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Sunday, April 21, 2024

Why World Is Practising Yoga?

Well, the word "yoga" is derived from the Sanskrit word "yuj," which means to join or unite through various physical postures (asanas), breathing techniques (pranayama), meditation, and ethical principles. Even though the roots can be traced to ancient India but it has evolved over time and has been equally embraced by people around the world. The transformation of Yoga through yearly International day of Yoga celebration has made it a global mass movement.

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By: Vivek Shukla

What is common among world celebrities like David Beckham (Soccer star), Matthew McConaughey (Hollywood star), Gisele Bundchen (Brazilian supermodel), Lady Gaga (Singer), Madonna (The Queen of Pop), Jennifer Aniston (Hollywood) and host of their Indian counterparts like Kareena Kapoor and Malaika Arora? Well, they all practise Yoga to remain fit and fine. Like any other Yoga enthusiasts, these celebrities too would be gearing up for the International Yoga Day (June 21). As the 9th edition of International Yoga Day is just couple of days away, all those who practise Yoga enthusiasts in India and across the world would be preparing to be part of the big day in a big way. It goes without saying that since its inception in 2014, International Yoga Day has gained immense popularity worldwide. Millions of enthusiasts, who are conscious about their physical, mental, and spiritual health, practice Yoga on a regular basis.

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It is important to note that the two important features of this year’s International Day of Yoga celebration are “Yoga from Arctic to Antarctic” and “Ocean Ring”, which will demonstrates that Yoga is life sustaining force; it promotes physical strength, flexibility, and balance while enhancing mental clarity, focus, and emotional well-being.

“Yoga from Arctic to Antarctica” has been conceptualized to showcase Yoga demonstration on North and South Pole region i.e. Himadri – the Indian research base in Svalbard, Arctic and Bharati- the Indian research base in Antarctica and in countries falling on or near the Prime Meridian line. Whereas “Ocean Ring” will be yoga demonstration on Indian Naval bases, Coast guard stations, and friendly countries locations.

Well, the word “yoga” is derived from the Sanskrit word “yuj,” which means to join or unite through various physical postures (asanas), breathing techniques (pranayama), meditation, and ethical principles. Even though the roots can be traced to ancient India but it has evolved over time and has been equally embraced by people around the world. The transformation of Yoga through yearly International day of Yoga celebration has made it a global mass movement.

‘Yoga for Vasudhaiva Kutumbkam’ is this year’s International Day of Yoga theme, and it highlights the continuing, intrepid, and persistent efforts to build a world that is holistically healthy, joyous, peaceful, and dynamic. It has become a powerful driving force to realise the prayer of yore: ‘Sarve bahvantu sukhina, sarve santu niramaya’ (may all become happy and may all become disease-free’).

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Yoga has gradually integrated into mainstream society, reaching individuals who may not have been exposed to it before. The International Day of Yoga has played a crucial role in promoting yoga as a form of exercise, stress relief, and overall well-being, making it more accessible to people from diverse age groups, cultures, and socio-economic backgrounds.

The medical and therapeutic benefits of yoga have gained wider recognition globally during and after COVID-19 pandemic. The positive impact of yoga on physical and mental health led to the integration of yoga into healthcare systems and the development of yoga-based interventions for various health conditions.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself had recently asked the stakeholders of Ayush to speed up the efforts towards scientific evidence based research in traditional medical practices. For this, Ministry of Ayush has further strengthened and started propagating outcome of previous research work done through research councils and globally recognized research institutions at national and international level. Last year, the Union Cabinet, has approved the establishment of the WHO Global Centre for Traditional Medicine (WHO GCTM) in Jamnagar, Gujarat by signing an agreement between the Government of India and the World Health Organization (WHO). The setting up of the World Health Organisation’s GCTM in Jamnagar is likely to accelerate and give direction to this aspect. This work will be further accelerated through the schemes of CSIR-IGIB Ayurgenomics, Ayurtech-IIT Jodhpur, and NIMHANS etc. under the Center of Excellence.

If we compare research and clinical trials published per year before 2014, it revealed that the publication of research studies increased by about six times and clinical trials by about 11 times. This growth is not just numerical but also qualitative. Research is now being done in Yoga at par with modern science and the process of integration and holistic approach has gained momentum.

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The Centre for Integrative Medicine of AIIMS New Delhi has published more than 20 research papers in international level journals. Similarly, a multicentre, nationwide research study conducted in 100 districts in India called Controlled Diabetes India found that yoga is effective in controlling diabetes.

The other research such as yoga therapy in mental health, research related to Covid-19 and research being done in partnership on heart and cancer. Bangalore-based NIMHANS, AIIMS Rishikesh, HSC Group of Cancer Hospital, Indian Association for Palliative Care, Indian Cancer Society, etc. are partners of the Central Council for Research in Yoga and Naturopathy, which has taken initiative in such research.

It is well-known fact that the Indian government has been actively involved in promoting yoga both within the country and on the global stage. In 2014, Prime Minister Modi proposed the idea of observing June 21st as the International Day of Yoga, which was unanimously adopted by the United Nations. Since then, it has been organized on a massive scale across the country and around the world.

Come June 21, the world would celebrate Yoga Day to spread awareness about the invaluable benefits of Yoga. Remember practicing yoga might seem like just stretching, but it can do much more for your body than the way you feel, look and move. It even helps you with increasing flexibility, muscle strength and body tone. It improves respiration, energy and vitality. (The author can be reached at vivekshukladelhi@gmail.com)

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The Hills Times
The Hills Timeshttps://www.thehillstimes.in/
The Hills Times, a largely circulated English daily published from Diphu and printed in Guwahati, having vast readership in hills districts of Assam, and neighbouring Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.
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