What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of holistic wellness? The most common answer is Yoga. This is a powerful word that contains the most powerful and effective exercises in terms of physical, mental, emotional and psychological health. There are endless numbers of asanas or exercises under the umbrella of Yoga which provide absolute health benefits to the practitioners. Yoga originated in India centuries ago but it got recognition at the global platform only a few years back. Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is a huge follower of Yoga proposed International Day of Yoga in the United Nations General Assembly(UNGA) on 27th September 2014. In his speech, the honourable Prime Minister had said: “Yoga is an invaluable gift of India's ancient tradition. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfilment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help in well being. Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day.” He suggested the date of celebration to be 21st June as this day is the longest day of the year and it also has a special significance in many ways. Ever since the whole world celebrates 21st June as International Yoga Day.
Yoga Day History
Even though Yoga has been practiced for years, it got global recognition and now, people from all the parts of the world merrily celebrate this day which signifies the power of Yoga. It has the power to unite the world and bring it together to spread peace and harmony. This move was welcomed by the Yoga Gurus as they ecstatically participated in making this day a memorable one. Every year on 21st June, you could see large groups of people doing Yoga which is a sight to behold. People of all geographical locations can be seen twisting and turning their bodies while doing Yoga. The International Day of Yoga has helped people to get access to this ancient form of exercise as this now has become so popular that people of all regions are seen doing and teaching Yoga to their communities.
Types Of Yoga
Yoga is a vast form with innumerable yoga asanas. Therefore, they have been broken down into eight types.
1. Vinyasa Yoga
This is one of the most popular and most practiced yoga. The word ‘Vinyasa’ means a balance of breath and movement. The asanas are done in a flow without breaking the sync between breathing and moving. This is more of moving meditation.
2. Ashtanga Yoga
‘Ashtanga’ means ‘eight limbs’ and Ashtanga Yoga is considered as traditional Indian Yoga. It involves eight limbs of the body with a series of postures.
Ashtanga means “eight limbs” and encompasses a yogic lifestyle. Most people identify Ashtanga as traditional Indian yoga. Like Vinyasa yoga, the Ashtanga yoga asanas (postures) synchronize breath with movement as you move through a series of postures.
3. Iyengar Yoga
This Yoga is named after the very famous Yogi B.K.S Iyengar. This is quite similar to Ashtanga Yoga but it uses props like blankets, blocks, bolsters and straps as well.
4. Bikram Yoga
Bikram Yoga is one of the toughest Yoga as it is traditionally practiced in a hot and humid room without compromising on postures and alignment.
5. Jivamukti Yoga
This yoga is different as it incorporates Asanas or movement along with Pranayama(breathing techniques) and chanting of Sanskrit mantras. This is a blend of physical and spiritual exercise.
6. Power Yoga
Power yoga is a more intense core yoga where ashtanga exercises are practiced but at a quicker pace. This exercises the whole body.
7. Sivananda Yoga
Swami Vishnudevananda designed this Yoga with five principles: proper breathing, positive thinking, relaxation, exercise and diet. Together, these make a healthy yogic lifestyle.
8. Yin Yoga
Yin Yoga is all about relaxation. Exercises are performed comfortably without putting any strain on the body. The motive of this Yoga is to lengthen the connective tissues.