Fri | May 26, 2017

World yoga day

Published:Monday | June 8, 2015 | 6:00 AM

On June 21, Jamaica joins 170 countries in celebrating International Yoga Day.

Yoga Day is a commemorative day proclaimed last year by the United Nations General Assembly. An event to mark the day will be held at the National Indoor Sports Complex at 5:30 p.m. and will be free of cost to the public.

The objectives of International Yoga Day include promoting yoga as a powerful and efficient way for individuals to relax and de-stress, aimed at establishing peace at the individual, family, community and world levels.

The island's first International Yoga Day will be hosted by the High Commission of India and the Art of Living Foundation, in partnership with Unite for Change - a movement initiated in October, 2013 by the Government of Jamaica to facilitate the implementation of the National Crime Prevention and Community Safety Strategy with the aim of creating a more caring, gentle and safe society.

what to expect

International Yoga Day will be opened to advanced yoga practitioners and beginners who would like to enrich their health. Attendees will be exposed to relaxing, energising breathing techniques, as well as ways to stretch using yoga postures, aimed at experiencing the 'union' of breath, body and mind for a fitter and healthier body.

"The International Day of Yoga will recognise yoga as a means of providing a holistic approach to health and well-being, while the dissemination of information about the benefits of practising yoga would be beneficial for the health of all peoples of the world," notes Dushyant Savadia, international programme director with the Art of Living Foundation.

Yoga is an ancient practice and has been made applicable for modern times - yoga has been absorbed into mainstream lifestyle by people from all cultures and backgrounds across the globe.

Yoga is a practice that combines multiple aspects - yoga postures, breathing techniques, relaxation and meditation.The word 'yoga' means union - union of breath, body and mind. When they co-exist in harmony, one experiences multiple benefits. Let's have a closer look at what these are.

1 All-over fitness. Through regular practise of yoga asanas (postures) one's body becomes more toned, flexible and fit. Moreover, one can improve their posture, and become more balanced mentally and emotionally.

2 Yoga helps you to de-stress. Stress is inevitable in life. We hear about it from media channels, our family and friends, and we use this word ourselves. Yoga is a very good in enhancing our energy level. Just a few minutes of simple yogic breathing techniques, yoga postures and meditation, will leave you refreshed and recharged after the most hectic day.

3 Yoga is an easy way to enhance your inner peace. We all enjoy visiting peaceful and serene places. Yet the shortest way to peace is right within us. Meditation brings the brain's wave patterns into an alpha state that promotes healing. The mind becomes fresh, delicate and beautiful. With regular practice of meditation: anxiety decreases, emotional stability improves, one gains a clear and sharp mind.

4 Yoga helps one to increase awareness. In yoga you are taught to pay attention to your breath and movements when performing asanas (postures). Awareness in the class expands to everyday life as well, and practitioners become more conscious in their life. This can help in weight loss as well, simply because paying more attention to oneself, means paying more attention to what we eat.

5 Yoga can help one to improve relationships. How? According to Dushyant Savadia, "All communication problems are because we don't listen to understand, but we listen to reply. Yet, when practising yoga we become more sensitive and sensible at the same time, because our mind becomes more relaxed and happy."

Would you like to experience the benefits of yoga yourself?