Yoga means union of individual consciousness with the universal spirit.
What is Yoga?
- Yoga is not all about doing some body-twisting postures.
- It is experiencing the union of the body, mind and breath.
- It is an ancient art based on a harmonising system for development of the body, mind, and spirit.
- The continued practice of yoga will lead you to a sense of peace and well-being, and also a feeling of being one with the environment.
Types of Yoga
Gyan Yoga - Philosophy
Bhakti Yoga - Path of Devotional Bliss
Karma Yoga - Path of Blissful Action
Raja Yoga - Path of Mind Control.
Raja Yoga is further divided into eight parts. At the heart of it, balancing and unifying these various approaches, is the practice of Yoga Asana.
Yoga was born in India almost 26,000 years ago. It is a 5000-year-old Indian body of knowledge. Sage Patanjali is considered to be the father of Yoga.
Patanjali codified his thoughts and knowledge of yoga in "The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali." This compilation of 195 sutras is considered to be a blueprint for living an ideal life and also incorporating the science of yoga into one’s life.
It was during the period of the Indus - valley civilization that knowledge about the origin of Yoga surfaced.
Excavations give evidence of yoga’s existence during this period; It was the Aryans, migrating from the North-West, who were instrumental in discovering yoga.
From time to time, many Indian exponents of Yoga have tried to popularise the art.
In the modern world, Yoga is considered an effective tool to control many aliments. People all over have taken to it, in a big way, in recent times.
Many masters are customising it to suit the present day scenario and promoting this ancient art efficiently on the global stage. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Baba Ramdev are leading names in the international arena.
B K S Iyengar, who popularised it in modern times passed away in August last.
International Yoga Day:
June 21 was decided upon by the UN to celebrate the International day of Yoga as it is the day of Summer Solstice - the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere.
The day also has special significance in many parts of the world.
The proposal to celebrate the International Yoga Day was put forward by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and was accepted unanimously.
On Dec 11, 2014, the 193-member U.N. General Assembly approved the proposal by consensus.
Stepping Into Records
In India, the eagerly looked forward event has already been registered as an entry into the Guinness Book of World Records under "largest yoga demonstration/class at single venue".
45,000 people including school children, government officials, diplomats, army personnel and NCC cadets are all set to practice 15 Yoga asanas in a 35-minute mass demonstration. PM Narendra Modi will inaugurate the event.
Simultaneous yoga programmes will be organised in state capitals and all the 190 Indian missions across the world.
The session is expected to kick off at 6.45 am on 21 June 2015, in India.
Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar and Shilpa Shetty, cricketer Virat Kohli and wrestler Sushil Kumar are scheduled to take over as brand ambassadors for the day.
Minorities in India fear that the move to promote yoga is a ploy to marginalise the 175 million Muslims from the main stream.
At their instance, Surya Namaskar has been dropped from the list of asanas to be performed on the occasion of International Yoga Day on June 21.