International Yoga Day
This Sunday, June 21 is International Yoga Day among other important holidays like National Smoothie Day, World Music Day, oh, AND Father’s Day. International Yoga Day was recognized by the World Health Organization in 2015 as a proper global holiday. The day is meant to educate the world on its rich history and the comprehensive health benefits of practicing yoga. So, we’re sharing this year’s theme, a historical synopsis, inside HCI yoga classes and a couple of yoga playlists so you can take advantage of the day!
This Year’s Theme
In 2019, the United Nations chose to promote Climate Action through International Yoga Day. Yoga day generally signifies global health, harmony and peace and this year’s theme is no exception — Yoga From Home.
The Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations is offering a live virtual class + party on Friday, June 19 from 3-4:30PM EST to celebrate with the world and bring yoga to those stuck at home due to COVID-19. Link below!
Yoga History 101
Though most of us probably know what child’s pose is as this eastern tradition has shape-shifted and infiltrated the U.S., the origin of yoga is hard to trace and a little murky. It is definitely an ancient tradition from India. Scholars argue over whether it’s as old as 5,000 years and 10,000 years. Though it started out as purely a spiritual practice, today it takes on many different forms and stands as a major leg in the western pop fitness culture. (Note: handstands and spineless backs were not the original intention of yoga.)
If you consider yourself a yogi or enjoy a yoga class here (at HCI) and there, you may hear names like Patanjali and B.K.S. Iyengar. Patanjali is known as the “father of yoga,” because he was the first person to codify all parts of yoga into a book of Yoga Sutras. Meanwhile, Iyengar is a well-respected teacher of the 20th century who created a form of Hatha Yoga minimizing the risk of injury through the use of props like blocks, belts and blankets (what we see a lot in our Flow Yoga classes at HCI)!
One takeaway from the complexities and contradictions of yoga’s history is it’s an endlessly fascinating topic. If you’re looking to [swan] dive in more deeply, the link below provides several books!
Clearly you’re getting a serious core workout in Jenny’s class.
Yoga at HCI + Benefit Breakdown
We lunged into STUDIO instructor Jenny’s Core Flow class on Monday to check out the benefits of yoga second hand. Actually, we left the lunging to Jenny and our members.
The physical and mental benefits of yoga make all of the twisting (safely) and shaking worthwhile.
Physical benefits include:
- Reduction of chronic pain
- Better sleep
- Lower blood pressure
- More flexibility, muscle strength and tone
- Better respiration, energy, and improved cardio health
- Injury prevention
- Balancing the metabolism and weight loss
- Better athletic peformance
We also left the spinal twisting and hamstring stretching to our members.
Mental benefits include (without overpromising):
- Improves stress levels, coping skills and stress management, and patterns of behavior caused by stress
- Mental clarity and calmness
- Increases body and self awareness which helps with early detection and preventing injuries
- Relaxes the mind
- Better concentration
A very Zen Playlist
We’re keeping it calm with this International Yoga Day playlist! Listen to relax or while you flow or meditate.
A Flow with It Playlist
We’re building the energy up and ending with the perfect songs for savasana on this flow with it playlist!