Why we need International Day of Yoga celebrations more than ever in this lockdown!

In 2015, when the June 21st sun rose,  thousands gathered in front of the historic locations in their cities to perform Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar), a sequence of 12 yoga postures. The result: a beautiful continuum of people from all races, nationalities, communities, and genders coming together despite not being together physically. 

Something as magnificent as this can certainly not be dreamt for this International Day of Yoga (IDY) following the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting social distancing guidelines. 

But now is the time to tap into the power of yoga and solidarity more than ever. The ancient practice can help you fight the pandemic and turn around your quarantine period into a more celebratory one. Here is how: 

1. Yoga boosts immunity: Research suggests that  8-12  weeks of regular yoga improves the overall immune function. Regular practice also reduces anxiety, making you less susceptible to viral infections.

2. Stay calm with yoga: Living in isolation can be strenuous.  The unpredictable nature of the current time and the continuous inflow of negative news can give us jitters every day. At such a time, yoga can relax you and save your mind from anxiety and fear.

3. Beat fatigue: The quarantine is pulling down the energy levels of many. Thanks to increased household work, work commitments, and the increased possibility of inevitable fights at home. Yoga can rejuvenate you and help you stay energized during this tiresome time.

4. Your ‘me’ time: Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar suggests this period is the ideal time to slow down and cool down; to let go and relax. Yoga can help you do exactly that. As you let go and relax with yoga, you will begin to enjoy your own company.

5. Upskill yourself: Yoga is a tool that can help you manage your mind - an essential skill in today’s world. You can use your quarantine time to add yoga in your bouquet of skills, which will help you once you get back to the world.

Yoga is great for you during this period. However, what is even greater is its potential to unite people despite the physical distance between them. People of different communities, races, nationalities, and gender can experience the same stillness and inner peace through yoga. This collective sense of inner peace can be a blessing in our fear-torn pandemic struck world.

The world came together through yoga on June 21st, 2015 at a grand scale and in a magnificent style. However, the stillness and awe of the thousands of Sun Salutation enthusiasts that day is an inner phenomenon that can be re-created, albeit isolated. Here are some ideas for you to try. This International Day of Yoga, let yoga unite us once again, although in a different fashion.

1. Take the Surya Namaskar challenge: If the mango is the king of fruits, then Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation is the king of yoga postures. From weight loss to better cardiovascular activity, the posture has a range of benefits. Why not challenge yourself and do it regularly till June 21st? Start with practicing one set of sun salutation and slowly increase its count every day. On the International Day of Yoga, you can increase the count to a targeted number.

2. Promise yourself a yoga routine: Promise yourself to practice yoga every day for the next 21 days - the number of days required to form a habit. With respect to our current times, here is a 40-minute immunity-boosting yoga routine that you can follow. 

3. Stretch your limits: Start extending your comfort zone with every yoga practice. That will make your practice challenging and more intense. 

Some tips:

  • try holding a pose for a little longer 
  • try poses which seem difficult and 
  • remember to smile through all of these challenges you throw at yourself.

4. Inspire others on social media: Your one positive idea and resolution can inspire others and make a difference. As you reach a new milestone in your Surya Namaskar challenge or yoga practice, share it with the world. Maybe even tag your friends and challenge them for regular yoga and/or Surya Namaskar routine. Positive challenges like these can overshadow the Covid-19 news a little.

5. Get everyone in your family on-board: Let all your family members get the taste of yoga, this quarantine. Bring the elders to do yoga poses that they are comfortable doing. Bring the kids to flex some poses. You can also enroll your family for an online Sri Sri Yoga program

6. Yoga with Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: From June 18-21, there is an online Sri Sri Yoga program happening where Gurudev will take a special session. Know more and register.

The times are tough. But together with yoga, we can make it through. This International Day of Yoga, let us tap its power to stay healthy, calm, and united.

In case of any medical condition, practice yoga postures after consulting a doctor and a Sri Sri Yoga teacher. Find an online Sri Sri Yoga program.

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