20 Jun 2024

Yoga for Mind and Body: Celebrating More Than Weight Loss

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Have you ever wondered where the practice of yoga, now popular worldwide, originated? Yoga has its roots in India, first mentioned in the ancient Rig Veda. The word ‘Yoga’ comes from the Sanskrit word “Yuj,” which means to unite or join. Over the centuries, yoga has evolved and gained a devoted following both in India and across the globe. International Yoga Day celebrates this rich tradition and aims to raise awareness about its numerous benefits.

What is Yoga?

Yoga is an amalgamation of movements, meditation, and breathing techniques that help your mind and body come together, and be in sync.

Yoga in the West has evolved into a more cohesive practice where postures (asanas), breathing (pranayama), and meditation (dyana) come together to help an individual relax.

What is International Yoga Day?

With 300+ million yoga practitioners worldwide, Yoga Day is well celebrated by fitness enthusiasts. International Yoga Day is commemorated to increase awareness of yoga’s many advantages, including physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.

On June 21, the world celebrates International Yoga Day, which honors the discipline of yoga, which originated in India and is first referenced in the ancient Rig Veda.

This embodies the essence of yoga, a practice that unifies the mind and body, harmonizes thoughts and deeds, and promotes a balance between people and nature.

standing in Downward facing dog exercise, white loft studio background, close up
The famous downward dog pose, which helps you relieve stress and stretch back

International Yoga Day 2024 Theme

Each year, International Yoga Day celebrates and activities are guided by a distinct theme. The topic for 10th Yoga Day 2024 is “Yoga for Self and Society,” which emphasizes yoga’s function in improving individual well-being while also fostering societal peace.

Health Benefits Of Yoga

  • Helps in relieving menopause and the health problems that come along with
  • Helps people who are obese and overweight. Yoga will help them exercise without having to impact their joints, severely.
  • It helps people quit smoking
  • It is known to help alleviate pain for people with osteoarthritis. Yoga also helps with neck pain issues as well as back pain issues.
  • Yoga also improves your flexibility, strength, and balance. The tree pose is the perfect example of this.
  • It enhances and supports the health of your heart. 
  • It helps in a relaxed and restful sleep. Helps in regulating the sleep cycle.
  • Helps in the regulation of your mood and be more focused on your work
Young woman practicing tree yoga pose near the ocean during sunset
Tree pose, which helps you have balance and be focused

Philosophy Of Yoga

Hatha Yoga

Hatha means force in Sanskrit. It essentially revolves around using physical movements to preserve and channel the energy of the body. Many believe that some of the techniques have originated as far as 1 century CE.

It is believed that the aim of Hatha yoga is to help slow down aging, gain magical powers, and also attain Moksh or spiritual liberation.

This branch of yoga emphasizes mitahara, which means “measured diet” or “moderate eating.” It is particularly beneficial for those who struggle with overeating or under-eating.

To follow this practice effectively on this international yoga day, consider ordering the freshest produce from Milkbasket, an online grocery delivery service that brings everything you need right to your doorstep.

A girl in black yoga dress is doing hatha yoga on the international yoga day

Hatha yoga classes, typically lasting between 45 to 90 minutes, start with a gentle warm-up, progress to physical poses, and conclude with meditation. Here’s a brief breakdown:

  • Breathing (Pranayama): Classes begin with breath focus, continuing through poses with various breathing exercises.
  • Poses (Asanas): These movements improve balance, flexibility, and strength, ranging from simple to challenging. Instructors provide modified postures if needed.
  • Meditation: Classes end with a short meditation, often involving guided relaxation or Tibetan singing bowls.

Raja Yoga

This branch of yoga has been around since yoga’s inception but in the 19th century when Swami Vivekananda wrote his interpretation of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali in his book called Raja Yoga.

It has since garnered several names such as royal yoga, ashtanga yoga, royal union, sahaja marg, and classical yoga.

A person is doing meditation on the beech on the international yoga day

Raja Yoga, compiled by sage Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras during the second century CE, outlines yogic meditation in eight limbs.

The first four limbs, called external limbs, are practiced simultaneously and, despite sharing names with Hatha Yoga practices, differ significantly. The last four limbs, known as internal limbs, are practiced sequentially.

Karma Yoga

Karma yoga, as the name suggests revolves around the ideology of making your future free of any negativity and/or selfishness. Per the Bhagavad Gita, wherein Lord Krishna has explained Karma Yoga as the spiritual practice of selfless action which is performed for the benefit of others.

To attain moksha or spiritual liberation, through your work, without worrying or thinking about the fruits of your labor. According to the Bhagavad Gita, selfless service is a form of worship and spirituality.

This helps in attaining peace and happiness. Most humans chase the outcomes, rather than do their work without thinking about selflessness.

Bhakti Yoga

This branch of yoga aims at devotion being the path through which a positive channel is opened to deal with emotions and cultivate acceptance and tolerance. Bhakti yoga is a way where you devote yourself to a deity.

It is practiced in Hinduism and it is a spiritual practice. It is one of the three paths through which moksha can be attained. The other two are jnana and karma yoga.

As always, this tradition has ancient roots and is mentioned in the Shvetashvatara Upanishad wherein Bhakti Yoga is simplified as participation, devotion, and love for any endeavor you partake in.

This International Yoga Day, embark on your journey into Bhakti Yoga and choose the path of devotion. Start with a divine meal, and find everything you need on the Milkbasket app. Let this online grocery service support you on your path to moksha.

Jnana Yoga

This branch of yoga pertains to wisdom, the path of a scholar, and developing your intellect through study. This branch of yoga looks into the internal questions of “who am I, what am I?”.

This yoga entails for an individual studying under the aegis of a guru, meditating, introspecting, and reaching liberation. The disciple reaches a sense of limbo where they learn how their soul or aatma and its purpose in the Brahman or metaphysical universe.

Woman Yoga Aasan relaxing in nature
The lotus pose is known to help even the most novice yoga practitioner, be one with themself

Risks Of Yoga

On this International Yoga Day, you can start Although yoga does not pose a risk but sometimes it is better to be on the safe side. It has several poses that require you to be flexible; if you are not, you risk spraining or hurting yourself.

Specific Considerations:

  • Pregnant Women: Consult with a doctor before practicing yoga.
  • Back Issues/Sciatica: Medical consultation is recommended as some poses may exacerbate pain.

For Beginners:

  • Always practice under the supervision of a professional instructor.
  • Avoid attempting advanced poses to prevent permanent damage.

In the end, International Yoga Day encourages you to enjoy yoga as a way to release your stress and help you gain some perspective in life.

If you like more exercise or a workout but still want to try out yoga, then you can opt for power yoga, a modified version of the traditional Ashtanga yoga.

Another type of yoga you can try is Bikram yoga or hot yoga. It is done in heated rooms and has about 40% humidity. This makes you sweat and helps you stay in shape, but be warned this can cause severe dehydration, so better carry your water and stay hydrated.

So on this International Yoga Day, are you ready to start your journey into the world of Yoga? If you are all ready, then Milkbasket is here to help you keep hydrated with our tender coconut water and other essentials like yoga mat. Just download the Milkbasket app and enjoy the convenience of having your daily essentials delivered right to your doorstep.

Stay healthy and hydrated with Milkbasket!


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