The Bold Voice of J&K

Yoga for humanity


Dr Banarsi Lal

Every year International Yoga Day is celebrated on 21st of June across the globe. This day is observed to highlight the importance of Yoga and the pivotal role it plays in rejuvenating our mind and body. It was firstly marked in 2015 and since then it has been celebrated across the globe with great fervour and enthusiasm. The theme of 2022 International Yoga Day is ‘Yoga for Humanity’. This year the theme on International Yoga Day was decided after much deliberations and consultation. The theme ‘Yoga for Humanity’ portays how during the peak of COVID-19 pandemic Yoga served human community. Yoga provides us mental and physical relaxation and develops strength and resilience in us. Yoga assumed special significance due to COVID-19 pandemic. During COVID-19 pandemic many people are embracing Yoga to stay healthy and to fight with depression and isolation. Yoga is playing an important role in the psycho-social care and rehabilitation of COVID-19 patients in quarantine and isolation. Yoga renews our mind with confidence and it improves the patience and concentration. One can participate in panel discussions, webinars, seminars, attend Yoga classes etc. to celebrate this day. On this day Yoga various training campus are organised followed by yoga competitions and various other activities to increase the awareness of the people.
The word ‘yoga’ has been derived from Sanskrit word ‘Yuj’ meaning to join or to unite, symbolizing the union of body and consciousness. It 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. Presently it is practiced in various forms across the globe and gaining its popularity rapidly. In present era, climate change is undoubtedly the biggest bane that focuses our generation. There is dire need to innovate, debate and implement new and more effective ways to reverse the negative impact the human population on the environment. Yoga can contribute in a holistic way to achieve a balance between mind and body. This approach to health and well-being can make a direct and useful contribution to the mankind’s quest to achieve sustainable development and adopt lifestyles that are in harmony with nature. Modern era is known for technological advancement which has made our life comfortable and easy but incorrect and busy lifestyle, pollution, changing climatic conditions, modern work culture etc. have made the life difficult. Many problems have been created in all the dimensions of life viz. physical, mental, intellectual, emotional, social and spiritual. Yoga tries to provide a right direction in all walks of life. The uniqueness of Yoga is that it takes care of our health. This facilitates the practitioners of other systems of medicine, including conventional medicine to prescribe Yogic therapies to the patients. The aim of Yoga practice is to overcome all kinds of sufferings that lead to a sense of freedom in every walk of life. Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition. It is an art and science for a healthy living. It focuses mainly on bringing harmony between mind and body. The practice of Yoga leads to the union of an individual consciousness with the universal consciousness. The science of Yoga has its origin thousands of years ago. The seers and sages carried this powerful Yogic science to different parts of the world including Asia, the Middle East, northern Africa and South America. Modern scholars have noted and marveled at the close parallels found between ancient cultures across the globe. But the Yogic system found its fullest expression in India. Yoga is widely considered as an immortal cultural outcome. Although Yoga was being practiced in the pre-Vedic period but the great sage Maharishi Patanjali systematized and codified the existing Yogic practices, its meaning and its related knowledge through Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. After that many sages and Yoga experts contributed greatly for the preservation and development of the field through well documented practices and literature. Presently, Yoga has been spread all over the world by the teachings of many famous Yoga masters from ancient times to the present date. Now-a-days everybody has conviction about Yoga practices towards prevention of diseases and promotion of good health. Lakhs of people across the globe have benefitted by the practice of Yoga. The practice of Yoga is blossoming and growing faster across the globe. In present era, Yoga is one of the most prominent well-being practices. It is a comprehensive practice that includes each and every aspect of life. It is considered as a way of life. It involves moral aspects, relationships, evolvement of one’s consciousness and finally the physical practice. Yoga is a spiritual science originated in India by ancient Indian sages. In India this practice has been considered as the mental, physical and spiritual practice from the last 5,000 years. Yoga was originated in India in ancient times when people used meditation to transform their body and mind. Yoga is an invaluable gift of our ancient tradition and it embodies unity of mind and body. It brings harmony between man and nature. Yoga is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with ourselves, the world and nature. It can help us deal with climate change by changing our lifestyles. The Yoga is well accepted across the globe. Launching a particular date of practicing yoga all across the world and celebrating as yoga day was initiated by the Indian Prime Minister to the United Nations General Assembly. It has been observed that Yoga is beneficial for all the human beings if it is practiced regularly. Yoga is a valuable gift of India to the world. Yoga unites mind and body, thought and action. Yoga harmonizes man and nature and is useful for the well-being of human beings. Yoga helps to change our life style and everyone should adopt this practice because of COVID-19 pandemic, declining health status and changing climate in the present era. This resolution has been adopted under the Global Health and Foreign Policy by the General Assembly in order to provide a holistic approach to the people across the globe for their health. International Yoga Day is celebrated by the global leaders across the world and it is celebrated in more than 170 countries including the USA, Canada, China, UK etc. Yoga increases the level of well-being of the people and helps to change the life styles of the people in a positive way.
Yoga helps shape long, strong muscles in our legs, arms, back, and abdomen. Yoga improves the balance in our mind and body. It also helps to strengthen the muscles around the joints by reducing their load. People with arthritis often see marked improvement in their pain and mobility with regular yoga practice. Yoga prevents back pain. Increased flexibility and strength can help to prevent the causes of back pain. Many people who have back pain spend a lot of time on computer or driving a car, which causes tightness throughout the body and spinal compression. Yoga counteracts these conditions. Yoga teaches us best ways of breathing. We generally take shallow breaths. Yoga breathing exercises, called Pranayama, focus our attention on breathing and teach us how to take deep breaths, which is beneficial for the entire body. Certain types of breath can also help to clear the nasal passages and even calm the nervous system. Yoga increases mental calmness. Yoga asana practice is intensely physical. Concentrating so intently on what our body is doing has the effect on the calmness to our mind and body. Yoga helps for meditation techniques, such as how to focus on our breath and disengage from our thoughts. These skills are very valuable in intense situations. Yoga reduces our stress. Yoga as a non-invasive mode of treatment and it can treat the mind and body effectively with its different practices. Yoga is the right medium for the people to avoid their health problems. Yoga develops positive attitude and promotes positive health.
(The author is Scientist & Head, KVK Reasi).

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