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International Yoga Day: Embracing the Ancient Path to Wellness


General Knowledge  •  21 Jun, 2023  •  2,035 Views  •  ⭐ 5.0

Written by Shivani Chourasia


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In recent years, the practice of yoga has gained immense popularity worldwide as a holistic approach to physical and mental well-being. Every year on June 21st, people from all walks of life come together to celebrate International Yoga Day. This day serves as a reminder of the profound benefits yoga offers, and the ancient wisdom it encapsulates. In this blog, we will delve into the origins of yoga, its historical significance, and the transformative power that has made it a global phenomenon.

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The Origin of Yoga

History of Yoga | Ancient Roots of Yoga
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Yoga, derived from the Sanskrit word "yuj," meaning union or connection, traces its roots back over 5,000 years to ancient India. The earliest mention of Yoga can be found in the sacred texts of the Rigveda, where it is described as a means to attain spiritual enlightenment. The practice of Yoga was further developed and systematized by the sage Patanjali in his compilation of the Yoga Sutras, considered the foundational text of classical Yoga.

Historical Significance

The Origin of Yoga and Its History
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Throughout history, Yoga has been an integral part of Indian culture and spirituality. It has been practised by sages, ascetics, and seekers of truth for millennia. The ancient Indian sage, Maharishi Patanjali, codified the principles and practices of Yoga in his Yoga Sutras around the 2nd century BCE. These sutras encompass the Eight Limbs of Yoga, known as Ashtanga, which provide a comprehensive guide for leading a purposeful and harmonious life.

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The Eight Limbs of Yoga

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The Eight Limbs of Yoga serve as a roadmap for individuals seeking a balanced and fulfilling existence. They include:

  1. Yama: Universal moral principles such as non-violence, truthfulness, and non-greed.
  2. Niyama: Personal observances like purity, contentment, and self-discipline.
  3. Asana: Physical postures that promote strength, flexibility, and balance.
  4. Pranayama: Breath control techniques that enhance vital energy and cultivate mindfulness.
  5. Pratyahara: Withdrawal of the senses to turn inward and achieve mental stillness.
  6. Dharana: Concentration exercises to focus and discipline the mind.
  7. Dhyana: Meditation practices that lead to a state of profound awareness and inner peace.
  8. Samadhi: The ultimate goal of Yoga, is a state of blissful union with the divine.

Spreading Yoga's Message Globally

All About Yoga: Poses, Types, Benefits, and More | Everyday Health
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The idea of celebrating International Yoga Day was first proposed by the current Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly in 2014. Recognizing the immense benefits of Yoga for individual and collective well-being, the United Nations declared June 21st as International Yoga Day, with unanimous support from its member states.

Celebrating International Yoga Day

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Since its inception, International Yoga Day has gained tremendous momentum worldwide. On this day, yoga enthusiasts and beginners alike participate in various activities such as mass yoga sessions, workshops, and lectures. The celebrations aim to promote the practice of Yoga, raise awareness about its benefits, and inspire individuals to incorporate it into their daily lives.

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Conclusion

International Yoga Day serves as a reminder of the ancient wisdom encapsulated within the practice of Yoga. As people from different cultures and backgrounds come together to celebrate this day, they embrace a path that leads to physical vitality, mental clarity, and spiritual awakening. By honouring Yoga's rich history and universal teachings, we recognize its transformative power and the potential it holds to create a more balanced and harmonious world. So, let us unite today on International Yoga Day and embark on a journey of self-discovery, embracing the ancient path of wisdom.


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