Celebrating International Day of Yoga

    How does a common man picture Yoga?  Thanks to proponents of Yoga, like Baba Ramdev, yoga is just pranayam and asanas. But, in fact, Yoga is much more than the asanas, though asanas are an important part of the Yoga.

    My friend Parveen Chopra has written an excellent article on Yoga which our readers can find on page 16 of this edition (web Link –International Day of Yoga – A GLOBAL CELEBRATION). Tracing the history and concept of Yoga, he writes,” Yoga is at least 5,000-year-old and one of the six systems of Indian philosophy. It was codified by Maharishi Patanjali in 200 AD as Yoga Darshan, containing 195 Yoga Sutras. The core essence of Patanjali is the eightfold path or Ashtanga Yoga containing observances and practices for the holistic growth of a human being – physical, moral, mental and spiritual. Yoga’s literal meaning of union (of individual consciousness with universal consciousness) lays out its higher reaches.

    “In today’s world, though, yoga to most people has come to mean the practice of asanas – physical postures, but Patanjali’s treatise has only one sutra about postures- sthira-sukham asanam (2.46), which translated from Sanskrit means: posture should be stable and comfortable. So where are the numerous asanas practiced in yoga classes coming from? The answer is, they originate from the age-old Hatha Yoga tradition, one treatise for which is called Hatha Yoga Pradipika.

    Undoubtedly, the global observance of the International Day of Yoga and related events will make millions of people to become aware of the tenets of yoga, encouraging many to follow a yogic lifestyle, a life that is healthy and harmonious. In turn, IDY is an opening for the world community to realize human oneness, and move beyond war and strife towards peace and harmony.”

    I feel tempted to use Mr. Chopra’s words, yet again, to conclude,” Undoubtedly, the global observance of the International Day of Yoga and related events will make millions of people to become aware of the tenets of yoga, encouraging many to follow a yogic lifestyle, a life that is healthy and harmonious. In turn, IDY is an opening for the world community to realize human oneness, and move beyond war and strife towards peace and harmony.”

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