International Yoga Day is celebrated on June 21 every year across the world to highlight the benefits of yoga in your daily lifestyle. In 2022 the theme for Yoga Day is “Yoga for Humanity.”
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, in his Yoga message for 2022, said that this year’s theme reminds everyone “how yoga is truly universal.” On how yoga has helped people during the COVID-19 pandemic, he added, “For hundreds of millions of people worldwide, yoga has also been an essential lifeline during the COVID-19 pandemic, providing an important means of coping with the challenges of social isolation and stress.”
Besides all the negative and disturbing situations around the world due to pandemic, we should be grateful, that we are blessed with technology and can get all the benefits of yoga at our home.
All we are well aware of the benefits of yoga and here I am not going to tell you again. These days different yogis around the world are helping people to achieve their mental and physical health goals.
That’s why I contacted a few yogis on Instagram and got to know what is the real meaning of yoga for them.
In this article, I have compiled a list of yogis and their meaning of YOGA. Let’s read together!
For some, yoga may be a ritual that helps them unwind after a stressful day. For others, it could be an activity they pursue fitness.
A way to lose some inches and drop a few kilos. Yoga, to me, goes beyond these obvious benefits.
It’s more than a daily routine, an exercise, a stress buster, or a weight-loss program.
Yoga empowers me to be the best version of myself. Not just when I’m on a mat practicing an asana, but even in my day-to-day life. The focus and alignment in my practice, manifest in every other aspect of my life.
‘Yogah karmasu kaushalam.’ In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna says these beautiful words to Arjuna that translate to: “Yoga is excellence at work.” This meaning of yoga resonates with me on a personal level.
In simple words, yoga is a state of mind achieved when you lose yourself completely in a task and the world around you slowly fades away.
Whether you’re baking a cake, changing your car’s tire, writing code, or filing taxes —if you’re giving your hundred percent and immersing yourself completely in an action, that’s yoga.
If your mind and body are communicating smoothly with each other — working in perfect sync, that’s yoga. Today, I can say with confidence that practicing yoga on the mat has helped me and my students practice yoga off the mat too.
Till a few years, back yoga for me was one of the forms of exercise. I never understood when people used to talk about yoga in a spiritual way.
I never understood what meditation really is and never felt the need for the same. Though I was still practicing it on and off.
But then due to some mishaps in my life, I started practicing yoga every day. It became an essential part of my life.
In fact, it gave me another life physically. Yet I wasn’t connected the way other yogis would describe.
But as I kept practicing, trying new and more difficult asanas and interacting with other yogis I somewhere found the essence of it. My practice became more inward than outward.
I started listening to my body and understanding it better. My practice became more about making my mind and soul strong than the body. I still do not do traditional meditation but I found ways of meditating through art.
I’m still on my journey and I might have not explored yoga even 10% but it’s not a competition. What matters is what you take away at the end of the practice.
Today asana has become the synonyms of yoga. People only focus on asanas as it seems fascinating and attractive, but actually yoga is beyond the mat. In 8 limbs of yoga, asana comes after Yama and Niyama (habits and lifestyle).
In fact, for me, yoga is something which helps us to find ourselves but we have forgotten it. In other words, yoga is a way to find the divine energy which is within us already.
You should focus on how the asanas make you feel, not how they should appear, and always listen to your body. Asana helps us to keep our body healthy but we should focus on lifestyle too(Yamas and Niyam).
To add, Pranayama and meditation with your asana practice helps you to achieve your ultimate goal of yoga. The nature of yoga is to shine the light of awareness into the darkest corner of the body. Namaste.
Yoga means a bright path to walk throughout life. Since I have started Yoga I found my inner energy and I can feel it in a better way. I am more sensitive towards human feelings and their nature.
I can feel more connected with nature and understand vibes that are always there but we ignored.
Yoga is a lifestyle by which we can achieve our motivate of living and that creates positive and peaceful energy in this world.
Yoga has to transform power and now all over the world is feeling that and adoptions it as a lifestyle and spreading awareness.
My motive is to spread Yoga awareness as much as I can for my whole life and make this world a better place to live.
Viswa Sampreethi Pilla
Yoga is not just a way of life for me but also the way to a qualitative life. It is a harmonious trinity between the mind, body, and soul.
A union that lets you connect with what is beyond yourself, which in turn helps establish a connection with the world, where you will experience life beyond the aspects of compulsiveness.
I am a fitness freak and added yoga to my daily practice since 2016 thinking of it as a mere exercise, a workout routine but as years passed and as I dived deeper in my yoga practice, I learned the true essence of yoga. I was able to overcome my OCD and BDD issues; I was able to move over the myth of perfection.
