Today is International Day of Yoga, as declared by the United Nations General Assembly on December 11, 2014.
Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi addressed the UN General Assembly on September 27, 2014, explaining:
“Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfilment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help us deal with climate change. Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day.”
Modi’s speech explained the choice of June 21, which is the Summer Solstice, as the International Day of Yoga. The date is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and has special significance in many parts of the world.
For Yogis, the Summer Solstice marks the transition to Dakshinayana. The first full moon after Summer Solstice is known as Guru Poornima. According to Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, in the yogic lore, the first transmission of yoga by Shiva, the first Guru, is said to have begun on this day.
Practices for International Yoga Day
Here are some ideas for a IYD practice:
Surya Namaskar – this classic series (or vinyasa) is a great foundation for your IYD practice. 21 rounds would be ideal!
Traditional Postures – Trikonasana (Triangle), Vrksasana (Tree), Uttanasana (Standing forward fold), Marychyasana (Sage twist)
Trataka – candle gazing meditation
Savasana – relaxation
Namaste and have a wonderful day!