The Importance of Wellness on International Yoga Day
Posted: June 21, 2021 in Blog Bloom
June 21st is International Yoga Day. The practice of yoga originated 5,000 years ago in India. Its original focus was to promote a mind, body and soul connection in order to achieve enlightenment. It has gained a huge amount of popularity in the West during the past few decades. The emphasis for most American participants is on the physical poses (asanas), breathing techniques and meditation. In this article, I will explain the origin of International Yoga Day, list the many benefits of yoga and discuss the importance of wellness.
The Establishment of International Yoga Day
On September 27, 2014, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi initially proposed the idea of the establishment of an International Yoga Day during his speech at the UN General Assembly. India’s Ambassador to the UN, Asoke Kumar Mukerji, introduced a resolution to establish June 21st as International Yoga Day. It was passed by 177 nations, giving it the largest number of co-sponsors for any UN resolution. June 21st was chosen because it is the Summer Solstice and the longest day of the year.
To celebrate the first International Yoga Day, on June 21, 2015, in New Delhi, Prime Minister Modi and many political leaders from around the world led the performance of 21 yoga poses for 35 minutes. Nearly 36,000 people participated and the day has been commemorated globally on an annual basis ever since.
Benefits of Yoga
Yoga has been shown to provide both mental and physical health benefits for people of all ages both as a preventative regimen and as a treatment program to help recovery from surgery, illness and to relieve chronic pain. Yoga therapists can tailor an individualized plan for specific medical conditions which may even help to avoid the need for surgery. i.e. Yoga For Scoliosis.
Many people prefer to attend weekly classes while others engage in a daily yoga routine at home. If you are new to yoga, it is recommended that you attend classes in order to learn good form. Remember that it is important to move at your own pace and that any pose can be modified
to suit your needs. There are classes for different levels of expertise; Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced. There are classes for different populations; Young Children, Seniors, the Disabled and for a myriad of Specific Medical Conditions.
More and more types of yoga are being developed. Here is a link to 13 different types of yoga to help you find the right type for your needs. https://yogamedicine.com/guide-types-yoga-styles
1. Improves Strength, Balance, Flexibility and Mobility
The slow, sustained movements combined with deep breathing increase blood flow and warm up muscles. Maintaining a pose for a period of time can build strength.
2. Relieves Pain
The American College of Physicians now recommends yoga as a standard treatment for chronic low back pain. It is also highly effective in relieving neck pain and tension headaches by releasing tight muscles.
3. Reduces Arthritis Symptoms
According to a review of 11 recent studies by researchers at Johns Hopkins University, yoga has been shown to be effective in helping those with arthritis. It reduces the achiness associated with tender, swollen joints which increases mobility.
4. Encourages Heart Health
A regular yoga regimen may reduce levels of stress and inflammation which supports heart health. Yoga has been shown to lower blood pressure, cholesterol and resting heart rate and to slow atherosclerosis which are all risk factors for heart disease.
5. Facilitates Better Sleep
Research shows that engaging in a regular bedtime yoga routine can help you relax, preparing your body to fall asleep and stay asleep.
6. Boosts Energy Levels and Mood
Many people who follow a regular yoga regimen report an increase in their energy levels, making them more alert and elevating their mood. It has been shown to reduce aggression, depression and anxiety.
7. Helps To Manage Stress
Yoga reduces both mental and physical stress. Chronic stress weakens the immune system, increasing one’s susceptibility to serious health problems.
8. Provides A Connection With A Supportive Community
Attending regular group yoga classes connects you with like-minded people in your community. Knowing that you are a member of the world-wide yoga community can provide comfort especially for those who live alone or are housebound.
9. Promotes Self-Care
Some people view self-care as being selfish. It is quite the opposite. When you take the time to look after your own well-being, you are not only considering your own needs, but also the needs of friends, family members and co-workers. When you are emotionally and physically in a good place, that energy and joyful positivity affects everyone around you.
10. Helps With Weight Loss
Maintaining a regular yoga regimen has been shown to aid in weight reduction.
11. Helps With Smoking Cessation
Research demonstrates that the use of yoga as a complementary therapy increased the odds of quitting smoking. It also helped to avoid relapsing back into smoking.
12. Yoga Goes Mainstream
Organizations like the U.S military, the National Institutes of Health and many large corporations are embracing the scientific validation of the value of yoga, incorporating it into their health care recommendations.
13. The Importance of Wellness
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the definition of wellness is “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, not merely the absence of disease and infirmity.”
The concept of wellness is not a new one and it goes back to ancient Chinese, Greek and Roman cultures. They all advocated for the use of holistic techniques to achieve health, well-being and harmony in their lives.
Of course, 21st century life is much more challenging than that of our ancestors. In addition to physical, mental and social well-being, wellness should also include spiritual, intellectual, financial, occupational and environmental well-being. Challenging, to say the least!
Creating and adhering to your own personal wellness goals is very important but is no easy task in our fast paced world. Making the time for self-care in all arenas of your life will go a long way to achieving a healthy and fulfilling life. It is up to each individual to determine which plan of action works best to attain your wellness goals.
hopkinsmedicine.org, 9 Benefits of Yoga
nationaltoday.com, International Yoga Day – June 21, 2021
yogamedicine.com, Types of Yoga: A Guide to the Different Styles, May 18, 2018
nccih.nih.gov, Yoga: What You Need To Know
veraviafit.com, What Does Wellness Mean To You? June 17, 2015, Wyatt Chapman