International Day of Yoga – a Cordial Invitation
The 21st June, which is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, known as the Summer Solstice, marks the transition from Uttarayana to Dakshinayana. Uttarayana, which begins on the shortest day, the Winter Solstice, marks the turning of the sun back to the north and longer days; with Dakshinayana, the longest day, marking the turning of the sun towards the south, and shorter days. The Solstices are a part of the rhythm of the earth, from striving to flowering, from Dakshinayana, the time of doing, to Uttarayana, the time of reaping the natural harvest that comes from the doing.
The first full moon after Summer Solstice is known as Guru Poornima, and in the yogic lore, is the first transmission of yoga by Shiva, the first Guru. This day is also considered a time when there is natural support for those pursuing spiritual practices.
Now, it is also known as, ‘International Day of Yoga’.
The idea was the inspiration of the Indian Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi. He asked the world leaders to adopt an International Yoga Day, saying that by changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help us deal with climate change. Modi said, “Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day,” He noted that Yoga is “an invaluable gift of our ancient tradition”. He added, “It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature.”
“Yoga embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfilment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being,” he concluded.
Last year, 190 countries around the world joined the celebrations, and demonstrated the practical benefits of Yoga in its many forms. Such a show of unity is both a wonder, and an inspiration.
Yoga has been around for as much as 5000 years. However, there is definitely great benefit in all its forms. Whether it is yoga asanas, which are body postures, pranayama, which is breathing technique, or meditation, which is the king of yoga, and addresses and empowers the very aspect of who we truly are, the Soul.
The Soul is the fundamental part of our essence, it is the pin-point of our consciousness, it is the basis of all our experiences and it is the foundation of life itself. Without the soul, the body becomes merely a corpse!
When we nurture this part of who we are, we are capable of amazing things.
We can transform our bad habits, actions and way of thinking.
We can reform our behaviour, our attitude and out intentions, which is the basis of self-transformation, and so transformation of the world in general.
Mr. Modi spoke of yoga being able to help in controlling climate change. Yoga is the only way to bring lasting peace into the world. Yoga is ‘connection’; firstly to the self, and then to The Source, The Divine.
This year, many of Brahma Kumaris Raja Yoga Centres from around the country are planning to participate in the event. The district level plan include month long activities such as, Yoga Camps, workshops/seminars on Yoga, Yoga Run, Yoga March/Walk, Health Exhibitions, Live display of Film of Yoga, Health Checkup Camps, Sale and distribution of books on Yoga etc. and of course Raja Yoga Meditation starting from 21st May, 2016 to 21st June, 2016.
On the finale day, 21st June, 2016, the Brahma Kumaris will also organize mass meditation camp, in the form of a deep experience of Easy Raja Yoga Meditation, an open-eyed contemplation of the real self, the shining star at the centre of the forehead, and your connection with the Supreme Soul.
We cordially invite you to be part in these celebrations by keeping in touch with your nearest BK Centre.