All the universities have been asked by the Grants Commission (UGC) to observe International Yoga Day on June 21, an official statement said
The idea of declaring an International Yoga Day was formally proposed by the prime minister in his maiden address to the 69th UN General Assembly on September 27, the UGC
The University Grants Commission (UGC) has asked all universities to observe June 21 as International Yoga Day, an official statement said on Monday. Jaspal S. Sandhu said in a circular issued on Monday.
In order to give “practical effect” to the resolution, Sandhu’s letter to the universities said the first International Yoga Day should be commemorated in a befitting manner.
“You are requested to kindly observe International Day of Yoga on 21st June, 2015 in your esteemed university and colleges affiliated to your university,” the letter said.
“You may also ensure that the promotional films and other Information, Education and Communication (IEC) material on yoga should be distributed,” it added.
Lord Krishna said to Arjun in the Geeta, “Restless senses, O Arjuna, forcibly carry away the mind of even a wise person striving for perfection.” Patanjali’s description of the practice of yoga after the yamas and niyamas, directs towards the pratyahara, meaning turning inward of the senses. In simple terms when one is unable to restrain the senses, they become powerless to direct their minds. No matter how well-read or wise they sound while talking, it carries little importance without the practice discipline. The word “yoga” comes from the Sanskrit word ‘yuj’ (“to yoke”) which is more literally translated as “union of the individual’s Atma or soul with Paramatma or god (the universal soul). This is often understood as a union with the divine power by the integration of body, mind, and spirit. Thus, Yoga is what imparts an internal discipline, not only to the body but also to the mind and spirit.
History of the art of Yoga
Bhagavad Gita, the holy scripture of Hindus also states the importance of yoga, “Yoga is the journey of the self, to the self, through the self”it beautifully quotes. The history of Yoga is accurately is difficult to trace its has many places of obscurity and uncertainty. In those ages, texts and teaching were passed down orally. Not only was the oral transmission of sacred texts is a common occurrence but the secretive nature of its teachings was also a recurring phenomenon. Furthermore, earlier writings on yoga were transcribed on fragile palm leaves that were easily damaged, destroyed, or even lost making it difficult to trace the exact time of its inception. However, experts claim that the development of yoga can be traced back to over 5,000 years ago, some researchers even think that yoga may be up to 10,000 years old old.
The word yoga was first mentioned in the oldest sacred known to mankind, the Rig Veda. These Vedas are sacred Hindu texts and were a collection of songs, mantras, and rituals to be used by Brahmans and Vedic priests. Later on, Yoga was slowly refined and developed by the Brahmans and Rishi munis who documented their practices and beliefs in the Upanishads, which contains 200 scriptures. However, to date, the most renowned Yogic scriptures where Yoga and its benefits are mentioned in the Bhagavad-Gita which was composed in around 500 B.C.E.
Yoga’s long rich history can be divided into four main periods of innovation, practice, and development or the pre-classic, classical, post-classical, and the modern period. Yoga as a means of exercise for the body and mind is a deeply rooted concept of Hinduism in India for centuries. Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Jnana Yoga, and Raja Yoga are considered the four main yogas, but with time and development now there are many other types.
Yoga in the modern period
Yoga is more of a spiritual act and it remains a vibrant living tradition. It is seen all across the world as a means to enlightenment for the mind and soul. In the 1800s and 1900s, yogic gurus traveled to the West, gaining attention, and followers and making Yoga more and more famous. Essentially this spread can be traced back to, 1893 when in the Parliament of Religions in Chicago, Swami Vivekananda left the attendees spellbound with his speech. His lectures on yoga and wellbeing were a great catalyst in spreading the word about this art. Late, in the 1920s and 30s, Hatha Yoga was strongly promoted in India as the work of T. Krishnamacharya, Swami Sivananda, and other yogis became popular.
Krishnamacharya was the first to open a Hatha Yoga school in Mysore in 1924. Sometime later in 1936 Sivananda founded the Divine Life Society on the banks of the holy river Ganges, he aroused three students that continued his legacy and increased the popularity of Hatha Yoga. They were B.K.S. Iyengar, T.K.V. Desikachar, and Pattabhi Jois. Sivananda himself wrote over 200 books on yoga and established nine ashrams and many yoga centers across the world, making yoga popular worldwide. In the western world, the importance of yoga and its popularity soared when Indra Devi opened her yoga studio in Hollywood in 1947.
