The United Nations declared June 21st as International Day of Yoga and since 2015 this day is celebrated by practitioners of Yoga everywhere. Yoga exercises, breathing techniques and meditational focus are increasingly popular among various communities aspiring for physical fitness and mental wellbeing.
Yoga is known to promote a healthier lifestyle and research identifies the important role Yoga can play in prevention and treatment of illnesses. These benefits include improved cardiovascular health, blood pressure control, reduction in chronic back pain, managing diabetes, stress relief and many more. Yoga isn’t as simple as taking a pill, but mounting evidence suggests it can have a transformational effect on our health as well as our thinking and our lives.
Yogasana (physical postures) and Pranayama (breathing technique) are the most popular aspects of Yoga practised today for good health and mental well-being. Deeper dimensions included in the eight limbs of Yoga refer to moral and ethical behaviour, virtuous habits, self-control, introspection and meditation. ‘Yoga’ means union.
Yoga refers to a union of mind and body to ultimately transcend our physical identity and control our thoughts, our mind, our emotions and senses. This state of joyful equanimity leads to perceiving a union with all other humans and all of nature connected as one consciousness. A ‘Yogi’ experiences all existence as one energy manifesting itself in various forms. The International Yoga Day celebration seeks to promote this holistic universal appeal of Yoga for sustainable living, peace and harmony as members of one human family sharing one common precious home.
Local Yoga Providers:
On Saturday, June 24 join the International Day of Yoga free celebration at Langara College from 9 am to 12 pm. Over 200 participants will be on campus practicing traditional yoga techniques and learning about the history of this 5,000-year-old practice.
Another event is organized at the Punjab Bhawan on June 24 from 5 pm to 7 pm. A free Yoga day session and meal is also offered at the David Brankin Elementary School on Sunday June 25th from 10 am to 12 pm. For more information: email@example.com
Greater Vancouver is home to many organizations that offer training in Yoga with a holistic approach. The Art of Living Foundation Centre offers programs all over the lower mainland, specifically Surrey, New Westminster, Vancouver and Richmond. Their ‘Happiness Program’ focussing on breathing techniques, some physical exercises and practical wisdom is popular.
Raghuvir, one of the instructors combines musical arts, natural aesthetics and personal anecdotes to reinvigorate vital energies in the classroom and reverse negative emotions. His invitation is simple and very powerful, “Those attending the session are essentially aiming to be a little happier. “ Spiritual Guru of the Foundation, Shri Shri Ravi Shankar will be visiting the Art of Living retreat centre in Quebec between July 9th and July 16th to offer Yoga courses, meditation and other programs.
Isha Foundation founded by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev a yogi, visionary, and one of the foremost authorities on yoga offers yoga programs under the name Isha Yoga. Isha is offering a Meditation for Beginners (Free Class) at the Capilano Library on Saturday June 17 at 3 pm. A 1 hour introduction to inner engineering is offered free at Asian Centre, University of British Columbia on June 22 at 6:30 pm. Email enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 604.900.1913
Ava Schriver Dunn has been practising Isha yoga and breathing techniques for years and says it has been a life transforming experience, ” Since learning Shambhavi Kriya directly from Sadhguru just over 2 weeks ago, and practicing this powerful process for twice a day, I can honestly say I finally feel I have found the missing link to my overall health and well-being.
In this short time, I am no longer chronically fatigued, I require less sleep every night, I am more energetic, my joints are no longer chronically inflamed, and the food intolerances are subsiding; I feel more alive and have a spring in my step I haven’t had for a very long time. I am now excited about my future and looking forward to experiencing a more vibrant, healthy, and long Life.”