Mains Paper 2: International
Prelims level: International Day of Yoga
• While addressing the 69th session of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on September 27, 2014, the Honorable Prime Minister of India urged the world community to adopt an International Day of Yoga. On December 11, 2014, the 193 member UNGA approved the proposal by consensus with a record 177 cosponsoring countries, a resolution to establish 21 June as “International Day of Yoga”.
• Yoga is essentially a spiritual discipline based on an extremely subtle science which focuses on bringing harmony between mind and body. It is an art and science for healthy living. The word “Yoga” is derived from the Sanskrit root ‘yuj’ meaning “to join”, “to yoke” or “to unite”. According to Yogic scriptures, the practice of Yoga leads to the union of an individual consciousness with the universal consciousness. According to modern scientists, everything in the universe is just a manifestation of the same quantum firmament. One who experiences this oneness of existence is said to be “in Yoga” and is termed as a yogi who has attained a state of freedom, referred to as mukti, nirvāna, kaivalya or mokṣa.
• “Yoga” also refers to an inner science comprising of a variety of methods through which human beings can achieve union between the body and mind to attain self-realisation. The aim of Yoga practice (sādhana) is to overcome all kinds of sufferings that lead to a sense of freedom in every walk of life with holistic health, happiness and harmony.
How Yoga Can Help:
• Yoga is essentially a path to get liberated from all the bondages. However, medical research in recent years has uncovered many physical and mental benefits that Yoga offers, corroborating the experiences of millions of practitioners. A small sampling of research shows that:
o Yoga is beneficial for physical fitness, musculoskeletal functioning and cardio-vascular health.
o It is beneficial in the management of diabetes, respiratory disorders, hypertension, hypotension and many lifestyle related disorders.
o Yoga helps to reduce depression, fatigue, anxiety disorders and stress.
o Yoga helps to regulate menstrual and menopausal symptoms.
o In essence, Yoga is a process of creating body and mind that are stepping-stones, not hurdles, to an exuberant and fulfilling life.