International Yoga Day

International Yoga Day is celebrated all over the world on 21st June to raise the awareness of this ancient practice which helps to heal everyone in a holistic and natural way. The theme for this year selected by “The Ministry of Ayush” is “Yoga for Humanity”. In these testing times of Pandemic when this entire world has been through a lot of distress, yoga as a practice has gained a lot of significance in bringing the mental and physical peace that most of us seek.

For most of us, Yoga is something that happens only on the mat in the form of asana practice. But in reality, it is much more than that, as asana is just a physical aspect of Yoga practice, but as per Vedas, human life suffers as their happiness is directly attached to the material world. However, the base of yoga is to improve our lifestyle through holistic and sustainable practices.

The act of humanity is to practice through acts of love, kindness and social intelligence by all towards everyone and every living creature around us. It could be for another human in the form of a friend, family, complete stranger or for any living creation of mother earth that helps us to live on this beautiful planet. In this journey of humanity, the aim is to take responsibility for our own actions and understand how they affect others. For example, if we aim to become rich or to grow in any possible way, we would never care if any other person or any other being on this planet is being harmed. But if we think about it with kindness and compassion, we will look at our growth and evolution as having the least impact on the surroundings.

As per Bhagavad Geeta, Karma Yoga is beautifully explained as an action done without any expectation of material return. These expectations are the attachments that when not fulfilled bring a lot of unhappiness and restlessness within us. Instead, if the act is performed with the element of divinity, it brings a great sense of happiness and joy around us and within us.

The act of humanity can be done in many ways which could be as simple as helping a blind person to reach his/her destination or planting fruit trees in an orphanage and taking responsibility for them till they become self-sustainable or spreading awareness of yoga practice in the form of asana, pranayama and meditation in rural areas or participating in conservation projects to save our ecosystem or giving someone in need something that is really dear to you or just helping a stranger in need without having any expectation in return whatsoever.

Every night before going to sleep when you think about your day and you realize that you have made an effort to plant a seed of hope in a heart of someone who had lost all the hopes in life or someone is feeling less burdened because you did your part or you are the reason of laugh that chased someone’s tear away or tonight your name is mentioned when someone kneels to pray, then my friend your day was really spent well, as this will give you the real peace of mind and joy that no money or material things can give.

This International Yoga Day, along with other yogic practices like asana, pranayama and meditation let us also contemplate this principle of humanity and ask ourselves “the real purpose of our life, how can we serve?”, listen to whatever answer we get without evaluation and judgment and with a kind heart put it into action without any expectations. Let us leave footprints of love and compassion wherever we go.

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