What is Yoga ?
The origins of Yoga have been speculated to date back to pre-Vedic Indian traditions, but most likely developed around the sixth and fifth centuries BCE, in ancient India's ascetic circles, which are also credited with the early sramana movements.The chronology of earliest texts describing yoga-practices is unclear, varyingly credited to Hindu Upanishads and Buddhist Pali Canon,probably of third century BCE or later. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali from first half of 1st millennium CE is one of a key surviving major texts on Yoga. Hatha yoga texts emerged around 11th century CE, and in its origins was related to Tantrism.
Yoga gurus from India later introduced yoga to the west, following the success of Swami Vivekananda in the late 19th and early 20th century.In the 1980's, yoga became popular as a system of physical exercise across the Western world. Yoga in Indian traditions, however, is more than physical exercise, it has a meditative and spiritual core.One of the six major orthodox schools of Hinduism is also called Yoga, which has its own epistemology and metaphysics, and is closely related to Hindu Samkhya philosophy.
Many studies have tried to determine the effectiveness of yoga as a complementary intervention for cancer, schizophrenia, asthma, and heart disease. The results of these studies have been mixed and inconclusive, with cancer studies suggesting none to unclear effectiveness, and others suggesting yoga may reduce risk factors and aid in a patient's psychological healing process.
International Yoga DayThe United Nations General Assembly declared June 21 as 'International Day of Yoga'. This comes less than three months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed the idea.
It was introduced by India's Ambassador to the United Nations Asoke Mukerji today and had 175 nations joining as co-sponsors, the highest number ever for any resolution in the 193-member UN Genral Assembly. This is also for the first time that such an initiative has been proposed and implemented by any country in the UN body in less than 90 days.
"Yoga 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," : PM Modi
The UN in its annual calendar has listed nearly 118 international days, years and anniversaries for observance. The main significance of the UN declaring an International Day is to focus the attention of the international community on the topic and to encourage activities among the member states to commemorate the day.
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