A sense of acceptance and peace started to sink in. Ever since then, I did not give up on yoga; I even had a smooth sailing pregnancy and post-partum phase in my thirties.
I still learn from it every day and celebrate life in every way. It is not about what is on the surface but about transcendence. Stay humble, stay harmonious, and stay healthy.
Yoga is a profound science and is practiced all over the world today. ASANAS forms a very small part of the ocean that yoga is, and as practitioners and teachers we must understand yoga in its TOTALITY.
Yama, Niyama, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana are some important aspects of yoga, which when practiced along with asanas leave a deep effect on the mind.
Some more practices like mudra and kriya are also great ways of cleansing and detoxing the body. All these practices together form tools to move forward in yoga and realize the potential we hold as human beings.
Thus I would say yoga is not just a practice on the mat, but its a practice or a lifestyle that is to be followed off the mat.
We are all spiritual beings, with capabilities still unknown to us. Our rishis have given us tools(in traditional books of yoga) to realize the potential we hold, using which we can become better versions of ourselves.
Yogic practices have a direct effect on the mind. However, it is also important to learn from an authentic teacher, who teaches you about the importance and role of these practices, and how it affects the mind.
It teaches you love, compassion, non-judgemental attitude, acceptance, detachment, the importance of continuous practice(in any field), afflictions and its causes, causes of disturbances in the mind and ways to control them, etc..
This science must be used to its fullest capacity for the betterment of the human race, to move forward on the path of spirituality, and to create a harmonious atmosphere around us.
Again, a yoga posture was probably involved and a “yoga mat” and “pants”. Some vivid portrait might visualize a Sun Salutation or arm balance—but most likely it was physical.
Is it just an exercise form?
Is it a philosophy, an ideology? Or is it something else entirely?
The word “YOGA” literally means “union”.
I highlighted these questions because they go to the heart of how we think about yoga. In turn, this colors our approach to the practice.
But if we change our understanding of the meaning of yoga, then we will change not only what we associate with yoga but also what we do on the mat.
For me, Yoga means “that which brings you to reality. Literally, it means “union.”
Union means it brings you to the ultimate reality, where individual manifestations of life are surface bubbles in the process of creation.
Yoga refers to the union not as an idea, a philosophy, or as a concept that you imbibe.
And that’s what we’ll be exploring.
Yoga is a process:
*Create Yoga by getting involved,
*This will give you choices,
*Make a choice,
*Learn from that choice then repeat 1.
Our participation creates the possibility of change and gives us different options than if we just stood by.
We don’t practice yoga by jumping on a mat or going to a yoga class. It’s what we do on the mat or in the class that matters.
Yoga is the process we can engage in to understand our body, the way it moves, and the way we use it. We can engage with our minds and understand it, where it habitually goes and how to focus it.
And we can work with our emotions and notice how we tend to react. Then we can build upon that and bring space so that we are not just responding to stimuli all of the time.
And finally, we wear attire that helps us engage in the process of relating to the world—the yoga pants.
It always comes back to pants.
Practice daily, Stay Strong, Stay Humble…
Yoga is so much more than a physical exercise to me. It is a lifestyle. Through the philosophies of yoga, I have been able to break away counter-productive habits while cultivating new positive ones.
With a mind that is flexible, I am better able to stretch my body and my soul to unleash its optimum potential.
Yoga teaches us how to manage our minds and our emotions, which eventually teaches us how to respond to situations rather than react.
Habits give us the illusion of ease preventing us from thinking out of the box. We breathe in the same old way, which is often too shallow, move our bodies in a way that can lead to poor posture hence backaches, and think in the same pattern that may be negative.
My aim is to break damaging habits and transform my mind, body, and soul in a more positively vibrant direction. My yoga and meditation classes exemplify this as no class is ever the same, and allows freedom to explore and expand the body and soul in unexpected ways.
The most important lesson I have learned through yoga is that it is really important to inspire and encourage ourselves to always give it our best.
Yes, it’s me. Yoga is a part of me. When I first came into yoga practice, it was just like another form of workout for me.
But by the time I realized, yoga is more than that. Being into yoga for the last 5 years, the most important thing I have learned that yoga isn’t just about acrobatics.
The first step of yoga is to understand your body first, without comparing yourself with others.
When you do yoga with this mindset, you learn how to be calm and relax and when you learn the art of relaxation, your body can heal itself.
Yoga isn’t going to turn everyone’s life around, but it has the potential to do so. You just need to be open to it.
What is your meaning of YOGA? Let’s know in the comment section below.
Happy International Yoga Day!