mainly seen in the 1980s as the Western World brought it into practice in the form of physical exercise. 

How International Yoga Day came into being

This day was internationally given recognition by the United Nations General Assembly and the proposal of recognizing it specifically on 21st June was given by our Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. While addressing the 69 session of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on September 27, 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged the world community to adopt an International Day of Yoga. "Yoga is an invaluable gift of ancient Indian tradition. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature and a holistic approach to health and well-being. Yoga is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with ourselves, the world and Nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help us to deal with climate change. Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day," he had said.

Yoga - a modern way to balance mental, emotional and physical health

International Yoga Day is not just a day but a beginning and a practice to create positive awareness regarding Yoga worldwide. 

Practising yoga today is not just a trend in India but also abroad too. A 2017 National survey report states that about one in seven U.S adults practised yoga and the percentage of people practising yoga has grown for a decade i.e. from 2007-2017. According to a report, it has been mentioned among the top fitness trends in 2019. Its popularity has increased more due to its diversity of providing long-term benefits for every chronic problem. It has been found and observed that yoga is more beneficial in relieving stress and solving several mental issues related to stress such as depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, etc. Along with that its practice has helped treat ailments like hypertension, diabetes, gastrointestinal problems, and many others. India, the birthplace of Yoga has seen drastic popularity among the people. 

In 2018, NITI Aayog suggested that Yoga should be introduced in schools, universities, and other organizations as a regular activity to revolutionize the value of education and turn the attention also towards health and self-care. A study by the authors of the University of South Australia stated that around 131 volunteers suffering from mild to moderate levels of stress found yoga effective in reducing stress and providing calmness and relaxation to the body and mind. 

Yoga has entered into the tourism industry as well with the name 'Yoga tourism'. Various yoga schools and centers have welcomed the concept of 'yoga retreats and cruises' in cities like Kerala, Rishikesh, Pondicherry, Goa. The present pandemic period has witnessed the enormous effect of yoga and the way it has helped people. Even medical science has recommended yoga for people to give spiritual and physical well-being to their bodies and mind. Yoga, although an ancient practice, today is a modern way to keep you balanced mentally, emotionally, and physically.

Yoga helps to maintain a healthy and fit life, but in order to achieve that, one needs to perform it with consistency, at least 1 hour of deep meditation per day can create a lot of change in the body.

-- with inputs from ANI

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