International Day of Yoga appeals to New Zealanders
Auckland, June 26, 2017
The Auckland Indian Association marked the ‘International Day of Yoga’ on Sunday, June 25, 2017 at the Mahatma Gandhi Centre located at 145 New North Road, Eden Terrace. The event was jointly organised with the Art of Living Foundation New Zealand and the Indian High Commission.
Third in an annual series, ‘International Day of Yoga’ followed an initiative taken by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi while speaking at the UN General Assembly on September 27, 2014.
India’s invaluable gift
“Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfilment; 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 the nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help in wellbeing,” he said.
The observance at Mahatma Gandhi Centre was an experimental exercise that attracted about 100 people. It was a free, family-friendly programme of ‘Hatha (physical) Yoga, Sukshma (Subtle) Yoga conducted by inspiring and energetic Art of Living Yoga instructors.
Pranayamas and Gyana Yoga
The programme also included Pranayamas (breathing techniques), a beautiful guided meditation and sound mantras or Satsang. The value and beneficial effects of mantras was well-explained explained.
‘Gyana Yoga,’ which is the union with the Divine through knowledge and wisdom of the Divine was also demonstrated during the two-and-half hours of observance.
Yoga is an ancient practice of mental, spiritual and physical healing, dating back to at least 5000 years.
The word ‘Yoga’ means union. It is the union of body, breath, mind and soul.
Yoga is more than just burning your calories and toning your muscles.
It is a mind-body workout with strengthening and stretching poses along with deep breathing techniques to relax your mind and body.
Through Yoga, you can explore profoundly the very mechanics of life.
Today in many parts of the world, people spend half their health in gaining wealth, and then spend half of their wealth in regaining their lost health.
We need to look at urban healthcare in a holistic manner.
What is being healthy?
If you are feeling rough inside, then you are not healthy. If your mind is stiff and not calm, you are not mentally happy. When your emotions are rough, you are not happy.
To attain the perfect state of health, one has to be mentally calm, steady and emotionally soft. We have heard about physical hygiene, dental hygiene, but always overlook mental hygiene.
Mental wellbeing is improved perception, observation and expression.
Stress is basically having too much to do, too little time and not enough energy. We could manage this in two ways: Reduce our physical and mental workload; and Increase our available time.
Both these seem impossible to do!
Alternatively, we can increase our energy or prana level.
Prana is a subtle, vital life force energy.
Mind-body activities such as yoga, pranayama and meditation work wonders in keeping our energy levels high.
Yoga brings us clarity of mind, helps us to stay centred and focused; giving us a sense of wellbeing, confidence and radiating that inner joy.
-With Reporting by Krishna Parmar, Workshop Facilitator, Art of Living New Zealand.
- Communities mark ‘International Yoga Day’ at Mahatma Gandhi Centre in Auckland on June 25
- Rozeena Parikh practicing at Mahatma Gandhi Centre
(Pictures by Art of Living Foundation, New Zealand)