BY: Neighbors’ Consejo|
International Yoga Day serves as a reminder to embrace a holistic approach to wellness, where the mind and body work in harmony. This annual celebration encourages individuals around the globe to explore the transformative power of yoga in cultivating emotional balance and inner peace. In this article, we delve into the significance of International Yoga Day and explore how yoga contributes to enhancing our emotional wellbeing.
“Yoga is a mind and body practice that can build strength and flexibility. It may also help manage pain and reduce stress. Various styles of yoga combine physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation  .” The same source explains that “the first mention of the word “yoga” appeared in Rig Veda, a collection of ancient texts. Yoga comes from the Sanskrit word “yuj”, which means “union” or “to join”.
According to Yoga Basics  , 8 limbs of yoga exist: “Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi.” Additionally, there are different practices of yoga:
- Raja (the royal path): Focuses on meditation practices
- Karma (the path of action): Focuses on action and service in daily life
- Jnana (the path of knowledge): Focuses on discriminate wisdom and self-inquiry
- Bhakti (the path of devotion): Focuses on devotion to God
- Tantra (the path of ecstasy): Focuses on ritual and initiation
- Hatha (the forceful path): Focuses on energy and movement of the body
How does yoga help mental wellbeing? “As a form of low-impact exercise, yoga has been shown to lower stress hormones in our bodies while simultaneously increasing beneficial brain chemicals like endorphins and GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid). These feel-good chemicals help decrease anxiety and improve mood  .”
Harvard Medical School  considers that, “when you lift weights, your muscles get stronger and bigger. When you do yoga, your brain cells develop new connections, and changes occur in brain structure as well as function, resulting in improved cognitive skills, such as learning and memory. Yoga strengthens parts of the brain that play a key role in memory, attention, awareness, thought, and language. Think of it as weightlifting for the brain.”
As we celebrate International Yoga Day, let us recognize the power of this practice to foster emotional wellbeing and spread its benefits to individuals of all ages and backgrounds. Let us continue to embrace yoga as a source of strength, tranquility, and connection, and may its teachings inspire us to lead more balanced, joyful, and emotionally fulfilling lives. Remember, the journey to emotional wellbeing is a personal one, and yoga can be an invaluable companion along the way. Namaste.