International YOGA Day
Yesterday, 21st June, the day of the summer solstice, was the International yoga day. The date was chosen because it is the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere and a meaningful day all over the world. In India, it marks the transition to Dakshinayana and it is said that the first yogi, Adi Yogi, began imparting the knowledge of yoga to mankind on this day. The United Nations, recognising how popular yoga has become all over the world, proclaimed this date as the International Yoga day. For this year the theme is Yoga for Peace.
Let’s learn some terms!
Yoga – In Sanskrit it means “union” or “connection” and is used to indicate both a state of connection and a body of techniques that allow us to connect to something.
Asana – yoga poses or postures. This is what we refer to when we say that we take ‘yoga classes’. But it is only one aspect of yoga. Asana has the purpose of opening the energy channels and create balance in body and mind.
Chakra – Represents the energy centres in the body, located between the base of the spine and the crown of the head. We have 7 chakras and how we feel and where we are in life is reflected in these chakras. Therefore, having balanced chakras has a positive effect on people’s well-being.
Mantra – is a word, sound or phrase repeated either out loud or in the mind to make concentration easier while meditating.
Namaste – is an Indian greeting. In Sanskrit “Nama” means “bow”, “as” means “I” and “te” is “you”. When saying Namaste, people should bring their palms together in front of their heart or forehead and bow the head a little, closing their eyes. It is a custom to start and end a yoga class with Namaste.
Prana – is the life energy or life force in all living beings. The equivalent of Qi or Chi.
Sutras – a collection of teaching about yoga (“sutra” means literally “aphorism”) originated from the sage Patanjani. They describe the philosophical basis of yoga.
So now that you’ve been introduced to the basics, why not celebrate this day by attending yoga tester sessions like millions of people around the world?