Yoga is popular in many parts of the world. Especially in the United States, yoga has become associated with the asanas (postures) of Hatha Yoga, which have gained immense popularity as fitness exercises. Even though Yoga is central to Hinduism, other religions like Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism, have also been greatly influenced by it throughout the world. Some of the most important Hindu texts which have laid the ground for yoga worldwide include the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the Bhagavad Gita, and the Hatha Yoga Pradipika.
Yoga and Modi
PM Modi has been a patron of yoga, practicing and propagating the idea of yoga and its importance worldwide. Recently at a yoga event called “Yoga for Peace” in Argentina’s capital Mr. Modi addressed the participants saying that the practice of Yoga connects everyone to happiness. The Prime Minister further said that if the mind is at peace, there would be peace in family, society, country, and the world as well. He went on to say that “Yoga is India’s gift to the world for health, wellness, and peace.” Yoga can be credited to connects us with wellness and happiness and bring peace of mind to many across the globe. PM Modi further said that Yoga is bridging the vast distance between India and Argentina. It is connecting people worldwide and binding them in a positive light. PM Modi has on other occasions termed yoga as the “unifying force of the world”
The multiple benefits that the practice of yoga has on a person’s wellbeing are accepted all across the world. In these tough times when people are locked inside their houses as anxiety and worklessness eat them up, Yoga can be a great support. It would not only help to bring the mind at peace but also help with the body at such times when physical activity is low. Yoga could help deal with anxiety and stress which commonly surround people in a lockdown. In fact, recent studies have said that Yoga even helps in quitting smoking and other tobacco products. This can be a great time for people to quit their bad habits and turn to a path of spirituality. Yoga in every sense of the world is excellent support in these stressful times or literally every time. It brings harmony and peace not only to the mind but also to the body.
Ayurveda is an ancient health care tradition that has been practiced in the Indian subcontinent for at least 5000 years. The word “Ayurveda” comes from the Sanskrit terms Ayur (life) and Veda (knowledge). Ayurveda or Ayurvedic medicine was documented in Vedas thousands of years ago. It has evolved over the years and is now integrated with other traditional practices, including yoga.
Suśruta Samhita is an important book in Ayurveda. Originally written in the Sanskrit language by Sushruta about 5000 years ago. Sushruta (Suśruta) is regarded to be the Father of Surgery for inventing and developing surgical procedures in ancient India. According to legend, Lord Dhanvantari passed the medical insight to his follower Divodasa, who then instructed Sushruta.
During 300 BCE, Charaka, an Ayurveda Physician compiled his knowledge of medicine and called it Agnivesa Samhita, later re-named it as Charak Samhita. This consists of eight books and one hundred twenty chapters. Charak Samhita describes the facts of diseases, diagnosis, treatments, and medicines which are necessary for the well being of human. It also includes sections on the importance of diet, hygiene, prevention, medical education, the teamwork of a physician, nurse, and patient necessary for recovery to health. Charaka Samhita mentions 84 types of alcoholic preparations and their medicinal value. Cannabis (Bhang) and Papaver somniferum (Afu) were used as potential pain relievers due to unavailability of analgesics. Use of cannabis is also mentioned in texts for sedation and anesthetization during surgeries.
Appearances of people
According to Ayurvedic principles, everyone has a specific constitution or prakruti that determines his/her character and disease vulnerability. Health care is highly individualized practice under Ayurvedic principles. Appearances of people are categorized into 3 groups Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.
Vata – Thin and slim figured persons – It is associated with air and space. Vata energy is liked to a bodily movement that includes blood circulation and breathing. People who are creative and thinkers are of this category.
Pitta – People of medium build and sharp features – Pitta energy is linked to fire and is thought to control the digestive and endocrine systems. People of this category are fiery in temperament and intelligent.
Kapha – People with a stout figure and well-developed body and calm in Nature – Kapha energy is linked to earth and water. It is believed to control strength and growth and is associated with the back, torso, and chest.
