Yoga, an art that traces its origins in Ancient India, has now become a truly universal phenomenon. As a result of India’s initiative, the United Nations unanimously declared June 21 as International Yoga Day, last year. "The resolution was passed within a record time of 75 days and was the first resolution in which 177 countries had become co-sponsors," said a union minister.
The development, far from being an isolated one, is evidence of the growing relevance of Yoga internationally. As stress levels, violence, pressures, and environmental degradation, continue to increasingly cause mental and physical exhaustion among individuals globally, ordinary people, as well as, state governments, are taking cognizance of the crucial role that yoga can play to improve a person’s mental and physical health.
The most recent example of the rising Yoga fever is the coming together of a group of United States lawmakers and hill staff to form the first ever, and one-of-its kind, ‘Congressional Yogi Association’. A Congressman from Ohio stated that one of the most urgent problems confronting Americans is extremely high levels of stress. “I have found that mindfulness and the practice of Yoga help to reduce stress, improve concentration, and increase feelings of well-being,” he added. The ‘Congressional Yogi Association’ website hits the nail on the head by stating, “Yoga transcends political ideologies, inviting all those who wish to practice to come to the mat and enjoy the benefits a Yoga practice can provide.”
Yoga sees no manmade fences. It embraces within its nurturing fold, anyone who seeks it. While it may be odd to imagine Yoga as a uniting political force among different countries, the unanimous acquiescence of the United Nations General Assembly to declare an International Yoga Day, is being seen as a robust step towards an unusual universal amicability.
Mysore, a city known as a Yoga hub, would be celebrating the International Yoga Festival from September 11 to 13. At least 100 international Yoga experts are expected to participate in this festival, alongside practitioners of the discipline from across India.
Part of the reason for Yoga’s increased global importance is the ease with which it can be practiced. As is often said, the individual does not need to adapt to Yoga, Yoga adapts itself to the individual. You may be a young student, a middle-aged homemaker, a CEO, an expecting mother, or an octogenarian; yoga will adapt itself in order to serve you best.