It’s the International Day of Yoga – Yogis Celebrate! What will you be doing on this day to get more in touch with your inner yogini?
International Day of Yoga
The International Day of Yoga is a fairly new event, only having been invented in 2015. It has been celebrated every year since then on June 21st. The reason for this being that June 21st is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, and universally celebrated for various reasons. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, passed the resolution in the U.N. making an International Day of Yoga possible.
Yoga is so much more than just the latest pop-exercise phenomenon. It is an ancient practice that encompasses far more than just downward dog. It’s really an entire philosophy and way of life. The yogic way involves everything from Yama (or moral restraints) to Dharana (a deep state of concentration). The end goal of leading a yogic life is to achieve ‘complete stillness of the mind,’ according to the website for the International Day of Yoga. The word Yoga can actually be defined as ‘the cessation of mental fluctuations.’ Therefore, Yoga is just as much about the ways we move our body as it is about the thoughts we think (or rather, the absence of them) and the foods we eat.
How To Celebrate Yoga Day
There are many ways you can celebrate Yoga Day. The most obvious one would be: Practice Yoga!
If you don’t have a regular home practice, consider taking a class. Many places are now offering yoga classes that you would never think of, such as a YMCA or a Public Library.
If a class sounds intimidating to you, start with a few poses in the comfort of your home. Perhaps the most famous flow is the sun salutation. If you feel like you need more instruction, check out the Yoga Day website for tons of videos and resources on everything yoga.
Of course, as we discovered above, yoga goes so far beyond the mat. Here are some ways to celebrate Yoga Day wherever and whenever you have time:
- Sit in silence for a few minutes at the beginning and end of your day. Just focus on your breath.
- Put on your favorite meditative music and let the melodies flow through you.
- Practice a Random Act of Kindness.
- Tell someone you love a specific way in which you are grateful for them.
- Take a few moments to breathe. Try 4 counts in, hold for 4 counts, exhale for 4 counts, and hold another 4 counts before repeating. Breathe through your nose.
- Try eating Vegan for the day. This way you are incorporating the Yogic belief in ‘Ahimsa,’ or compassion and non-violence towards all beings. If this seems unrealistic for you, try just one meal.
- Give away some of your possessions to those who need them. Clear out a drawer and give all those items you no longer need or use to a homeless shelter.
- Make music or art. Express yourself creatively.
- Take some time to volunteer. Something as simple as volunteering your time and energy to a friend or family member who needs your help counts.
- Cook a fresh meal for yourself or your loved ones. Try one of these Yogi-Approved recipes for summer.
- Write down a list of all the things you have to be thankful for.
These are just a few suggestions for how you can celebrate Yoga Day today. If this international celebration of yoga inspires you to take your practice to the next level by going on a yoga retreat, check out two of our recent listings with departure dates coming up soon!