In December 2014, the United Nations General Assembly declared June 21 as the International Day of Yoga. Being the Summer Solstice, and the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, the day is meant to bring light to the ancient practice that was originally developed to create unity.
It’s a unity that comes in many forms, and includes the unity of this world. Yoga “embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being,” as stated by the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, when he addressed the proposal to the Assembly in September of 2014.
“It is not about exercise, but to discover the sense of oneness within yourself, the world and the nature,” he continued. “By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help us deal with climate change. Let us work toward adopting an International Yoga Day.”
Deepen Your Awareness
The logo for IDY symbolically shows union, with the folding of both hands. This meaning of union relates to the connection of the individual consciousness and the universal consciousness; the harmony between mind and body, man and nature, and a holistic approach to health and well-being—just as Narendra Modi spoke to the UN about.
The brown leaves in the logo represent Earth, the green leaves symbolize Nature, blue symbolize Water, brightness reflects the Fire element, and the Sun represents the source of energy and inspiration all around.
“The logo reflects harmony and peace for humanity, which is the essence of Yoga,” as stated on the IDY website.
Celebrate the Practice
There will be IDY events all over the world on June 21, so find one near you and get on your mat with yourself, your community and your world. If you can’t join an organized activity, take some time to yourself, with poses, breath, and introspection to cultivate a full appreciation for this practice—a personal and international journey will continue to fuel vitality and consciousness on this day, and every day.
Kim Fuller grew up in the Colorado mountains and has always found beauty and inspiration through nature and movement. She is currently a freelance journalist and yoga teacher based in Vail. Her writing and photo work has focused on health, wellness, recreation, food, and travel since 2007, and Kim began her yoga practice in Boulder, followed by her first teacher training with Real Evolution Yoga at Peace Retreat Costa Rica in November of 2012.