Ayurvedic medicines are prepared according to the Prakruthi of a person and the therapeutic effect needed. Milk, ghee, honey, molasses, ashes of pearls or diamonds, rock salts, several types of herbs- these are ingredients of Ayurvedic medicines.
In Ayurvedic preparations, the part of an herb is chosen and used depending on where its medicinal value lies and its curative effects on the body. Some examples are listed below:
Turmeric, Ginger, Velvet Leaf, Rhubarb: Roots
Chaste Tree, Coriander, Aloe Vera: Leaves
Black Pepper, Gooseberry, Indian Gall Nut: Fruit
Neem Tree, Ashoka Tree, Sandalwood: Bark
Cardamom, Coriander, Cowhage Plant: Seeds
Different herbs have different healing powers.
Aloe Vera, Sandalwood, Turmeric, Shatavari- Antiseptic (Protects against infections)
Turmeric, Echinacea – Antibiotic (Fights against viral and bacterial infections)
Chamomile, Chrysanthemum, Basil, Ginger – Carminative (Helps in proper digestion)
Bhasma literally means ashes. The medicated ashes of various metals and non-metals are administered as medicines. The effect of this bhasma is so instantaneous that it seems no less than a miracle. There are various researches on where the properties of these bhasmas are being evaluated. Bhasma is nothing but nanoparticles it is said.
Ayurveda for Animals
There is a specific branch in Ayurveda named as Pashu Ayurveda, where treatment protocols for diseases occurring to horses, elephants, and dogs are also mentioned.
Dhanvantari is a celebrated figure amongst the practitioners of Ayurveda. He is the progenitor of Ayurveda, and he stands on the top in the hierarchy of medicine in India. They celebrate Dhanvantari’s birthday on Dhanteras every year too. In Srimad Bhagavata Purana, there is a story about Bhagavan Dhanvatari when he revealed Ayurveda to the world. He is worshiped today as the pioneer of medical science in Hindu dharma. (VedicFeed)
Monthly menstrual cycle varies depending on the physical strength of your body. During periods, women face different issues like lack of energy, extreme pain, mood swings, fatigue, bloating, and irritability.
The menstrual cycle is exceptionally sensitive, if you are stressed or traveling; change in your eating pattern can change your menstrual cycle. The condition of menstrual cycle mirrors the condition of physical and psychological well-being. Periods are no reason to avoid physical activities, more so yoga, which helps with both physical and mental health and thus has a positive impact on your hormonal health.
On Menstrual Hygiene Day, Paramita Singh, Nutritionist cum Yoga Practitioner, suggests a few yoga asanas that are help fight menstrual problems. These health tips can go a long way.
Head to Knee Pose – Janu Sirsasana:
Extend your right leg and place the sole of your left foot on your right inner thigh. Centre your torso over the right leg and fold forward. Come back through baddha konasana to set up for the other side. Continuing to take it nice and easy, janu sirsasana – head to knee pose – stretches the hamstrings in a simple forward bend. It’s an easy stretch that allows you to focus on one leg at a time and gently extend and lengthen your hips and groin.
Seated Straddle – Upavistha Konasana
Open both your legs wide into upavistha konasana – seated straddle. Again, a supported forward fold with a bolster or blankets is a great option. We’re concentrating on those hamstrings again, but are also stretching the inner thighs and lengthening the spine.
Seated Forward Bend – Paschimottanasana
Bring both legs outstretched for a forward bend. Lengthen the spine in a seated position before coming forward. Imagine the pelvis as a bowl that is tipping forward as you come down. The seated forward bend – paschimottanasana – goes deeper still in opening the hamstrings and calves. It also gives your back a nice stretch.
Supported Bridge Pose
Lie down on your back. Press into your feet to lift the hips slightly and slide a yoga block under them for support. To come out, press into the feet to lift the hips again and slide the block out.
Many yoga techniques can be practiced throughout the month to help balance the hormones, the menstrual cycle and to prevent pre-menstrual syndrome, period pain, emotional disturbances and other associated symptoms of menstruation. (IANS)