Basic Introduction/History Behind International Day of Yoga
While addressing the 69 session of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on September 27, 2014, the Honorable Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi urged the world community to adopt an International Day of Yoga. "Yoga is an invaluable gift of ancient Indian tradition. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature and a holistic approach to health and well-being. Yoga is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with ourselves, the world and Nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help us to deal with climate change. Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day," Shri Modi said.
On December 11, 2014, the 193 member UNGA approved the proposal by consensus with a record 177 co-sponsoring countries a resolution to establish 21 June as "International Day of Yoga". In its st resolution, the UNGA recognised that Yoga provides a holistic approach to health and well-being and wider dissemination of information about the benefits of practicing Yoga for the health of the world population. Yoga also brings harmony in all walks of life and thus, is known for disease prevention, health promotion and management of many lifestyle-related disorders.
What is Yoga?
Yoga is essentially a spiritual discipline based on an extremely subtle science which focuses on bringing harmony between mind and body.It is an art and science for healthy living. The word "Yoga" is derived from the Sanskrit root meaning "to join", "to yoke" or "to unite". According to Yogic scriptures, the practice of Yoga leads to the union of individual consciousness with universal consciousness. According to modern scientists, everything in the universe is just a manifestation of the same quantum firmament. One who experiences this oneness of existence is said to be "in Yoga" and is termed as a yogi who has attained a state of freedom, referred to as mukti, nirvāna, kaivalya moksha or . "Yoga" also refers to an inner science comprising of a variety of methods through which human beings can achieve union between the body and mind to attain self-realisation. The aim of Yoga practice is to overcome all kinds of sufferings that lead to a sense of sādhana freedom in every walk of life with holistic health, happiness and harmony.
Brief history and development of Yoga
The science of Yoga has its origin thousands of years ago, long before the first religion or belief systems were born. According to , Yogic lore Shiva has seen as the first or ā and the first or yogi diyogi guru ādiguru Several thousand years ago, on the banks of lake Kantisarovar in the Himalayas, poured his profound knowledge into the ādiyogi legendary or "seven sages". These sages carried this saptarishis powerful Yogic science to different parts of the world including Asia, the Middle East, northern Africa and South America. Interestingly, modern scholars have noted and marvelled at the close parallels found between ancient cultures across the globe. However, it was in India that the Yogic system found its fullest expression. Agastya, the saptarishi who travelled across the Indian subcontinent, crafted this culture around a core Yogic way of life. Yoga is widely considered as an "immortal cultural outcome" of the Indus Saraswati Valley Civilisation – dating back to 2700 BC – and has proven itself to cater to both material and spiritual uplift of humanity. A number of seals and fossil remains of Indus Saraswati Valley Civilisation with Yogic motifs and figures performing Yoga sādhana suggest the presence of Yoga in ancient India. The seals and idols of mother Goddess are suggestive of Yoga. The presence Tantra of Yoga is also available in folk traditions, Vedic and Upanishadic heritage, Buddhist and Jain traditions, , epics of Darshanas Mahabharata including Bhagawadgita and Ramayana, theistic traditions of Shaivas, Vaishnavas and Tantric traditions.
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The Fundamentals of Yoga
Yoga works on the level of one's body, mind, emotion and energy. This has given rise to four broad classifications of Yoga: where Karma Yoga we utilise the body; where we utilise the mind; Jnāna Yoga Bhakti Yoga where we utilise the emotion and Kriya Yoga where we utilise the energy. Each system of Yoga we practice falls within the gamut of one or more of these categories. Every individual is a unique combination of these four factors. Only a guru (teacher) can advocate the appropriate combination of the four The Fundamentals of Yoga Yoga works on the level of one's body, mind, emotion and energy. This has given rise to four broad classifications of Yoga: where Karma Yoga we utilise the body; where we utilise the mind; Jnāna Yoga Bhakti Yoga where we utilise the emotion and Kriya Yoga where we utilise the energy. Each system of Yoga we practice falls within the gamut of one or more of these categories. Every individual is a unique combination of these four factors. Only a guru (teacher) can advocate the appropriate combination of the four fundamental paths as is necessary for each seeker. "All ancient commentaries on Yoga have stressed that it is essential to work under the direction of a guru."
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