International Yoga Day 2021: Theme, History, Significance & More
Our busy schedules, not to mention the COVID-19 global pandemic, have taken a severe toll on not only our physical health but our emotional, mental, and spiritual health as well. With our unhealthy routines and busy schedule, taking time out for exercising seems impossible, right?
One of the best holistic exercises that not only keeps our body flexible and healthy but also our minds and souls energized is yoga.
21st June has become almost synonymous with yoga practice. Every year, on this day, the world celebrates International Yoga Day. Yoga has been a part of our lifestyle for centuries and is been continuously practiced around the world.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created an upheaval in our routines and people recovering from the virus are struggling with weakness and other health problems. With yoga and meditation, people can get back to their normal health faster.
21st June is marked to raise awareness of the health benefits of yoga. Many kinds of research done over the years have proven that yoga can be beneficial in reducing stress, increase self-awareness, improve immunity, and boost health – mentally, physically, and spiritually.
In these difficult times of the global pandemic, this International Day Of Yoga (2021) is focusing on the theme: Yoga For Well-Being. As we’re still recovering from the second wave of coronavirus, this day will help spread awareness on how practicing yoga every day is important for our overall well-being.
History Of International Yoga Day
Celebrated annually around the world on 21st June, International Yoga Day has been observed since 2015. The proposal to celebrate the day was put forward by Prime Minister Of India, Narendra Modi in the United Nations General Assembly in 2014.
The day is celebrated to spread awareness of the importance of yoga and how yoga can help improve our overall health and wellbeing.
Yoga comes from the Sanskrit word ‘yog’ meaning ‘union’. Yoga is a holistic or spiritualist practice that includes breath work, meditation, and the adoption of body postures or asanas.
The practice of yoga originated in India around the 5th century and has since been practiced to keep the body and mind healthy.
Significance Of Yoga Day
This International Yoga Day’s theme is centered around the lasting effects the COVID-19 pandemic has had on our psychological, mental, and physical health. Since 2020, we’ve seen a steady rise in conditions such as depression, anxiety, grief, etc. Yoga can help people struggling with such conditions as well as those recovering from the virus boost their health and well-being.
International Yoga Day is celebrated across countries to spread awareness of practicing yoga for a healthier mind and body. Practicing breathwork, asanas, and meditation helps regulate energy levels to promote peace, calm, and balance.
Prime Minister Modi, in his speech to the UN, suggested 21st June because it is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and this day has special significance in different cultures in different countries around the world.
International Yoga Day 2021: Basic Rules Of Yoga Practice
This 7th International Yoga Day, let’s focus on the general guidelines and rules of yoga practice:
1. Eat Nothing Before Yoga
Yoga should be practiced on an empty stomach. If you’ve already eaten, please wait for at least three hours before you roll out your mat. It is also advisable to avoid drinking any kind of caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea, or energy drinks before and during yoga.
You can eat an hour after yoga.
2. Start Small And Slow
If you’re a beginner, it is advised that you begin with simple yoga poses then gradually move on to tougher poses. Complicated yoga poses should only be practiced when you have got a good grip on the simple ones.
3. Relaxation Is Must
Before starting yoga, give yourself – body and mind – at least 10 minutes to relax. Yoga requires you to focus on breathwork, postures, and meditation. Your body needs to be relaxed and your mind cleared before the practice.
4. Wear Comfortable Clothes
As I said, yoga requires you to focus on movements and breathing. Remember to wear comfortable clothes. Not too loose nor too tight. They should preferably be light-colored.
5. Do Not Practice On Ground
Yoga must be practiced on a yoga mat or a thick sheet. You should avoid practicing yoga on hard ground or grass. Please use a mat or sheet to practice yoga on.
6. Timing Is Important Too
More often than not, it is preferable to practice yoga in the mornings. Starting your day with yoga can help keep you energized and refreshed all day long. Our muscles are also stiff in the mornings. Yoga helps relax our stiff muscles and promote flexibility.
7. Stay Regular
Practicing yoga once a day can be beneficial for your overall health. Even if it’s for 5 minutes, yoga can help reduce stress, improve immunity, promote wellness, and more. You can practice at home, with an online class, or go to a community class.
How To Celebrate Yoga Day 2021?
It is advisable to stay indoors if you’re celebrating International Yoga Day. You can still celebrate in these ways:
- Participating in a virtual event
- Go on a yoga retreat
- Gather with your friends and family to practice yoga
- Participate in an online yoga class
- Learn a new posture
- Create a yoga space at home to kick-start your yoga practice
Happy International Yoga Day!
Yoga helps increase your muscle strength, increase flexibility, reduce stress, reduce depression, boost immunity, improve balance, promote relaxation, and so much more!
If you’re a beginner at yoga, please follow the above basic rules of yoga and guidelines for practicing yoga. You can also download these best yoga apps to help you ease into the practice. This Yoga Day, let’s roll out our mats and kick-start our yoga practice.
“Yoga is the journey of the self, to the self, through the self. Happy World Yoga Day!”
Stay Safe! Take Care!