Since the first International Day of Yoga was held on June 21, 2015, yoga continues to be practiced across the world as a way to exercise the body and calm the mind.
- International Yoga Day was initiated by the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi.
- 177 members of the United Nations passed a resolution on December 11, 2014, to celebrate June 21 as International Yoga Day.
- Maharishi Patanjali of India is considered to be the "father" of yoga philosophy.
For many years, yoga has been popular in India as well as globally and has been scientifically proven to be highly beneficial to health.
Dr Mridul Kirti, of Melbourne, discussed the yoga philosophy of Maharishi Patanjali and the importance of the practice in life, saying that yoga was a practice of heart, mind, and body and was a physical activity based on science.
Patanjali Yoga Darshana is a unique and amazing book of the yogic science, composed in mathematical language, in a formulaic style (everything is told in a concise gist manner).
“It empowers your journey to peace and it has the core knowledge to understand the philosophy of life,” Dr Kirti said.
Yoga instructor at front of class guiding students Source: Getty Images/10, 000 Hours
Dr Kirti explained that yoga had been a part of Indian culture since ancient times, and, together with meditation, had been considered essential to making our bodies healthy from both a spiritual and scientific point of view.
She said: “In the yoga system, sage Patanjali introduced (the body movements of) Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dhaarana, Dhyana and Samadhi."
Listen to this podcast of Dr Mridul Kirti explaining the science of Yoga in this interview:-
With its roots in Indian mythology, yoga has since become a worldwide health and fitness phenomenon with June 21 now celebrated as International Yoga Day.
Explaining further, she told SBS Hindi that the first five were physical actions, which were external efforts to control and discipline the body to raise the conscience and mind upwards, while Dhaarana, Dhyana, and Samadhi (an assumption, meditation, and trance) were the subjects of the mind, and inner emotions.
Multi-ethnic group in yoga studio Source: Getty Images/10, 000 Hours
Dr Kirti has done poetic and explanatory translations of many texts including "Samveda", "Ishadi nine Upanishads", "Patanjali Yoga Darshan" and "Vivek Chudamani" composed by Shankaracharya. She has also translated "Srimad Bhagavad Gita" into Brajbhasha (a dialect of the Hindi language)
Explanatory poetic translation of Patanjali Yog Darshan in Hindi released by PM Narendra Modi in the Parliament, New Delhi India on 14 March 2017 Source: Mridul Kirti
The recipient of various awards and recently honoured with the Padambhushan Dr Moturi Satyanarayan Award by Kendriya Hindi Sansthan, in India, Dr Kirti said the whole philosophy of yoga was an extension of the first two hymns which advocated discipline and control of thoughts.
Yoga philosophy is the physical, mental, inner and spiritual journey until the mind becomes wise.
The importance of yoga in life has been recognised by celebrating a special day as International Yoga Day.
The Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly on September 27, 2014, spoke on the subject of yoga. Recognising the usefulness of yoga, members of the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution for an International Day of Yoga.
Listen to the podcast in Hindi by clicking on the audio icon inside the picture at the top.