Bending over backwards and stretching into cat poses and downward dogs isn’t just for experienced yogis anymore. Yoga has become a culture, a lifestyle and a rather spiritual practice with dedicated followers – yet there are bound to be facts about it unknown to many.
Take, for instance, the fact that the word ‘yoga’ is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘yuj’, meaning union or integration – or the even more intriguing fact that every child will naturally do all the yoga postures in the first three years of his or her life. Indeed, the purpose of yoga is to become a child again, as the High Commission of India in Nicosia explains.
In light of the International Day of Yoga that’s coming up on June 21, the High Commission is holding several events across the island and is set to educate on the practice.
“Yoga is a product of the perennial wisdom of India,” say organisers from the High Commission. “One can trace the origin of yoga back to the period of the Indus Valley civilisation, almost three thousand years before Christ. During the last five thousand years, it has remained one of the most important facets of Indian culture.
Yoga is not about doing some fancy postures or gymnastics; rather, it is a vibrancy of our being. Yoga is emotional integration, spiritual elevation, with a touch of the mystical element which gives you a glimpse of something which is beyond imagination.”
It’s a practice that has remained unattached to religious doctrines, open to all for a deeper understanding of self and life. And, though the practice dates back thousands of years, it couldn’t be more relevant today, say the organisers in light of their upcoming events.
“Today, yoga is a way of Life, a social prescription, a self-care tool. Yoga is very beneficial for physical fitness, musculo-skeletal functioning and cardiovascular health. It also helps in lifestyle disorders like depression, fatigue, anxiety, diabetes, hypertension and other stress-related issues.”
With this in mind, the High Commission of India is conducting yoga sessions across the island with the help of municipalities and other civil bodies, and is organising the International Day of Yoga 2019. This is the biggest yoga event on the island, held at GSP Stadium in Nicosia on Friday, June 21.
Similar events will also be organised in the following days with a Yoga Day at Molos beachfront in Limassol on Saturday, June 22 at and at Finikoudes beach, Larnaca on Sunday, June 30, with the collaboration of the respective municipalities.
International Day of Yoga 2019
Yoga events and activities celebrating International Day of Yoga. June 21, GSP Stadium, Nicosia. 7pm. June 22, Molos beachfront, Limassol. 7pm. June 30. Finikoudes beach, Larnaca. 7pm