June 21st is considered the longest day of the year when the sun rises early and sets late for the northern hemisphere. The summer solstice also holds importance in Indian mythology as it marks an event that could be considered the beginning of Yogic science. 21st June 2020 witnessed a series of events and occasions like Father’s Day, Annular Solar Eclipse along with the 6th edition of International Yoga Day. People across the globe enthusiastically participate in various events to celebrate the ancient practice of Yoga which originated in India.
Amid tough times when the world is facing stress due to coronavirus crisis which led to the biggest pandemic lockdown, it is important for people to focus on their mental strength to fight back and overcome these challenges. While addressing the nation on the occasion of International Yoga Day, Prime Minister Modi highlighted the need to boost our immunity and how Yoga is capable of creating a protective shield to fight with Coronavirus. He also mentioned that the world has acknowledged the power of Yoga. People are taking the need to practice yoga more seriously in the wake of Covid-19. Yoga has many asanas to boost our immunity and Pranayama is a great practice to strengthen our respiratory system. These asanas toughen our muscles and improve metabolism. Coronavirus attacks our respiratory system which puts the life of a patient at a bigger risk. Pranayam is a great breathing exercise that can improve the respiratory system.
The day usually sees mass gatherings of the public at yoga events not just in India but across nations. This year the International Yoga Day was observed differently as most of the world is under lockdown due to the pandemic. This year’s theme was ‘Yoga at Home and Yoga with Family’. In the current situation when large gatherings are restricted, small gatherings were observed where people were seen following the social distancing norms at various public events. Virtual gatherings and online sessions of Yoga and Pranayama were other highlights of this year’s Yoga Day.
Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) personnel performed Yoga at the height of 18,800 feet high altitude in Ladakh. Ministry of AYUSH (MoA) along with the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) announced a creative video blog competition ‘My Life My Yoga’. The participants were asked to make a 3 minutes video of performing yoga ‘asanas’ and submit them for the contest. Yoga is not restricted to the urban population but its popularity has reached the interiors and rural parts of the country. In order to create a pool of Yoga teachers, over 90,000 Yoga instructors are trained under the Skill India Mission.
The Indian government is working aggressively to make Yoga popular among youth. Their initiatives are directed towards spreading awareness about the career prospects in practicing Yoga and how youth can embrace it for a promising career. Yoga and meditation surging in popularity in more than 150 countries. It is widely accepted that apart from normal healthy benefits, Yoga is capable of transforming the way of living and can improve the quality of life. People across the globe are willing to empower themselves to lead a better life by attaining mindfulness, peace, and harmony.