Cultural Diplomacy of Yoga: 4th International Yoga Day 2018

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Interest and enthusiasm for Yoga has increased tremendously all over the world during the last three years with the UN declaration of International Day of Yoga and its global celebrations across the globe..  The science of Yoga has its origin thousands of years ago, Long before the first religion or belief systems were born and the science of Yoga imbibes the complete essence of the Way of Life. It Derived from the Sanskrit word “Yuj”, that means “Union of the Individual” consciousness or soul with the Universal Consciousness..

Cultural Diplomacy of Yoga: 4th International Yoga Day 2018 by TRILOK SINGH

https://timesofindia.speakingtree.in/blog/cultural-diplomacy-of-yoga-4th-international-yoga-day-2018

According to United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Yoga is an art of living, a way of being, it is about finding one’s true Self & connecting with it.  Significantly,  Today, Commonly referred to as International Yoga Day, is celebrated annually on ’21 June’ since its inception in 2015. An international day for yoga was declared unanimously by the United Nations General Assembly. Narendra Modi in his United Nation address suggested the date of 21 June, as it is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and shares special significance in many parts of the world.

Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh who joined the yoga enthusiasts in Lucknow emphasised on PM Modi’s role in popularising yoga across the world. Further, Today the Whole world is celebrating Yoga day. Yoga’s popularity and acceptability is spreading around the world cutting across the continents and religious lines. When India moved the resolution for International Yoga Day in the United Nations, it was supported by many Muslim member countries as well. Yoga is an example of our Prime Minister’s cultural diplomacy.

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The Common Yoga Protocol document issued by the Ministry of Ayush states some General Guidelines for Yoga Practice that a Yoga practitioner should follow..

Moreover, The Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu has said that, “I want it to become a people’s movement because it is not something political or religious, it is for the betterment of our lives. It shouldn’t be just for one day, it should be a part of our daily lives”. Union Minister Smriti Irani also performed yoga at an event in Chandigarh. She thank people for participating in large numbers. While Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat on June 20, 2018 wrote a blog to welcome Prime Minister Narendra Modi and thanked him for slecting Dehradun for performing the International Yoga Day 2018. Meanwhile, “Uttarakhand is the place in whose caves and caverns the ancient sages meditated and invented yoga, a holistic science of physical and spiritual well-being,”, CM Trivendra Singh.

As the International Yoga Day is being celebrated across the world today, renowned artist Sudarsan Pattnaik has created a sculpture to honour this initiative. The theme for this year’s yoga day is “Yoga for Peace.” Keeping this in mind, the sand sculpture was created with the message “yoga for peace and harmony.” The sculpture, 20-feet-tall, features Prime Minister Narendra Modi, along with other world leaders like USA President Donald Trump, China President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The PM has said that yoga has become the biggest mass movement and it has shown the world the path from illness to wellness. “Instead of increasing suffering, Yoga heals,” PM Modi said before he went on to perform the asanas.

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Unfortunately today, Yoga is understood as a few physical exercises to gain some muscular flexibility only but if we look at Yoga From Maharishi Mahesh perspective, it is a system for uncovering the complete potential of human beings. We must understand that human physiology is the most sophisticated, most advanced and most powerful creation of Mother Nature.I.e., Agastya, the saptarishi, who traveled across the Indian subcontinent, crafted this culture around a core Yogic way of life.

Eight Limbs Of Yoga

Yoga is the science of the Mind. Hatha Yoga is the physical practice of yoga using asanas (the poses). It is but one way to practice yoga. There are eight limbs of yoga and most can be practiced without even doing the first pose. They are “Yama” (a practice of abstinences or It deals with Objective), Niyama (a practice of observances or It deals with the rules), Asana (poses or It deals with neuro muscular integration), Pranayama (breath control or it deals with neuro respiratory), Pratyahara (sense withdrawal), Dharaana (concentration or It deals with focus of attention on a particular short term objective), Dhyana (meditation or It deals with integration of mind with consciousness), and Samadi (contemplation, absorption or During the process of meditation).

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However, Yoga is a style that emphasizes this gentle, internal approach. Yoga brings amazing internal changes. Everyone, regardless of ability or condition, is able to participate and receive all the gifts that yoga promises; even those who cannot do a single pose can practice yoga. No one need live in chronic physical and emotional tension. In a world of pushing and analyzing, wouldn’t it be nice just to be, without all of the externals of life dominating our physical and emotional well-being?

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Moreover, The Yoga Sutras form an ancient text on the practice of yoga. It is not so much about how to change your life as how to change your state of being. There are about 194 sutras and the first is the most important. It says Yogas Citta Vritti Nirodhah: “Yoga is the stilling of the thought-waves of the mind.” A way to understand this is to envision a clear lake. When the lake is clear you can see down to the bottom. When the wind whips up waves, the water of the lake becomes unclear, cloudy, and muddy. In the same way, when your mind is still and tranquil, it is clear and calm. Our entire world is based on our thoughts and mental attitudes.

If the practice of yoga is about the stilling of the mind, how do the poses work and why do they work? Yoga poses are to help you to open your body. When you open your body, your mind can become still. Every fear and negative thought you have go directly into your body. This tightens your body and your mind.

When your body is healthy and comfortable, you can easily access deeper states of Consciousness. Yoga is designed to help you find that place within that is calm, even when you find life to be challenging. The ultimate purpose of Chandra yoga also poses is to allow your body to sit comfortably in meditation without the physical distractions of pain and stiffness. While Hatha yoga is a preparation of the physical body for meditation. The emphasis is not about getting fit and strong. The kind of fitness this gives you is on a much deeper level. It makes you fit for life. It’s a work in, not a workout. Its time for the fourth International Yoga Day, the day which commemorates the 5,000-year-old tradition of yoga, that combines physical, mental and spiritual pursuits to achieve harmony of the body and mind which reflects on our Cultural Diplomacy..

© TRILOK SINGH, INTERNATIONAL YOGA DAY 2018.

Cover Photo Details: 

BY Sudarsan Pattnaik On International Yoga Day 2018 with message “yoga for harmony and peace” at Puri beach, Odisha. I’ve shown world’s top leaders like US President, Chinese President, Russian President, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Hon PM Narendra Modi with their country flags.

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