International Yoga Day 2017: Date, History, Asanas and Benefits
International Yoga Day is celebrated on 21, June. The United Nations declared June 21 as the world Yoga Day in 2014 with the support of 190 countries. With so many teachers, followers and propagators around the world, Yoga has carved a niche of its own amongst fitness freaks. On this special day, let’s take a look at some of the pointers that can actually help us connect better with this amazing fitness mantra called ‘Yoga’.
Meaning of Yoga
Yoga means ‘to combine’, ‘to use’, and ‘to harness’, depending on the context in which it is used. In Panini literature, the conceptual meaning of this word emerges from two principal words which stand for ‘to join’ and ‘to concentrate’.
Perhaps, this is the reason why Yoga comprises of poses that help us combine and concentrate our energy for the betterment of physical and mental health.
Origin of Yoga
The origin of Yoga can be traced back to around 15000 years ago when the first teacher- Aadi Guru, shared his wisdom with seven of his followers- the Sapta Rishis while meditating at the foothills of the Himalayas. This is when Yoga was born, and India became recognized as the homeland of this very beautiful exercise and meditation form.
History of Yoga
The first teacher, Aadi Guru had extensive knowledge about the workings of the human body, mind, and behavior patterns. He, however, could not convert all his knowledge into a manuscript. Various disciples of Yoga have, time and again, developed various books and manuals to spread his teachings far and wide. Yoga, as per history, was diversified into various branches of learning such as Hatha yoga, Raja yoga, Laya yoga, and so on.
Diversification of Yoga
The seven followers of Aadi Guru (the first teacher) helped to spread the word about Yoga in seven different parts of the world- South America, Central Asia, Middle East, North Africa, the Himalayas, and the Indian Peninsula. All these centers became distinct schools of learning and have followers till date.
How Yoga contributes to an individual’s well-being
Patanjali, the father of Yoga, divided yoga into eight subdivisions- Angas, he called it. They are:
- Yama- Denial
- Niyama- Following or observance of a set routine
- Asana- Postures
- Pranayama- Controlling the breath
- Pratyahar– Withdrawal of senses
- Dharana- Concentration/focus
- Dhyana- Meditation
- Samadhi- Contemplate and absorb.
All of these sub-divisions are known to bring about healthy changes in the life of a yogi. They help to stay motivated, eat healthy in the right quantity, practice right postures, workout effectively and repel negative thoughts. Yoga can rightly be called as the perfect recipe for attaining complete wellbeing if followed correctly as well as religiously.
The greatness of Yoga lies in the fact that it has not lost its relevance even after thousands of years have passed since its discovery. Millions of people are benefitted from this discipline and the followers continue to increase every day. The basic aim of yoga is to attain eternal peace and this is exactly what everybody has been seeking since ages.
Benefits of Yoga
There are a lot of benefits of yoga have a look on four most important out of them.
- Increases Flexibility: Yoga increases the flexibility of our tendons and muscles and further lowers down the risk of injury.
- Improves Posture: Yoga builds strength in core muscles. It strengthens muscles of the lower back and upper back, which is important to sustain a good posture.
- Improve Circulation: Yoga enhances blood circulation. Good blood circulation helps the body to carry valuable nutrients and oxygen to the muscles, brain, as well as organs.
- Yoga Reduces Stress and Anxiety: According to recent studies, it is proven that yoga is an amazing way for stress relief instantly as it helps in transforming your mood. In the present scenario, there is a lot of tension, anxiety, and stress in the environment and it seems very difficult to keep the life balanced. Practicing Yoga every day not only provides you physically fitness but also relieves you from mental stress.
Top 10 Best Yoga Asanas
Follow this best yoga asanas that will you fit and fine always:
- Slow Neck Stretches Yoga Asanas
- Tadasana Yoga
- Trikonasana Yoga
- Dhanurasana Yoga
- Surya Namaskara
- Kapalbhati Yoga Asana
- Baddha Konasana Yoga
- Eagle Twist Yoga Asana