International Yoga Day is celebrated on 21st June every year. The day marks the celebration of Yoga as one of the greatest philosophies about life and spirituality. Yoga was originally propounded by a great Indian sage called Patanjali. He was a great mystic, philosopher as well as a theologian who, through intense spiritual practices, unearthed the deepest secrets of our existence and universe as a whole.
Essentially, Yoga consists of eight parts or elements – Yama, Niyama, Asanas, Pranayama, pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyan, Samadhi. Yoga is the way to guide an individual towards self-realization or self-actualization. If a person wishes to attain his higher self or true self, then he can follow the eight steps of yoga religiously and attain the state of bliss or Ananda forever. There is another system of Yoga, although a part of Yoga only, that focuses on the keeping the body physically fit to reach the state of super consciousness. But, by and large, Ashtanga Yoga is the original form of Yoga that the sage Patanjali founded.
Why is International Yoga Day celebrated?
As stated earlier, International Yoga day is celebrated to commemorate the great philosophy called Yoga that helps a person reach the state of superconsciousness or nirvana. This day, the whole world celebrates the spirit and essence of Yoga, and various programs and camps are organized throughout the world. In India, especially, a number of yoga camps and programs are organized attended by some of the most famous personalities of art, music, sports, political world. Shilpa Shetty, a movie star and a great Yoga buff, also celebrates the day with a lot of enthusiasm. Baba Ramdev, who took yoga to every nook and corner of the world, also conducts various programs to mark the celebration. In fact, the prime minister of India, Mr Narendra Modi, also takes active participation in the celebration. Even the Arabian countries celebrate Yoga with a lot of enthusiasm and fanfare.
Where is the Yoga capital of the world located?
Rishikesh, a small town located in the foothills of Himalayas and banks of holy river Ganga, is called the Yoga capital of the world. The city is a picturesque town located in a beautiful setting, with the majestic Himalayas in the background and blessed by the holiness of the river Ganges. The town has a number of ashrams or spiritual centres imparting the ancient Vedic knowledge to people from all over the world. There are also a number of Yoga schools in Rishikesh imparting world class Yoga training and conducting exhaustive Yoga teacher training courses to students from all over the world. There are thousands of Yoga aspirants who come to the Yoga capital to learn and experience the benefits of Yoga, the greatest way to attain self-realization or self-actualization. The courses are quite intensive and demand a lot of sincerity and dedication from the students. Rishikesh provides the perfect setting to learn and practice spirituality. The word ‘rishikesh’ is a name for the Lord Vishnu, one of the deities of the Hindu trinity. The city has very strong spiritual vibrations and attracts spiritual aspirants from every nook and corner of the world. The place is excellent for meditation, spiritual practices and other spiritual activities. The Ganga arti is also a major attraction of the city, among many other things.
Where will the International Yoga Day 2018 be celebrated?
This year, the International Yoga Day 2018 will be celebrated at the Indian Forest Research Institute, in Dehradun; a small town located just 40kms from Rishikesh. The grand ceremony will be attended by the Prime Minister of India, Mr Narendra Modi himself. The day will involve a lot of Yoga camps, crash courses in Yoga, organized by the prominent Yoga schools of India. Everyone is invited to be a part of the celebration and learn from the who’s who of the Indian Yoga field.
Dehradun is easily accessible by road, rail or air. It is situated only 300 km from Delhi. If you really wish to attend the grand ceremony, you must plan and register at the International Yoga Day website now.