Yoga is an ancient physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in India and has been practiced for an estimated 5,000+ years. The word ‘yoga’ derives from Sanskrit and means to join or to unite, symbolizing the union of body and consciousness.
Recognizing its universal appeal, on 11 December 2014, the United Nations proclaimed 21 June as the International Day of Yoga by resolution 69/131. The International Day of Yoga aims to raise worldwide awareness of the many benefits of practicing yoga. The theme for the 2018 celebration, organized by the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations, is ‘Yoga for Peace.’
Types of Yoga
There are many types of yoga. Hatha (a combination of many styles) is one of the most popular. It is a more physical type of yoga rather than a still, meditative form. Hatha yoga focuses on pranayamas (breath-controlled exercises). These are followed by a series of asanas (yoga postures), which end with savasana (a resting period).