Categories Health & Fitness

International Yoga Day 2024: ‘Yoga for Self and Society’

“Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self.” – The Bhagavad Gita

Every year, millions around the globe come together on June 21 to celebrate International Yoga Day, a day dedicated to the ancient Indian practice that unites mind, body, and spirit. This year’s theme, “Yoga for Self and Society,” highlights yoga’s profound impact on individual well-being and its ripple effect on the broader community.

Origin and Significance of Yoga

The word “yoga” originates from the Sanskrit word “yuj,” which means to unite. This union refers to the connection of the individual soul with the universal consciousness, signifying a harmonious balance between mind and body. Yoga, an integral part of India’s spiritual heritage, dates back over 5,000 years and is mentioned in ancient scriptures like the Rig Veda.

Yoga’s significance transcends physical exercise; it’s a holistic practice encompassing physical postures (asanas), breath control (pranayama), meditation (dhyana), and ethical principles (yamas and niyamas). This comprehensive approach promotes overall health, mental clarity, and spiritual growth.

Yoga Day Theme 2024: “Yoga for Self and Society”

The theme for 2024, “Yoga for Self and Society,” emphasizes the dual impact of yoga on personal well-being and societal harmony. It underscores how yoga serves as a transformative practice, enhancing both individual health and contributing to social well-being. By nurturing inner peace and balance within individuals, yoga cultivates a community ethos of compassion and interconnectedness. This theme encourages people worldwide to embrace yoga not only as a path to personal growth but also as a powerful tool for fostering a more harmonious and resilient society, where each individual’s well-being contributes to the greater good.

The Importance of Yoga in This Era

In today’s fast-paced, stress-filled world, yoga offers a way of calm and balance. The importance of yoga in this era cannot be overstated. It serves as a powerful tool for stress management, mental health, and physical fitness. Here’s why yoga is essential in our modern lives:

Stress Reduction:

Yoga helps reduce stress by promoting relaxation and reducing the levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Practices like pranayama and meditation calm the mind and body, alleviating anxiety and tension.

Improved Mental Health:

Regular yoga practice can enhance mood and emotional resilience. It has been shown to reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, and PTSD, providing a natural way to improve mental health.

Physical Fitness:

Yoga improves flexibility, strength, and balance. It can alleviate chronic pain conditions like arthritis and back pain, making it a versatile fitness regimen suitable for all ages.

Enhanced Focus and Clarity:

Meditation and mindfulness practices in yoga improve concentration and cognitive function. This mental clarity can enhance productivity and decision-making skills.

Holistic Health:

Yoga promotes holistic health by addressing physical, mental, and spiritual dimensions. It fosters a sense of inner peace and contentment, contributing to overall well-being.

Yoga and Meditation: A Powerful Duo

Yoga and meditation are deeply interconnected, with breathing practices (pranayama) playing a pivotal role. Saint Dr. Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insan emphasizes the synergy of pranayama and meditation for achieving longevity and optimal health.

Ancient Indian scriptures reveal that the longevity of saints who lived for hundreds of years was attributed to pranayama combined with meditation. By controlling and deepening the breath, one can enhance life force and longevity, as our lifespan is believed to be linked to the number of breaths we take.

Pranayama with meditation increases breath span, reduces breaths per minute, and enhances overall vitality. It also fosters optimism, self-confidence, and willpower, creating a treasure trove of benefits for practitioners.

The combined practice stabilizes the mind, reduces stress, and enhances focus, making it an invaluable tool for modern living. Saint Dr. Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insan highlights that yoga and pranayama can significantly improve concentration and mental stillness.

Practicing Pranayama with Yoga: How to do it?

Here’s a simple guide to practicing pranayama with meditation as taught by Saint Dr. Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insan:

  1. Sit Relaxed: Begin by sitting comfortably in Sukhasana (cross-legged) or on a chair.
  2. Inhale Deeply: Use your diaphragm to inhale deeply, filling your lungs completely with air. Repeat meditation words internally.
  3. Hold the Breath: Retain the breath for as long as you can while continuing to meditate.
  4. Exhale Slowly: Exhale slowly and completely using your diaphragm, continuing the meditation.
  5. Hold After Exhalation: After fully exhaling, hold your breath for as long as you can and keep meditating.

This completes one cycle of pranayama with meditation. For a visual guide, watch this instructional video of Saint Dr. Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insan.

Athletes and Yoga Champions

The students of Shah Satnam Ji Educational Institutes have excelled in international yoga competitions under the guidance of Saint Dr. Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insan. Since 2001, these athletes have brought pride to India, winning numerous championships and medals. With 11 international players, the institute has won the Asian Championship five times and the World Yoga Championship eight times, amassing 107 medals for India.

Their achievements include:

  • 4-time winners of the Asian Yoga Championship
  • 4-time winners of the World Yoga Championship

These remarkable accomplishments reflect the exceptional training and inspiration provided by Saint Dr. Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insan, who is affectionately known as ‘Papa Coach’ by the athletes.

A Wonder of Yoga: Shri Ilam Chand Ji Insan

Shri Ilam Chand Ji, a 90-year-old yoga champion, is an inspiration to millions. Despite severe health issues at 67, he transformed his life through yoga and pranayama under the guidance of Saint Dr. Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insan. Today, he has won over 425 medals in athletics and yoga, proving that age is no barrier to excellence.

Shri Ilam Chand Ji’s journey began with Guruji’s guidance. Despite challenges like limited mobility, his determination and Guruji’s teachings helped him adapt his practice. With over 150 medals in athletics and 300 in yoga, he has become an icon of resilience and dedication.

His Inspiring Achievements

  • Dronacharya Award
  • Pride of India Award
  • Jyeshtha Yoga Shiromani Award
  • Best Indian Yoga Coach Award
  • Gold in 800 meters race in Malaysia

Shri Ilamchand Ji’s story is a testament to the transformative power of yoga, meditation, and unwavering determination.

Why Everyone Should Adopt Yoga?

Yoga offers a plethora of benefits that make it a must-adopt practice for everyone; such as enhancing physical health, flexibility, strength, improved focus, clarity, emotional stability, reduced stress and the holistic well-being.

Incorporating yoga into daily life can lead to profound improvements in health, happiness, and overall quality of life. This International Yoga Day, embrace the practice of yoga for yourself and society, and witness the transformative power of this ancient art.

Happy International Yoga Day!

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