Every year we celebrate International Day of Yoga, also known as International Yoga Day, Global Yoga Day, or Yoga Day. This year again, yoga enthusiasts from around the world gear up to celebrate International Day of Yoga 2024 on June 21, a Friday. The day raises awareness about the practice and the many benefits it offers. Yoga, an ancient practice believed to have originated in India over 5,000 years ago, has gained immense popularity all over the globe for being extremely beneficial for overall well-being. Yoga is considered to be one of the six schools of philosophy in the Hindu religion. Its meditation practices also form a major part of Buddhism. On International Day of Yoga, people get together to celebrate the day by performing yoga in parks, halls, at homes or in the outdoors. Yoga benefits not only your physical health; it also benefits your mental health. International Day of Yoga 2024: Yoga Poses for Flexibility; 5 Yoga Asanas That Can Help Increase Overall Strength.

In 2014, the Indian Prime Minister suggested starting an International Day of Yoga. It was accepted by the United Nations, emphasising its recognition and widespread appeal. But how did it originate and what is its history? Let’s learn more about its origins and history here.

History and Origins of Yoga

When you think of yoga, what comes to mind? Stretching? Exercising? Flexibility? Well, yoga is not just about stretching and flexibility. It is so much more. The holistic practice goes beyond simply stretching and exercising. The word ‘yoga’ has its roots in the Sanskrit word ‘yuj,’ which means to unite or join. The origin of the word, says it all. Yoga aims to connect your body and mind and help them work together in harmony as one. Yoga involves meditation, breath control, and a set of postures that focus on improving one’s mental health, flexibility, and strength, thereby boosting overall wellbeing. With time, however, the practice has evolved and undergone a significant change, with the focus shifting more towards body postures.

The origins of Yoga can be traced to ancient India. It is believed that yoga originated in India over 5,000 years ago. The Indus-Sarasvati civilisation developed it into a spiritual and holistic practice. The ancient sacred texts known as the Rig Veda contain the earliest written records of yoga. The rishis (sages) who refined and developed yoga recorded their beliefs and practices in the Upanishads, which are religious texts containing more than 200 scriptures. Patanjali, a renowned saint who authored several Sanskrit works, is credited with documenting the Yoga Sutras in a more organised and consolidated way. His comprehensive guide is still used by yoga practitioners to date. Whereas Swami Vivekananda is credited with spreading yoga to the west. According to legends, Lord Shiva is said to be the first Adiyogi who taught yoga to his disciples. His disciples, who travelled far and wide, spread the knowledge of yoga wherever they went. They spread their knowledge about the practice in places as far as South America, Northern Africa, Middle East and in Asia as well. International Day of Yoga 2024: Yoga Poses for Beginners; 5 Easy Yoga Asanas With Names for a Smooth Journey of Yoga Practice.

Today, yoga is practiced all over the world by people of all ages. The practice, which focused on bringing harmony between the mind, body and soul, has evolved with time, with many new styles and approaches emerging. While some people practice it for physical or mental health benefits, many people still practice it for spiritual or religious reasons.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jun 19, 2024 02:03 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).