On June 21st 2016, we will once again celebrate International Day of Yoga all over the world!
This celebration of Yoga was initiated at the United Nations General Assembly on December 11th 2014 by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to remind the world that Yoga is a gift from the India to the world, one that unifies all people in harmony. As he stated:
“Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and nature.”
On this day, the differences between nations, religions, and traditions will be dissolved, and people will come together to do Yoga to experience the power of harmony—to experience the strength that union with the world and with our highest potential expresses!
This year is especially auspicious for Amma’s children as Amrita Yoga has been chosen to help coordinate the promotion, propagation and execution of all IDY activities in India by the Ministry of AYUSH and the MDNIY, an institution under the Ministry. This means that any organization in India that wants to celebrate the International Day of Yoga can approach Mata Amritanandamayi Math and consult Amrita Yoga to implement the protocol for participation.
Over the past few months, Amrita Yoga has been training Yoga Ambassadors in preparation for the celebration. For example, on June 7th, a two-day training camp was held for about fifty teachers at Ettimadai Amrita Vidyalayam in Tamil Nadu. Training is also being held at Amritapuri for youth ambassadors, ages 18-25 starting the last two weeks of May and continuing up to the celebration date.
Already several important organizations have approached Mata Amritanandamayi Math to implement the Amrita Yoga protocol for their events: the Bharat Petroleum Corporation in Ambalamugal, Kochi is celebrating IDY with 100 employees and 50 students from their CR school, and IISER-TVM Indian Institute of Science Education and Research in Thiruvananthapuram will be celebrating with over 200 students!
Amrita Yoga expects all the same participants from 2015, such as Amrita University and all the Amrita Vidyalayam schools (to mention a few Davangere, Bengaluru, Bogadu, Mangalapuram, Sadashivagad in Karnataka, Manjeri, Thalassery, Koyilandy in Kerala, Durgapur in West Bengal, Ahmedabad in Gujarat, as well as all the M.A. Math Centers in Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, etc.) to participate. All the 101 Amma’s adopted villages in far-off Kashmir, Rajasthan Uttarakhand and Andhra Pradesh will also be participating. International Satsangs are also busy preparing their respective IDY celebrations in Helsinki, Paris, Switzerland, and Tokyo as well as in North America in San Ramon, Washington D.C., Atlanta, etc. Santa Fe is especially auspicious, as their IDY celebrations will include the joyful presence of Amma officiating!
We look forward to welcoming all the many new participants as well and sharing their activities with photographs according to our social media protocol on our Amrita Yoga Facebook page. Let us make 2016 a memorable year for celebrating the International Day of Yoga with Amrita Yoga!
Amrita Yoga’s theme for IDY is “The Power of Harmony”, and all teachers and ambassadors are inspired to give satsang on this most important theme. The world is undergoing difficulties and challenges, and the global community is struggling to reconcile all issues and solve problems. Conflict always arises when there is a lack of harmony. Nature especially is disturbed and Amma often speaks on how nature is a reflection of our own Nature; when our minds are disturbed, so is Nature. This harmony between ourselves and Nature is a constant feature of Amrita Yoga. When the mind and body and intellect are in harmony through Yoga, then the individual consciousness becomes united with the Universal Consciousness, the small ego becomes merged with the Supreme. This is the power of Yoga, from the samskritam yuj, the union of these two.
According to modern scientists, everything in the universe is just a manifestation of the same quantum firmament. One who experiences this oneness of existence is said to be “in Yoga” as a yogi who has attained moksha; a state of freedom, self-realization.
Yoga is an inner science comprising of a variety of methods through which human beings can achieve this union between the body and mind to attain self-realization. The aim of Yoga practice (sàdhana) is to overcome all kinds of sufferings caused from bondage to our bodies and minds resulting from ignorance of our true nature.
Yoga harmonizes all these dis-eases and leads to a sense of freedom, holistic health, happiness and harmony. Ultimately, only a yogi can overcome their limitations in order to help the world; as we discover the power of harmony on an individual scale, we can apply it on a broader scale in our communities and on a global scale.
Yoga works on the level of one’s body, mind, emotion and energy. This has given rise to four broad classifications of Yoga: Karma Yoga where we utilize the body; Jnàna Yoga where we utilize the mind; Bhakti Yoga where we utilize the emotion and Kriya Yoga where we utilize the energy. Each system of Yoga we practice falls within the gamut of one or more of these categories.
Every individual is a unique combination of these four factors. Only a guru (teacher) can advocate the appropriate combination of the four fundamental paths as is necessary for each seeker. All ancient commentaries on Yoga have stressed that it is essential to work under the direction of a guru. The different philosophies, traditions, lineages and guru-shishya “paramparas” of Yoga led to the emergence of different traditional schools. These include: Jnàna Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Karma Yoga, Pàtanjala Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Dhyàna Yoga, Mantra Yoga, Laya Yoga, Ràja Yoga, Jain Yoga, Bouddha Yoga, etc.
Each school has its own approach and practices that lead to the ultimate aim and objectives of Yoga. To celebrate International Day of Yoga, the Ministry of AYUSH recognizes these many yoga traditions and lineages, and although there is a common protocol to follow, each lineage will also include their own protocol as given by their guru.
Amrita Yoga will follow the common protocol and also include Amrita Yoga asana practice and IAM Technique. In this way, Amrita Yoga will continue to be introduced as a unique yoga from a wonderful guru lineage that is AMMA! In Her, all the four categories of yoga are represented in their perfected form; Amrita Yoga is extremely auspicious, as it has a living Guru. This makes the International Day of Yoga more relevant for all of Amma’s children, as she is the head of this huge international body of devotees, schools, Maths, satsangs and humanitarian initiatives. There is no better representative for this year’s theme, as “The Power of Harmony” is alive in Amma Herself!
Author: Rosario Kerekes