This article is part of a series on creating awareness about Yoga and the International Day of Yoga which is being celebrated on June 21, 2016.
In 2015, on the recommendation of India’s Permanent Mission to the UN, the summer solstice was declared International Day of Yoga (IDY) and observed by 191 countries the world over. In its inaugural year, the IDY event at Rajpath, in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi also participated, broke two Guinness World Records on a single day!
The second edition of IDY this year promises to spread the excitement countrywide with the Ministry of AYUSH and various yoga organisations planning lots of free events leading up to the main celebrations on 21 June. Whether you like to stretch solo or groove in a group, there’s something for every kind of person out there. So, grab your mat, get in the right head space, and join thousands of yoga-lovers around India in getting fit, both physically and mentally.
1) Pledge to get healthy
Pledge to make yoga an integral part of your life even if it means taking five minutes daily to do some pranayama or a few easy asanas to strengthen your body, focus your thoughts, and relax your mind.
2) Join the yogathon in Chandigarh
Join 30,000 other yoga practitioners at the mega-event at Chandigarh’s Capitol Complex, which will also be attended by Prime Minister Modi on June 21. If you’re a resident of Chandigarh or would like to participate in a similar hour-long mass yoga session in the city, you can register online here or call the toll-free number 1800-180-2072.
Leading up to IDY, those who register will receive free training from yoga gurus for 45 minutes at 200 centres set up around the city. And, snoozers ain’t losers at this year’s IDY. If you’ve registered, you will receive a wake-up call every morning to make sure you’re up and headed out to prep for the big day.
3) Enroll in free yoga classes in your city
If you thought Chandigarh is where all the action is, think again! In 10 major cities (i.e. Delhi & NCR, Bangalore, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chennai, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Lucknow and several places in the North-East), the Central Council for Research in Yoga & Naturopathy (CCRYN) has collaborated with local organisations and yoga institutes to organise free yoga camps till 20 June 2016. So, if solo workouts bore you, join a yoga class near you and find the inspiration to get you started on your yoga journey. Hurry, so that you can make the most of the last few days until June 21!
4) Stretch in solitude
Group yoga not your thing? Leading up to IDY, the Centre has released a Common Yoga Protocol of general guidelines to be followed before, during, and after yoga practice. The protocol, developed in consultation with yoga experts, includes an introduction to yoga, warm-up techniques, yogic postures, breathing exercises, and meditation practices that form a one-hour sequence you can easily practise at home. You can also follow the instructional video of the protocol here, where experts lead you through the routine.
5) A full moon party of a different kind
Craving some extra zen? Make your way to Chandigarh’s Parade Ground on June 11 for an hour-long yoga session by moonlight in a venue lit by candles. Also, part of the four-day yoga fest in Chandigarh is a first-of-its-kind 3D multimedia educational yoga display. The programme will include addresses by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Baba Ramdev.
6) Free countrywide yoga sessions on IDY
Acclaimed yoga institutes Isha Yoga and Patanjali Yogpeeth are offering free yoga sessions in different locations across the country, honouring IDY. There are many more yoga events near you that offer workshops in pranayama, asanas, meditation, and self-healing for all age groups.
So, take a deep breath, enroll in a yoga class today, and say hello to a strong, new, rejuvenated you!
Want to pledge to make Yoga an integral part of your daily life? Head over to International Day of Yoga portal.