International Yoga Day
International Yoga Day is June 21st, and I have to say I am really looking forward to it.
I am not one to celebrate random holidays, so I have to admit I was a little skeptical of this celebration when it first appeared 7 years ago. I was thinking, is this just another way for people to sell products like greeting cards with dogs in yoga poses? But, when I investigated the roots of International Yoga day I was happily surprised.
The idea of International Yoga Day was first initiated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a speech at the UN General Assembly. It is a day to celebrate yoga and to raise worldwide awareness of the many benefits of the over 5000 year old practice.
Yoga is not just stretching.
When we harmonize the breath and the body’s movements we bring on a state of peace and wellbeing in the body. We can use the breath as a tool to quiet our minds and become more present and aware.
When we have a quiet mind, we are able to see things with greater clarity.
The practice of yoga teaches us to seek clear understanding in all parts of our lives. To me, this means challenging myself to dive beneath the surface of perception, and live a life that reaches beyond superficial understanding.
People many times market yoga with crazy poses and beautiful bodies. It is no wonder that simple practices can get over-shadowed by the fun and flashy.
This year for International Yoga day let’s challenge ourselves to practice breathing and awareness in the body. Let go of the need to “pose” or “post”, and spend time connecting with the breath and quieting the mind. Maybe even seek out a class and enjoy the benefits of this amazing ancient practice. Namaste.
About the Author:
Christy Plaugher is an experienced Yoga teacher, focused on the use of the breath along with postures to quiet the mind. She inspires students to find the connection between the mind and body while pursuing a healthy lifestyle. Christy earned her degree at the University of Cincinnati, focusing on Cardiovascular Fitness and Health and has since gone on to own her own Yoga studios, has developed and led teacher training programs, and has been a Dynamic workshop presenter for over 20 years. Christy has received her ERYT 500 certification as well as her RYT 200 certification.