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International Yoga Day - 2023

Yoga is a physical , mental , and spiritual practice that originated in ancient India. It encompasses a wide range of techniques and discipline aimed at promoting physical strength, flexibility, mental clarity, and overall well being. The practice of yoga involves various postures (asanas), breathing exercises, regulated breathing (Pranayama), meditation, and relaxation.

International Yoga Day, also known as World Yoga Day, is celebrated annually on June 21st. Following a proposal by the prime minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, June 21st was officially declared by the United Nations General Assembly in 2014 as the Day to celebrate the benefits of Yoga. The declaration of International yoga day highlights the universal appeal and benefits of yoga for people of all ages and backgrounds.

International yoga day has gained significant recognition and participation globally. It has brought together people from diverse cultures, religions, and traditions, emphasizing the unity and harmony that yoga can foster. The celebration of this day serves as a reminder of the importance of maintaining a balanced and healthy lifestyle through the practice of yoga.

Yoga has its roots in ancient Indian philosophy. The practice of Yoga as we know it today is an evolution of philosophical concepts and principles developed over thousands of years. In Indian philosophy, Yoga is often associated with various philosophical systems, including but not limited to :

• Samkhya philosophy : Samkhya is one of the oldest schools of Indian philosophy and provides the theoretical basis for understanding the nature of reality and the self. It explore the concepts of purusha (consciousness) and prakrithi (material nature), and yoga is considered a means to liberate oneself from the influence of prakriti and attain self – realization .

• Vedanta philosophy : Vedanta is a school of philosophy that focuses on the teachings of the upanishads , which are considered the final part of the vedas (ancient Indian scriptures). Vedanta philosophy emphasizes the ultimate reality of Bramhan (the absolute) and the illusion of the individual self (jiva).Yoga is seen as a means to realise the non-dualistic nature of Bramhan and Jiva.

• Advaita Vedanta : Advaita Vedanta is a specific branch of Vedanta philosophy that advocated the non-dualistic perspective, asserting the Bramhan and the individual self are ultimately one. Yoga, in this context, is a path of self- inquiry and meditation to realise this non- dualistic reality.

• Bhakti philosophy: Bhakti is the path of devotion and surrender to a personal deity or a divine figure. Bhakti philosophy considers yoga as a means to devlop a deep and loving relationship with the divine through practices such as chanting, prayer, and meditation.

These philosophies helps individuals to explore the nature of reality, the self , and the ultimate purpose of human existence. Yoga philosophy encompasses a comprehensive system of beliefs, principles and practices that guide the understanding and application of yoga. Here are some key elements of yoga philosophy :

1. Patanjali’s yoga sutras :Patanjali , an ancient sage, compiled the yoga sutras, which serve as one of the foundational texts of yoga philosophy. The yoga sutras consists of 196 principles that outline the eight limbs of yoga (Astanga yoga) and provide guidance on achieving self realization and liberation (Samadhi).

2. Eight limbs of yoga : This is outlined in Patanjali yoga sutras, serves as a practical guide for leading a balanced and purposeful life. These limbs are : Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, Samadhi.

3. Mind-body connection : It recognises the intimate connection between the mind and body. It focuses on the harmony of both aspects to achieve overall well being through practice of yoga postures, breath control, meditation, to cultivate the state of balance, inner peace and self- awareness

At its core , yoga philosophy seeks to facilitates self-realization and liberation from the limitations of the ego and the cycle of suffering.

The philosophical foundations of yoga provide a framework for understanding the purpose , goals and techniques of the practice.

We here in Vivekananda Health Global provide unique experience of evidence based and customized yoga program’s from wellness to disease management across different age groups.

The graded approach from basic to advanced practices combines postures(Asanas),different breathing practices(Pranayama),internal cleansing practices(Kriyas),Meditation(Dhyana) and guided relaxation, helps establish complete state of physical and mental health , we in Vivekananda health global have yoga for positive health which has been moduled into various categories such as :

1. VY Active module – this is based on the classical texts of Patanjali Yoga Sutras and Hatha Yoga Pradipika. The focus is to build physical and mental strength through these ancient practices: Asanas (Postures) , Pranayama (Breathing Techniques) , Relaxation Techniques , Meditation , Kriyas (Cleansing Techniques), Trataka (Eye Exercise).

2. VY Cardio module - is designed to improve cardiovascular functioning, burn calories and sculpt a lean, toned body. It is essential for maintaining optimal functioning of the heart and lungs and increases flexibility due to series of intense asanas designed to produce sweat and offer a real work-out.

3. VY Dynamic module - Designed with a flow, focuses on the non-stop series of asanas performed in succession in order to discover inner rhythm which in return helps to gain control over breathing patterns whilst maintaining a steadily-paced physical practice.

4. VY Hatha yoga module - It combines breath regulation and the static maintenance of postures for a length of time. It involves basic postures done in slow pace and is based on a traditional, ancient practice described in the Hathayoga Pradipika. It offers the participant further scope to dwell deep into the asana practice through its slow, steady approach. Awareness of breath and maintenance of postures for lengthy duration, allows for gradual cessation of thought and the ability to achieve meditative states during the asana practice.

5. VY for Corporates – This program is offered to the corporates or working professionals. Yoga module for the corporates can promote positive health, prevent stress related disorders and manage occupational stress.

By prioritizing yoga in our daily routines, we nurture a connection between our body, mind, and spirit, promoting a healthier and peaceful life. Where as to fully experience the benefits of yoga, it is important to have proper guidance and instruction. This ensures that the practice is effective and safe. Professional guidance helps individuals understand the correct techniques, proper alignment, and necessary modifications for different yoga postures (asanas). This knowledge maximizes the physical benefits of yoga while minimizing the risk of injuries. Expert guidance also facilitates learning various breathing techniques (pranayama), internal cleansing practices (kriyas), meditation (dhyana), and guided relaxation. By receiving proper guidance, individuals can establish a strong foundation and progress safely, allowing them to derive the full physical and mental benefits of yoga without compromising their well-being. And , individuals can receive personalized guidance and instruction based on their specific issue and corncerns.