Wellbeing & Wellness
Did You Know That Today Is The International Day of Yoga?
The International Day of Yoga was established on the 11th December 2014 by the United Nations. This day of celebration was proposed by India and endorsed by 175 member states! So what’s it all about?
Yoga ( believed to have originated in Northern India ) is a long-standing, sacred spiritual and physical practice that has spread worldwide. You probably have a friend who practices yoga, or perhaps even you work it into your daily routine yourself. We don’t blame you! On the International Day of Yoga, we come together to celebrate this beautiful practice.
Yoga encourages thoughtfulness, unifying the mind and body and even exploring your connection to the world around you. It’s a beautiful and multi-faceted traditional practice. Additionally, yoga itself roughly originates from the Sanskrit word for ‘unite’, symbolic of how it encourages cohesion in numerous ways.
THE ORIGINS OF YOGA
Yoga is speculated to have been part of our world for the last 5,000 years. However, some believe it could have originated over 10,000 years ago! An ancient Sanskrit scripture, the Rig Veda, first mentions the word.
The Vedas were a collection of texts containing rituals and songs that were used by priests, called Brahmans, at the time. These priests, alongside seers known as Rishis, developed and documented their yogic practices over the years in a huge collection of scriptures called the Upanishads.
Yoga has since evolved through various cultures and changed to varying degrees, but at its core it shares similarities. Yoga primarily aims to gently discipline the mind and body through meditation, breathing, wisdom and exercise.
REFLECTING ON YOGAS ROOTS
It’s always important to honour the roots of a traditional practice. After all: yoga may have made its way to the West, and for that we’re thankful, but it certainly didn’t originate there.
Understand the history of the poses that you’re learning, the language and the terms that come with them. Not only this, this helps you become closer to your practice, which in yoga especially: helps you become closer to yourself. Humanity is a rich tapestry of cultures, traditions and communities! It’s a joyful opportunity to learn more about those we’re unfamiliar with, whenever we can.
If you’re looking for a new yoga teacher, perhaps spend time with one who teaches traditional yogic practices. Perhaps even learn some Sanskrit, and take a history class on the subject. A little understanding can go an incredibly long way.
HOW TO START YOUR YOGA JOURNEY
One of the benefits of yoga is that you can take it anywhere. On the International Day of Yoga, there are plenty of events and public classes available. However, failing this, the weather’s gorgeous: why not spend a spell outside with your mat and some tunes?
You can even practice yoga at your desk. To a degree, you can practice yoga in bed! If you’re unsure of where to start, check out YouTube for some beginner tutorials. If you’d rather practice with a group, check online community boards for local ( and professional! ) teachers. What better day to start than on the International Day of Yoga?
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