Did you know that International Yoga Day is celebrated on 21st June every year? The first International Yoga Day was celebrated in 2015 after its inception in the United Nations General Assembly in 2014. While more people adopt yoga globally each year, there are still many facts and information about yoga that not many are aware of.
- June 21 is the day of the summer solstice
The ancient practice of yoga has its origin in India and is more than 5000 years old. June 21 is the day of the summer solstice. Summer solstice is when the tilt of the planet’s axis in the northern hemisphere is most inclined towards the star it orbits. That is the sun.
It is therefore the longest day of the year with the sun rising early and setting late in the northern hemisphere. In Indian mythology, it is a very important day because it marks an event that is considered the beginning of Yogic science.
But why 21st June for yoga? This is because of an ancient myth where the first yogi, Shiva left towards South during Dakshinayan(21st June) and imparted yoga training to the first 7 royal sages that became the first proponents of yoga in the world.
- Oldest yoga teacher in the world
Tao Porchon-Lynch is considered to be the world’s oldest yoga instructor. In May 2012, she received this distinction from the Guinness World Records.
She is an American Yoga Guru of French-Indian origin and she discovered yoga when seh was eight years old. She has studied yoga with some of the most prominent gurus including B.K.S. Iyengar, Sri Aurobindo, K. Pattabhi Jois, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi etc.
She still teaches yoga at the age of 101 with a weekly class in New York and also leads yoga programmes around the globe. Tao is also a competitive ballroom dancer and appeared in the 10th season of America’s Got Talent.
- Everyone has a dominant yoga nostril
Many of us are aware that we have a dominant hand, but did you also know that each of us has a dominant yoga nostril? Since yoga is all about breathing and breath control, you can use nostril control to change your state of mind and body temperature.
This is because at any given time, a person breathes through one dominant nostril. This nostril then switches to the other one after a span of nearly 2-2.5 hours. This continues in a rhythmic fashion and it changes over time for most people. The rhythm is controlled by the central nervous system.
- There are many different schools and disciplines of yoga
Yoga as a discipline has evolved and grown over the years. Many different schools of yoga have combined different approaches and innovated with the ancient poses to give it their own flavour. For instance, hot yoga is a type of yoga practice that is performed in hot and humid and conditions that leads to profuse sweating.
Iyengar yoga is a modern approach to yoga that lays emphasis on detail, precision and alignment in yoga postures (asanas). It makes use of various props such as ropes, blocks to bring in the desired accuracy and alignment.
Doga is a hybrid form of yoga that you can perform with your dog.
Doga uses dog training, human asanas, meditation, massage and stretching to bring the benefits of yoga to humans and their furry friends.
- Yoga is the most inclusive form of wellness practice
20 million Americans practice yoga and you will find yoga studios and classes across the globe, regardless of race, creed and ethnicity. Almost everyone from children to seniors can practice some form of yoga with noticeable health benefits, which makes it one of the most inclusive form of fitness.
If you are curious to try it out, all you need is to speak to your general practitioner and get an all-clear to start a beginner’s class. Oh, and you will also need some yoga gear.
You can buy clothes for yoga at anaheart.com.
Last but not least
The ideals of yoga are not to achieve a size 0 or size 2 figure, or look good in instagrammable posts where you are doing a headstand by a beachy sunset. Yoga has a loftier ideal. The idea is to reconnect one to the deepest part of your conscious and subconscious and discover who you are. Along with an awesome physical exercise, body-toning workout, yoga offers amazing mental health benefits and helps you to achieve peace of mind.