In his speech at the United Nations General Assembly dated 27th of September, 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi suggested that the 21st of June be observed as the International Day of Yoga. The UN Declaration was passed on the 11th of December 2014. Since 2015, the 21st of June has been globally celebrated as International Yoga Day, as a way to promote global health, harmony, and peace.
This year will mark the sixth International Yoga Day. Given the fact that the world is struggling with a global health crisis, i.e. the COVID-19 pandemic, where social distancing has become the need of the hour, this year’s theme for Yoga Day is “Yoga from Home”, and the event will be commemorated virtually on June 19th.
Current Trends in Yoga
Yoga practices essentially combine different postures (asanas), meditation, and breathing techniques (pranayama). The recent years have seen the rising popularity of this ancient practice, and as a result, many new trends have come up in the scene:
- Aerial Yoga:
In Aerial Yoga, you need to suspend yourself from the ceiling using a ‘hammock-like strap’ or a piece of cloth. This form of yoga is great for balance, alignment, core strength, and awareness.
Chromayoga is also known as Light Therapy Yoga. This form of yoga uses color alternatives to the harmful blue light, and channels the healing properties of light to address issues like insomnia and anxiety.
- Restorative Yoga:
Restorative Yoga focuses on your breathing and alignment while you hold a yoga posture for a certain time period. It helps to reduce stress and enhance your mental health.
- Virtual Yoga:
A number of online yoga apps and classes are available along with experienced yoga instructors who offer professional and personalized guidance along the way. A study shows that 24% of people use online applications in order to practice yoga.
- HIIT Yoga:
Yoga HIIT is a hybrid form of Yoga that combines high-intensity workouts of short durations with varying yogic stretches.
Roga focuses on combining the advantages of running as an exercise with that of yoga, thus increasing your stamina and flexibility.
The Various Health Benefits of Yoga
Practicing yoga regularly can prove to be extremely beneficial. According to a study, 52% of people practice yoga to get stronger physically and mentally.
The ancient tradition of Yoga has a number of health benefits. These are discussed below:
- Decrease stress and anxiety
Practicing yoga regularly can drastically improve your mental health. Studies point to the fact that yoga reduces the secretion of the stress hormone called cortisol. Meditation and breathing techniques used in yoga can also help to alleviate the symptoms of anxiety in you.
- Reduces inflammation
Chronic inflammation can lead to certain serious ailments like diabetes and cancer. Yoga can reduce the chances of such chronic inflammation. According to a 2015 study, people who practiced yoga had much lower levels of inflammatory markers than the ones who did not.
- Enhances heart health
Heart diseases have become extremely common due to the unhealthy and stressful lifestyle. The risk of fatal heart diseases can be reduced by practicing yoga. Yoga helps you prevent heart attacks and strokes by controlling your blood pressure levels and reducing cholesterol levels.
- Reduces body pain
Incorporating yoga into everyday life can work wonders on reducing body pain, especially for people suffering from conditions like arthritis, serious injuries, and carpal tunnel syndrome. The various yogic postures help to improve strength, stamina, balance, and flexibility in your body, thereby relieving your pain as well.
- Improves breathing
Yoga incorporates a number of breathing techniques and exercises known as pranayama. These breathing techniques improve breathing by increasing vital capacity. Improved breathing is particularly important if you are suffering from any lung or heart disease, or asthma.
This International Yoga Day, it is important to fall back and reflect on the continuing relevance of our ancient roots. Yoga has sustained the test of time, age, and culture, and proved to be extremely beneficial for our health. The combination of traditional and modern yoga trends can pave the way for the physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing of a post-coronavirus world.
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