Yoga’s health benefits have been known to humankind for thousands of years. It improves flexibility, balance and posture, builds muscle strength, increases your blood flow, boosts immunity, helps regulate blood pressure, helps you learn to focus, and helps you sleep better, to name but a few of the ways it can make your life better. And that’s not all! Yoga can also help those who may have never even had the chance to try it when yogis the world over use it to raise both money and awareness and send their positive energy to those who need it most.
History of World Yoga Day
World Yoga Day was started several years ago by Samira Radsi, a yoga teacher living in Berlin, Germany. Samira herself says that the idea for creating World Yoga Day to harness the power of yogis the world over to help victims of human rights violations just came to her spontaneously when she was drinking her cappuccino one Saturday morning. Soon, she shared her dream of helping people via yoga with her friend and fellow yoga teacher, Bjoern Wyrich and they began to take action to make World Yoga day a reality.
One of the first steps was to get in touch with yoga schools the world over to find out how many of them would be interested in participating, and several hundred declared their support. In general, the idea behind World Yoga Day is very simple: yoga teachers, yoga schools and yogis around the world donate a bit of their time, space and money to human rights causes. Each participating school organizes a two hour yoga session during which all of the participants devote all of their thoughts and energy to people who have suffered human right violations in hopes that that will help those people feel stronger and more positive. Students may also donate as much as they can afford, and the money collected is then donated to charities helping the victims.
One important aspect of the two-hour yoga session is that it must take place precisely from 11 am to 1 pm local time, so that the result will be a 24-hour yoga marathon in the intentions of those suffering violence and other forms of injustice.
How to celebrate World Yoga Day
The best way to celebrate this day is to participate! World Yoga Day takes place in hundreds of yoga schools worldwide, so find the one nearest you and sign up! No matter whether you practice Iyengar, Bikram, Anusara, Ashtanga, or Laughter Yoga, this day is the day you can help make a difference in the world and in the lives of those who suffer needlessly. Even if you have never tried yoga, don’t worry! This day is the perfect time for you to see for yourself why so many people in the world are in love with it.
Who knows, what starts as a bit of charity may end up a significant part of a new, healthier lifestyle?
And even if you can’t afford to donate much, remember that the money is important to help victims of human right violations, but so is the spirit, making the gift of your energy invaluable. So take the opportunity this day offers to help both those who need it most and yourself and take part in World Yoga Day!