It was not one of the best mornings. Certainly it was going to be one of the most memorable ones. One could not think of better mix of culture, nature and heritage.21st June 2015, a Sunday, was observed as the INTERNATIONAL YOGA DAY (IYD), upon UN sanction and mandate. Thousands of people from different walks of lives and following myriad faiths joined in spectacular celebrations in many countries as a matter of tribute to the age old Indian exercise regime, having a sustainable element of discipline.
Yoga Wave from One End to Another
By evening, one heard of such events, as at Raj Path, New Delhi to difficult locations, such as, Siachen Glacier in J&K, to fun place, at Bondi Beach, Sydney to historical site of Thames River bank in London, to high altitude forward areas in Sikkim & Arunachal, ‘always in news’ institution of Tihar Jail and ultimately, the Times Square in New York.
As is well known by now, the process had begun in New York in September 2014, when, of 199 UN members, 177 (47 being Islamic) had endorsed the proposal mooted by the Indian PM Sri Narendra Modi on the floor of UNGA. Of all the things, he said, he also advocated IYD sincerely. While he himself was on a 9 day long fast to coincide with the Navratras, his instinct and expression spoke more than his words. The longest day of the year, thus became a harbinger of deep rooted Indian traditions aimed at a healthy life.
Origin and Efficacy Of Yoga
Yoga has emanated from the Sanskrit word “Yuj”, meaning to Yoke, join or unite. It is supposed to be a spiritual practice or discipline aimed at helping an individual in unifying his/her body, mind and heart. End result should be or has to be, mental and physical well being. Propounded by Guru Patanjali more than 5000 years ago, slowly and surely, it has reached many parts of world, providing an additional source of livelihood to many. Whichever portion, nook or corner is uncovered is bound to benefit from the observance of the International Yoga Day.
Mis-conceived Notions To Avoid
As the PM rightly made it clear soon after himself taking active part in the demonstrations by 35,985 people belonging to 84 nations (a world record for such an event in a single venue), Yoga was not merely an exercise, it was a system, a way of life. He hailed the occasion as the “dawn of a new era of peace”. What he apparently meant was that Yoga did not know any barriers or boundaries, religious, caste or creed wise and that the opponents may soon realise their folly. Whatever it is, the first celebration was a peaceful, orderly and a powerful one on a day which was cloudy for a change, in this part of the year, especially in Delhi( an abode of power elite), notorious for its tumultuous developments on the weather front.
Impact Of Asanas
As expected, the 45 minute long awaited event had 21 asanas showing the basic postures which have the potential to make our daily life simple. Slowly, these graduated to slightly difficult ones. Climax was reached with 7 to 8 Pranayams. The slow and simultaneous instructions in English and Hindi, coupled with commentary by an accomplished team of Doordarshan, added icing to the 'Cake'.
With this, one supposes, a certain positive message regarding a gift from many generations, down the line, has gone to different parts of the world, otherwise full of anxiety, tension, hatred, unwanted lust, materialism and what not. Many of the postures displayed and suggested are expected to help the ruffled minds as they undertake daily chores. Of all the things, marital tensions, tensions gripping children on account of studies & career and those emanating from office or business and having an undesirable bearing or impact on conjugal life, may be minimised, if not resolved altogether. But we will have to draw a definite cue from the sum and substance of the whole exercise. Kudos, Hats Off to the Department of AYUSH.
Individual Likes & Dislikes vis-a-vis Changing Family Norms
Gone are the days when the Parents could take the anxieties off the off springs or the siblings could share and care and for that matter, the husband and wife could comfort each other, apart from hugging and essential family related interactions in the bed room. It is all due to growing and perceptible cleavage between the Family of Orientation (headed by father or Grandfather) and the Family of Procreation (headed by sons or the daughter-in-laws, in a nuclear setup, away from glare and patronage of the joint families). Also rapid developments on the communication fronts, such as, Cell, Internet, Social Networking, Whats App, Web Camera etc. and the fresh or the renewed thinking, justified or unjustified, towards the LGBT category is leading to unusual revelations, disclosures, assertions and demands which the mores and folkways would not permit at one point of time. In addition fast or swift adoption of drugs culture by the youth is adding to the family and the societal crises.
In view of above dismal scenario, it could be safely said that something traditional like Yoga can help in reducing the impact of a few lethal symbols or signs, if not all, of modernity.
One can go on and on. There is no end to it.
Yoga, in my opinion, at any time of the day or twice during the course of a working day, may relieve, restore balance and usher in positivism, ultimately leading to a long, healthy and meaningful life. Side by side, it may reduce the intake of Allopathic medicines, infamous for their side-effects. When the Japanese giants Suzuki-Maruti or Honda have a mandatory break and exercise every hour, together with confabulations relating to the strategy to be followed in the next hour, same is definitely time tested and with a profound purpose. Their success rate cannot possibly be doubted by the Tom, Dick and the Harries, only espousing the cause of liberalization.
Let us enjoy, therefore, this gift of "Indian nature” to the best of our ability. Let us also have a healthy vegetarian diet and a regulated work parameter, simultaneously. Controlling desires may work wonders for the “Mind, Body Co-ordination.”
Long Live International Yoga Day.