The world is shifting. An unprecedented 177 countries signed on to make June 21st the official day for all aspects of yoga — body, mind, and spirit.
The United Nations declared June 21st as International Yoga Day, just three months after India’s newly-elected Prime Minister Narendra Modi used some of his valuable minutes during his address to the U.N. General Assembly to introduce it. With an unprecedented 177 countries signed on, including the United States, China, France, the United Kingdom and Russia, it might be an indication that the winds are changing. The resolution adopted by the General Assembly garnered a record number of co-sponsors.
In my recent meeting with Minister Sripad Naik of the Ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy), I saw for myself how incredibly optimistic he and his team are about their work and the role of AYUSH for a wider community. I left our meeting so encouraged to know that India is leading the way and remaining courageous to bring forth, perhaps the most missed agenda item in world policies, that of spirituality.
There are many forms of yoga today and in America alone, there are 155 yogic practices and over 60 million practitioners. India has historically been known for its mysticism, yoga and meditation. During the recent launch of HuffPost India, at Taj Palace Hotel in New Delhi, Arianna Huffington, the chair, president, and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, said to a group of leaders that India is in the unique position to offer the Eastern traditions of meditation and yogic methods to de-stress folks in the West. In this fast moving time, with India moving so fast, both in the East and West, the question here in India, is “Are Indians ready to return to its mystical ways of being as a people and a country, rather than chasing after the Maya of the West?”
Through practicing Raja Yoga, which directs the intellect to connect to the Divine so that the energies of “ALGAE,” an acronym I use that represents, Anger, Greed, Lust, Attachment, and Ego, reduces and we become fully awakened in thoughts and actions. The gift of the present day is that we have so many forms of support to choose from to take better care of ourselves. Ultimately, it’s about our own consciousness and what serves it best.
I wonder and remain optimistic that International Yoga Day is not only shifting the body, but it becomes an official day where everyone can choose to shift their minds towards a more empowered state. Could this be a means of declaring world peace? One thing is for sure, Prime Minister Modi and his Ministry of AYUSH are leading the world to awaken. To all leaders of the world, are you ready to chant your “OM” and find your own inner peace when you choose to lead?
Originally published on Huffington Post
Photo: Flickr/Balint Földesi