The International Day of Yoga theme for 2022 will be Yoga for humanity. The main event will be held in Mysuru (Karnataka).
Date – 21nd June 2022 (Tuesday)
World Yoga Day 2022 Theme – Yoga For Humanity
Yoga is an ancient science often considered India’s gift to the world that provides a holistic way for physical, and mental well-being. The origins of Yoga can be traced to the Rig Veda. It has numerous physical, and mental health benefits, which have been documented in numerous scientific studies. Yoga finds mentions in Upanishads, and in many other ancient Indian scriptures. One of the first seminal works on Yoga has been the Yoga Sutras compiled by Patanjali (Also read – Who is the founder of Yoga?).
Yoga when literally translated means “Union with the divine”. The goal of Yoga as mentioned in the ancient texts is to take the mind to an inactive state. The second sutra in the 195 Yoga Sutras by Patanjali mentions the goal of Yoga as “Cessation of all mental activities”, which is translation of Citta, Vritti, Nirodaha (Also read – What is the goal of Yoga?). Yoga in its modern form is fundamentally a manifestation of Hatha Yoga. Hatha Yoga focuses more on Yoga poses (asanas) and meditation (pranayama). There are numerous scientific studies and researches on the health benefits of Hatha Yoga. It has been found to positively impact mental health, reduce anxiety, improve the cardio-vascular function, lymphatic system, and the musculo-skeletal system (Also read – Hatha Yoga Health Benefits).
International Day of Yoga 2022 – History
International Day of Yoga 2022 will be 8th celebration of the international day of Yoga. It started when the Indian Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi proposed an international day for Yoga in the United Nations General Assembly. On the 21st June 2015, the first World Yoga Day was celebrated. The day official entered the Guinness World Records for the largest yoga class (35,985 people) and for the largest participating nationalities (84 nations). (Also read – List of International Yoga Days)
International Day of Yoga 2022 theme & previous themes
Every World Yoga Day celebration till World Yoga Day 2022 has had a particular theme1. The theme of International Day of Yoga in 2022 is based on how Yoga has helped alleviate the suffering during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- International Day of Yoga 2022 – Yoga For Humanity
- International Day of Yoga 2021 – Yoga for well-being
- International Day of Yoga 2020 – Yoga at Home and Yoga with Family
- International Day of Yoga 2019 – Yoga for Heart
- International Day of Yoga 2018 – Yoga for Peace
- International Day of Yoga 2017 – Yoga for Health
- International Day of Yoga 2016 – Connect with Youth.
- International Day of Yoga 2015 – The first International Day of Yoga on 21st June
- 2014 – 11th Dec 2014, the United Nations General Assembly declared 21st June as the International Day of Yoga.
What should you do on World Yoga Day 2022 ?
Yoga promoted overall health and well-being. World Yoga Day 2022 is the eight occasion when the international day of Yoga will be celebrated. It is overall raising awareness about Yoga and the need for a general physical and mental well-being. There are multiple scientific studies that validate the positive impact of Yoga. World Yoga Day has helped create and raise awareness about Yoga. It also essentially has brought health and well-being in our daily conversations. Yoga is not just about having a toned body, but it is much more than that. The idea is to reinforce our efforts in staying physically and mentally fit. Yoga offers one such alternative. It is more about a commitment to ourselves to take care of our overall well-being.
Why is 21st June the World Yoga Day?
The Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, in his UN address in 2014, had suggested the date of 21 June, as it is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere
Which is the International Yoga Day?
Who is the father of Yoga?
There are many texts that point to Patanjali as the father of Yoga as his work2, the Yoga Sutras as the first seminal dedicated to Yoga. Many also consider lord Shiva as the father of Yoga. It is said that lord Shiva after long meditation on the day of summer solstice transferred his knowledge to 7 beings (Saptrishis), who were curious & determined to learn from Lord Shiva. On the next full moon, Lord Shiva tranformed himself into Adiguru and imparted knowledge of Yoga to the 7 disciples3.
Getting started with Yoga
If you are beginner and just getting started with Yoga, it is essential to understand the basics of Yoga.
Yoga is one among the six philosophical schools of Hinduism. These include Sankhya, Yoga, Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Mimamsa, and Vedanta. The practice of yoga has been thought to date back to pre-Vedic Indian traditions; possibly in the Indus valley civilization around 3000 BCE. Yoga is derived from the word Yuja, which when literally translated means – “to join”, “to unite”. It is considered to be a union of the self with the reality of self. When put simply, it means self-realization.
Yoga is much more than getting your body in shape
The original purpose of yoga asanas has been to keep the internal physical body and the energy body healthy and in balance. Much of what we see today in the form of Yoga asanas is essentially Hatha Yoga. The goal of Yoga is the cessation of all mental activation i.e. taking the mind to a non-active state. Yoga asanas or Yoga poses are important to prepare your body for deep periods of meditation. The improvements in your body shape are not its main objective.
Yoga Asanas should not be done as a typical exercise
The main difference between a Hatha Yoga practice (which largely consists of Yoga asanas and pranayama) and a modern yoga asana practice/exercise is how the yoga poses are done. Classically, asanas (yoga poses) are defined as steady and comfortable, poses. As soon as the asanas are performed in a dynamic way, without steady holds, we enter the realm of modern asana practice. This is not how they should be done. Ancient scriptures define asanas with the words sthira sukham asanam, which defines the state where body and mind are steady and comfortable in a pose. To sum it up, an asana practice according to Hatha Yoga principles aims to keep the internal body healthy and in balance rather than focusing on weight loss, toning, and shaping the exterior physical body and performs asanas with long, comfortable, and steady holds, rather than in a vigorous or dynamic manner.
How to get started then?
It is advisable to get started under the mentorship or guidance of an experienced instructor. It’ll ensure that you have proper guidance. Also, it’ll avoid you any injury. There are many instructors available that can be searched online. Make sure that your instructor has 500 hours or more of training and is well versed with the fundamentals of Yoga. Read reviews of students and thoroughly evaluate the Yoga institute, or the studio and the trainers.
References and Further Reading
- Wikipedia Contributors. (2022, January 1). List of International Days of Yoga. Retrieved January 12, 2022, from Wikipedia website: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_International_Days_of_Yoga#2021
- World Yoga Forum. (2021, October 30). Who is the founder of Yoga? Retrieved January 12, 2022, from World Yoga Forum website: https://worldyogaforum.com/2021/10/30/who-is-the-founder-of-yoga/
- Wikipedia Contributors. (2022, January 1). International Day of Yoga. Retrieved January 12, 2022, from Wikipedia website: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Day_of_Yoga
Further Reading on World Yoga Forum