In 2014, the UN decided that June 21 each year would be International Yoga Day. The choice of this date has a special meaning because it is the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere. Yoga, which as a practice originated in India around 5000 years ago, is today known and recognized all over the world in one form or another. It has been adapted across the world in various ways and practiced in recreation centers, health clubs, schools, hospitals, gymnasiums and homes, not only as a form of exercise but also as a philosophy of life.
This year too, International Yoga Day will be celebrated on June 21, despite all the vagaries and restrictions due to COVID, under the slogan“Yoga for Humanity”.
Yoga is not just a series of physical poses or ‘Asanas’, but it is a philosophy of life that posits that mind, body and spirit are one and cannot be separated. Yoga uses mindful breathing, meditation, lifestyle and diet changes, visualization and the use of sound to help connect mind, body and spirit. Yoga therefore not only has benefits for physical and mental health, it becomes the vehicle to connect you to your spirituality through meditation, concentration and prayer. The most important aspect of yoga is that it makes a person self-aware. In yoga, it is what you do for yourself that counts. It is therefore not a passive act of receiving but an active act of getting involved for your own well-being. It allows you to build a space mind in which the more one engages, the more one benefits from it. This form of commitment allows a person to dare to change and to see that daring to change gives hope. Hope brings the person concerned to the ground of positivity and urges them to move in the direction of physical and mental recovery. Repeated scientific studies have established the benefits of yoga. They have shown its ability to reduce stress, relieve anxiety, reduce inflammation, improve heart health, fight depression, reduce chronic pain, improve sleep quality, improve flexibility and balance, improve breathing and lung capacity, relieve headaches and migraine problems, boost people’s strengths and promote healthy eating habits, to name but the most important. In short, yoga positively influences our lives, mentally and physically, and it is likely to improve the overall quality of life.
Anyone can do Yoga, it does not require any special equipment or preparation. You don’t have to be a master to do yoga, what is required is a positive mindset and a willingness to adopt yoga as a regular practice. You don’t have to be flexible to do yoga, it comes with time. You don’t need to be strong to do yoga, it comes with time, you don’t need to know all the yoga poses, it comes with time and practice. Anyone, regardless of body type, size, or fitness level, can start doing yoga. Images of slim, youthful, or “glamorous” models striking yoga poses are only the superficial aspect of yoga philosophy. Some people claim yoga is too easy while others claim yoga is too difficult. So it’s what a person can do and their ability to go to higher levels that is important. This is why yoga is considered a practice rather than a workout. Practicing yoga isn’t just about what you perform on your mat, it’s about what you get out of your session that benefits you throughout the rest of your day. The regular practice of yoga establishes a discipline that is very important for managing the stresses of modern life and contributes positively to the physical, mental and emotional well-being of any individual.
Tunisia warmly welcomes and has been practicing yoga for a long time. Yoga offers a perfect counter to stress and a viable solution to help improve the situation in our daily lives.
The Embassy of India in Tunis warmly invites all yoga enthusiasts to join the celebration of International Yoga Day 2022 with a yoga session at Flag Square, Belvedere Park, Tunis on Sunday, June 19 2022 at 6 p.m. The yoga session will be followed by light refreshments.