At this year’s celebration of the International Day of Yoga, health benefits which are accrued from the ancient practice have been highlighted as a way of encouraging more Liberians and other nationals to get involved.
After leading practitioners, some of them first timers, Mr. Jenil Karthick, a yoga trainer residing in Liberia, named the benefits of yoga to include increased flexibility, increased muscle strength and tone, improved respiration, energy and vitality and maintaining a balanced breathing habit.
Other profits, according to the yogi, are weight reduction, improvement in cardio and circulatory health, improved athletic performance, protection from injury, boosts to one’s immune system functionality, breathing techniques, pain easement, and spine protections, among others.
During the practice, trainer Jenil, was flexible enough to contort his body in many ways that most first-timers and some who might have been doing it before watching in bewilderment.
The International Day, which is celebrated every June 21 globally, but was celebrated on Sunday, June 24, at an Indian worship center in Monrovia, involved stretching and body contortions. At some point Mr. Karthick asked everyone to just lie down on their backs, with eyes closed, and told to take their minds off things around them.
Before the practice started, Mr. Chander Mohan, special assistant to the Honorary Indian Consul General to Liberia, encouraged Liberians and his fellow Indians to begin practicing yoga.
Mohan provided a brief history of how the International Day of Yoga came about.
“To give a brief background to the day we are here observing, it may interest us to know that the International Day of Yoga was prompted by an address to the 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on September 27, 2014, by the Prime Minister of India, Mr. Narendra Modi, in which he urged the world community to adopt an International Day of Yoga,” he stated.
“Following the Indian Prime Minister’s appeal, on December 11, 2014, the 193-member UN General Assembly approved Modi’s proposal by consensus, with a record 177 co-sponsoring countries, including Liberia, and adopted a resolution to make the 21st June of each year as International Day of Yoga.
“In its resolution declaring 21st June of each year the International Day of Yoga, the UN General Assembly recognized that Yoga provides a holistic approach to health and well-being and encourages the wider dissemination of information about the benefits of practicing Yoga for the health of the world population. Yoga also brings harmony in all walks of life and thus, is known for disease prevention, health promotion, and management of many lifestyle–related disorders.”
According to Yogic scriptures, the practice of yoga leads to the union of individual consciousness with universal consciousness.
He further stated that yoga is essentially a spiritual discipline based on an extremely subtle science which focuses on bringing harmony between mind and body. It is an art and science for a healthy living.
Mohan further stated that the science of Yoga has its origins thousands of years ago, long before the first religion or belief systems were born. “Several thousand years ago, on the banks of Lake Kantisarovar in the Himalayas, a yogi poured his profound knowledge into the legendary saptarishis or seven sages,” he said.