Yoga & Meditation: Tools for a Balanced Life

One of the greatest expressions of India’s soft power is the ‘collective influence’ of Yoga around the globe. The  International Yoga Day is celebrated on 21st June every year, following its inception in the United Nations General Assembly in 2014. The first International Yoga Day (2015) created a record for the largest number of participating nationalities, and its eminence has only been enhancing ever since. Even as the pandemic took over the world and most activities came to a halt, International Yoga Day 2020 captured worldwide attention and enthusiasm: It was celebrated virtually with the topical theme, “Yoga at Home and Yoga with Family”.

Yoga refers to the union of one’s mind, body, and soul. It is known to enhance the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health of those who practice it regularly. The understanding of yoga as a means to achieve holistic well-being is spreading, bringing more and more people together towards a common conscious co-existence with themselves and the life around them. Largely understood in the context of asanas earlier, yoga is now being imbibed in its entirety as an amalgamation of asanas (postures), pranayama (breathing exercises), and dhyana (meditation).

A healthier body, a calmer mind, and balanced emotions are some of the gifts that yoga provides. And isn’t that what we are largely striving for, in today’s ‘VUCA’ world? From improving flexibility, building muscles, and improving posture, to relaxing the system and  helping focus better, yoga prepares us to take on life with ease and balance. 

Teenage years that are extremely transformative with a lot of transitions within and around that tend to cause stress, conflict, and anxiety. So, if teenagers start the practice of yoga early on in life, they have a natural and better way to relax and proceed towards healthy, happy, and productive lives. Several research studies have noted the evidence of yoga practice improving concentration, alleviating stress, and increasing emotional maturity. It can also be a force that boosts creativity and self-confidence among children.

Nowadays, yoga is not just a tool for shaping our personal journeys to holistic lives, but it is also emerging as a leading career option for young people. Organisations like Patanjali Yogpeeth, The Art of Living Foundation, and Chinmaya Mission have been instrumental in reviving the relevance of yoga globally. Social media, especially YouTube and Instagram, are also proving to be excellent platforms for spreading awareness.

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