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International Day of Yoga 2016

Harmony Between Mind and Body

While addressing the 69 session of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on September 27, 2014, the Honorable Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi urged the world community to adopt an International Day of Yoga

“Yoga is an invaluable gift of ancient Indian tradition. It embodies the unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfilment; harmony between man and nature and a holistic approach to health and well-being. Yoga is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with ourselves, the world and Nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help us to deal with climate change. Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day,” Shri Modi said. On December 11, 2014, the 193 members UNGA approved the proposal by consensus with a record 177 co-sponsoring countries a resolution to establish 21 June as “International Day of Yoga”.

In its resolution, the UNGA recognised that Yoga provides a holistic approach to health and well-being and wider dissemination of information about the benefits of practising Yoga for the health of the world population. Yoga also brings harmony in all walks of life and thus, is known for disease prevention, health promotion and management of many lifestyle-related disorders.

On the occasion of the celebration of the 1st International Day of Yoga (IDY) on 21 June 2015 New Delhi, two Guinness World Records were made viz. the Largest Yoga Lesson involving 35,985 participants and maximum number of Nationalities (84) participated in a single yoga lesson.  The IDY celebration in Serbia was held across Serbia in more than 50 cities and municipalities.

It is planned to celebrate the IDY 2016 in Serbia on 19 June 2016 (June 21 is a working day).  The IDY celebrations will be along the Common Yoga Protocol devised by Yoga experts of India.  Yoga shirts will also be distributed on the occasion.  The IDY celebration in Belgrade will be held outside the National Assembly of Serbia.

What is Yoga?

Yoga is essentially a spiritual discipline based on an extremely subtle science which focuses on bringing harmony between mind and body. It is an art and science for healthy living. The word “Yoga” is derived from the Sanskrit root ‘yuj’ meaning “to join”, “to yoke” or “to unite”. According to Yogic scriptures, the practice of  Yoga leads to the union of individual consciousness with the universal consciousness. According to modern scientists, everything in the universe is just a manifestation of the same quantum firmament.  One who experiences this oneness of existence is said to be “in Yoga” and is termed as a yogi who has attained a state of freedom, referred to as mukti, nirvāna, kaivalya or moksha.

Yoga is one of the six systems of Vedic philosophy. The yoga steps are believed to have a potential for improvement of physical health by enhancing circulation of oxygenated blood in the body, retraining the sense organs thereby inducing tranquility and serenity of mind. The practice of Yoga prevents psychosomatic disorders and improves an individuals resistance and ability to endure stressful situations

“Yoga” also refers to an inner science comprising of a variety of methods through which human beings can achieve union between the body and mind to attain Self-realisation. The aim of Yoga practices to overcome all kinds of sufferings that lead to a sense of freedom in every walk of life with holistic health, happiness and harmony.

The concepts and practices of Yoga originated in India about several thousand years ago. Its founders were great Saints and Sages. The great Yogis presented the rational interpretation of their experiences of Yoga and brought about a practical and scientifically sound method within everyone’s reach. Yoga today is no longer restricted to hermits, saints, and sages; it has entered into our everyday lives and has aroused a worldwide awakening and acceptance in the last few decades. The science of Yoga and its techniques have now been reoriented to suit modern sociological needs and lifestyles. Experts of various branches of medicine including modern medical sciences are realising the role of these techniques in the prevention and mitigation of diseases and promotion of health.

Yoga is one of the six systems of Vedic philosophy. The yoga steps are believed to have a potential for improvement of physical health by enhancing circulation of oxygenated blood in the body, retraining the sense organs thereby inducing tranquillity and serenity of mind. The practice of Yoga prevents psychosomatic disorders and improves an individual’s resistance and ability to endure stressful situations.

The Embassy of India invites yoga enthusiasts to come and participate in the IDY 2016 celebration in their respective cities/municipalities.  More details are available on the Embassy’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/IndiaInSerbia and Embassy’s website: www.eoibelgrade.gov.in.

Jelena Medaković,, Director Of The Belgrade City Museum

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