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Heartfulness proposes meditation on the heart with an aim of attaining subtler levels of consciousness. The heart is not merely a pump for blood circulation – its role goes far beyond that. References in ancient Indian literature on Yoga, especially that from Sages like Patanjali,…



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30 Nov 2021

Yogavani

Celebrating IDY 2021:
Editorial

Celebrating IDY 2021: 

Uniting the World Yoga Family in Virtual Mode

On behalf of the Vishwa Yoga Parivaar (World Yoga family) and myself, I offer everyone special heartfelt greetings on the occasion of the upcoming International Day of Yoga, to be celebrated on 21st June 2021.

The Government of India as well as all major Yoga organizations are proactive in celebrating IDY every year and for the past 6 years have held many events all over the globe. Due to the dire circumstances of the COVID-19 Pandemic all events this year have gone online and in this we see many opportunities for the World Yoga family to come together in virtual mode and strengthen the chain of humanity. This is very apt as Yoga, the cultural heritage of India, is one of the best gifts India has shared with the entire world in the spirit of “VASUDAIVA KUDUMB­HAKAM”, One World-One Family!

The idea of an INTERNATIONAL DAY OF YOGA was first proposed by our Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi ji, during his historic speech at the United Nations General Assembly, on 27th September 2014.
He stated:

“Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradi­tion. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help in well being. Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day.”

Since then the International Day of Yoga has been celebrated annually on 21 June since 2015, as it is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemi­sphere and shares a special significance in many parts of the world.

Every year our Hon’ble Prime Minister has activity participated in the event and led hundreds of thou­sands in practicing the Common Yoga Protocol devel­oped by the Ministry of AYUSH in consultation with a team of eminent Yoga experts drawn from all major Yoga traditions of India. This is based on the recogni­tion that Yoga provides a “holistic approach to health and well-being” and that wider dissemination of information about benefits of practicing Yoga would be beneficial for the health of the world population.
The entire world is caught in the vice-like grip of the COVID-19 Pandemic with all countries report­ing casualties in second and third waves, increasing alarmingly moment-by-moment. Within a period of just over a year, every human being on our planet has been affected directly or indirectly by this virus that has brought out the worst fears in each and every one of us.

COVID-19 has brought on another pandemic in its wake, that of Fear Psychosis. Everyone everywhere is scared to death and this is further aggravated and worsened by an unrelenting onslaught of negative news from the media. Social media has shown how it can really worsen such apprehensions and turn them into mass fear psychosis, minute by minute.
In recent time, a branch of modern medical science has developed and is known as Psycho-Neuro-Immunology. It deals with the phenomenon of how our thoughts and emotions can affect our immune system. Stress, fear and negative emotions are known to weaken our immune system while Yoga (including meditation), mindfulness, positive emotions, and relaxation strengthen it. The limbic system plays a major role in triggering such emo­tional upheaval that then results in a weakening of the immune function.

When the immune function is weakened every mi­crobe gets a chance to attack us as all our defenses are wreaked. Fear, especially of the magnitude being experienced and expressed by all of us in the present times, will totally destroy any chances we have of fighting this devious enemy.

It is to be emphasized that yoga is very effective for prevention as well as manage­ment of all-pervading stress and stress-re­lated disorders. Many studies and system­atic reviews have provided strong scientific evidence of its health promoting abilities and therapeutic potential in various psy­chosomatic conditions.

At this point of time we need to refocus on our own salutogenesis (Swastha), our own inherent capacity and ability to be respon­sible for our health and happiness. We must move from pathogenesis, the focus on disease that worsens fear, towards salutogenesis, the focus on health that strengthens all our systems. Yoga practices especially those done mindfully will strengthen our immune system by inducing a sense of empowerment and confidence from within. Slow mindful Asana practice, Pranayama and Dhyanam are very useful in this regard.

While wishing IDY 2021, celebrations all over the world a hearty success, I also pray that all of us as mem­bers of the World Yoga family unite in spirit to promote health and wellness for all living beings with love, grace, compassion, dignity and respect.

Dr Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani
(Editor-in-Chief)

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