The United Nations General Assembly declared June 21st as International Day of Yoga in 2014. In one of the videos I saw of people around the world celebrating this day, the Prime Minister of India states that, "Yoga is health insurance with zero budget."
Isn't that important? Our health. Our wellness. Our well being. And reduction of costs.
Health insurance, absenteeism in the workplace, health care - it's all expensive. Our systems focus on taking care of the symptoms. Workplaces spend resources measuring absenteeism and developing and enforcing policies to try to reduce absenteeism. Health care, although wonderful, puts bandaids on wounds. Of course, once an illness is present, the symptoms need to be addressed. BUT... what if we had an opportunity to reduce sickness... reduce illness?
Yoga is a practice that is accessible to everyone at no or limited cost and could save money in workplaces and in healthcare.
Yoga is the union of body and mind. Sure, yes, it's a physical practice. But it's a physical practice that anyone can access. There is advanced yoga, of course, and we see lots of pictures of yogis in pretzel like poses. But there is also chair yoga, gentle yoga, and other forms of yoga that do not require the kind of flexibility you see in many of the images in the media.
No matter what type of yoga you practice, the physical practice allows your body to be more mobile and stronger. The physical practice enhances digestion, circulation, and respiration. The physical practice improves balance and flexibility. If you are not flexible, yoga is a solution for you to become more flexible! And, yes, yoga can help with weight loss. It also improves athletic performance, and many famous athletes practice.
But there is something else to yoga.
Yoga brings mental acuity. Calmness. Compassion to self and others. Clarity. Insight. Creativity. Focus. Yoga brings harmony to the chaos in life.
Yoga is your attitude and your lifestyle. A smile. An act of kindness. Cooperation. Forgiveness. Gratitude. Silence. Integrity. Contentment. Vitality. Devotion.
Yoga brings wellness and is an inexpensive way to help treat and prevent illness.
On this International Day of Yoga, I challenge you to find something in yoga that can bring wellness to your life, to your workplace, to your community. Here are 12 suggestions:
- Find a yoga class in your community or on You Tube and do it!
- Sit for a few minutes in nature and enjoy the sounds.
- Do a random act of kindness.
- Contemplate on what is important to you.
- Call someone who needs an ear or a shoulder.
- Spend face to face time with your partner.
- Run barefoot in the grass.
- Forgive someone.
- Focus on your breath for five minutes.
- Complete a few sun salutations.
- Join my Living Your Yoga Facebook Page
- Sign up for my summer yoga classes at firstname.lastname@example.org
The list is endless. I would love to hear what you find and what you experience. Yoga is also about inspiring. I am always inspired by my students' and yogi friends' stories. I encourage you to share yours on my Going Om Facebook page!