On the 21st of June we will observe the third International Day of Yoga – a worldwide tradition that started in 2015. The dedication of an entire day to this spiritual practice was instigated by the Prime Minister of India in an address to the United Nations General Assembly.
The longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, also known as the Summer Solstice, was the chosen date for this event due to the significance it holds around the globe.
Since the inception of International Day of Yoga, there has been something of a division in opinion as to what this day is really about. Some people seem reluctant to allow the Indian government to dictate their fitness choices, and believe that it is simply an extreme PR stunt by the country. However, others have embraced International Day of Yoga as a celebration of all that yoga embodies.
Regardless of the significance that this day holds for different people, it is true to say that the practice itself is acknowledged, appreciated and practiced by many, many millions of people!
Today we would like to honour this ancient discipline by sharing some interesting facts about yoga with you!
Many centuries ago, yogis believed that humans only had a limited number of breaths!* It was thought that our number of breaths was allocated at birth, and once they had all been used up then the end of life would come. This is one of the reasons that practitioners of this spiritual practice advocated slowing down – both in terms of life and with breathing! Today we also know that slow, deep breathing is extremely beneficial for lowering stress levels and promoting a sense of calm.
A study completed in collaboration between Yoga Alliance and Yoga Journal in 2015 suggested that more than 36 million people in the United States alone practice yoga! The number of people practicing yoga worldwide could be as many as two billion, according to a guru from India.*
Teaching yoga is becoming a popular career choice, with close to 53,000 yoga teachers being registered with Yoga Alliance. However, the number of teachers around the world is obviously much greater! There are many incredible benefits to this kind of work and considering the huge numbers of people who practice yoga, it is almost certain that more and more people will embrace teaching yoga as a job in the future.
The purification and rebalancing of the chakras in the body is an often under-appreciated but seriously powerful advantage of practicing yoga. By keeping positive energy flowing through the chakras, the body is better able to maintain optimum physical and mental health.
You can click here to read more about the chakras and how you can also balance them through the colours you surround yourself with. The colour of the clothing that you select for yourself each day is the perfect place to start.
Age is No Obstacle
Tao Porchon-Lynch is officially the oldest yoga teacher in the world at 98 years old!* Tao has held this record since 2012 when she was 93, and continues to teach yoga to this day. Currently residing in New York, she has been practicing yoga for an incredible nine decades.
Tao believes, “When you are in touch with the breath there is no such thing as age.”