The United Nations declared June 21, 2015, the first International Day of Yoga, or World Yoga Day, in recognition of “the important role healthy living plays in the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals,” which were adopted last year by the UN Member States.
On Tuesday, June 21, 2016, people all around the world practiced yoga in special ways to celebrate this. If you haven’t seen the Huffington Post’s collection of beautiful group yoga photos, check it out and smile.
I lead four classes on Tuesday. Two were free special events in honor of World Yoga Day. I was so please that lots of new faces showed up to my two classes at Sugarbush. Maybe we should have more yoga holidays! We held class outside by the pool and were able to salute the sun in full and bake our bones in its warmth during savasana.
Kids yoga was also outdoors on World Yoga Day. We OMed long and deep, one breath for each sound A-U-M (kids love this) and made a 9-body snake in honor of the spread of yoga (followed by an extra-long hiss of course).
That night before I went to bed, I thought about how diverse the group of students I taught had been. Some were practicing for the first time, others were just renewing a practice put on hold for years due to various reasons. And 3-year-olds were chanting OM, something I hadn’t even heard about until I was a teenager!
The word “yoga” means “union” and usually this refers to body and mind, or also individual self and universal consciousness. But I think yoga has the power to unite communities. In just one day the practice brought employees together to release stress in a healthy way, reunited poolside summer friendships, and gathered kids around a shared goal of working together with their bodies and voices. I’m in awe.
Tell me how you celebrated!