The word “yoga” is derived from Sanskrit and means “to join or unite.” International Day of Yoga is June 21, and while yogis across the world may not be able to physically unite this year to raise awareness of the numerous health benefits of yoga, you can still celebrate the day no matter your level of expertise.
The benefits of yoga
If you’ve never practiced yoga before or think yoga isn’t for you, maybe it’s time to just give it a try! First off, yoga is for anybody. No matter what your fitness level is, there are modifications for every yoga pose and beginner classes in every style.
Second, it’s a great way to manage stress. And let’s face it, in today’s world, we could all use more of that. Regular yoga practice creates mental clarity, instills calmness, and relieves chronic stress.
Third, it’s really good for you. By strengthening and stabilizing the spine, yoga relieves back pain, stress, anxiety, and tension. It also aids in weight reduction and increased flexibility.
Pop quiz time!
With schools closed and summer break activities canceled, parents may find it challenging to keep their children physically active. What’s an activity that can help?
You guessed it. Yoga.
With all these benefits, why not give yourself a well-deserved break and celebrate International Day of Yoga? With these tips, you’ll be sure to find some inner peace along the way.
Find a flow for you
A quick Google or YouTube search will pull up countless free yoga classes for all levels. If you’re a yoga newbie, try a hatha flow practice. Because of its slower pace, hatha is a great class for beginners.
Looking for a deeper stretch? Restorative yoga is a slow-paced, meditative style that focuses on stretching by holding poses for up to several minutes, sometimes with supportive props such as blankets and bolsters.
If you’re more advanced, try a power vinyasa practice. This is an invigorating, powerful, energetic form of yoga where participants move or “flow” from pose to pose while connecting their breath to movement.
Getting the most out of your yoga practice
Once you’re ready to begin, there are a few ways you can get even more out of this dedicated time of Zen. Take your practice outdoors if the weather is ideal. The relaxation (and fresh air) you’ll get from being out in nature will add so much more peace to your practice. If you can’t get outside, find a room or quiet corner of your home where distractions will be minimal.
Play some nice, calming yoga music. Repeat a positive mantra while breathing in and out. This allows you to focus on your practice and let go of whatever’s on your mind. “Om” is a popular one, but feel free to make your mantra personal. Here are a few examples:
- I am here for a purpose.
- I am enough.
- I change my thoughts, I change my world.
- Let go.
- I am strong.
- I am full of light.
Flow as fast or as slow as you want. This is your time to block the rest of the world out.
Join the movement
This year’s International Day of Yoga theme is Yoga at Home and Yoga with Family. Join forces with your family (or furry friends) and connect virtually with others around the globe by participating in an online celebration June 19 from 3-4:30 p.m. ET. Post your practice on social media to help raise awareness of the benefits of yoga.