IDY 2023 with Yoga in Daily Life – Part 1
The 9th International Day of Yoga was commemorated in the week of 21st of June and Yoga in Daily Life centres, ashrams, teachers and students in countries around the world, celebrated again this year.
The concept of celebrating yoga internationally was proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi Ji in his address to the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly in 2014, in which he said: “Yoga is an invaluable gift from our ancient tradition. Yoga embodies unity of mind and body, thought and action... [it is] a holistic approach [that] is valuable to our health and our well-being. Yoga is not just about exercise; it is a way to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and nature.” (source: https://www.un.org/en/observances/yoga-day)
From that time, the whole world dedicates a day to practising yoga exercises, breathing techniques and meditation. This day is devoted to raising consciousness and increasing energy in the human body and mind, with yoga.
Yoga in Daily Life centres, ashrams, teachers and students offered and took part in free yoga classes, events and public programs in many countries around the world for this special occasion. Here in Part 1 you can see how Yoga in Daily Life was celebrated in: Australia, Austria, Canada, China and Croatia.
Yoga in Daily Life Australia organised multiple activities for the celebration of International Day of Yoga, through the whole month of June.
On three Saturdays (3, 10, and 17 June) practitioners and teachers from all YIDL centres in Australia and New Zealand, shared their personal testimonials on how yoga helped them, in the form of three online panel discussions, moderated by Madhu from the Sydney YIDL Ashram.
In each discussion, there were 10 panellists (Yoga in Daily Life practitioners) and 60, 65 and 71 participants (observers) respectively, who contributed to the discussions with their chat or live comments and questions. The discussions were organised around 3 groups of topics and here are the main points:
- 3 June – 'Yoga in Daily Life for Management of Chronic Conditions': The panellists included 4 participants with cancer, 3 practitioners with Type 1 diabetes, 2 participants with chronic back pain due to severe injuries and 1 with Bell's palsy. They testified how yoga helped them go through radiation and chemotherapy; how it helped to mitigate the symptoms of and balance diabetes; and help with other symptoms of their conditions. They all agreed that yoga gave them peace of mind, so they can accept their condition and even comfort and reassure their family members, giving them valuable insight that "with or without the condition, I am still the same person".
- 10 June – 'Healthy Aging with Yoga in Daily Life': The 10 panellists of senior age, agreed on how yoga practice enables them to stay fit; to still perform practical life activities despite old age, as well as stay active in their other hobbies; to enjoy their life in a wider range (eg. "Because of yoga, I can sit on the floor and get up, so I can go down and play on the floor with my grandchildren."); to have a community of peers (socialising after the class is of great importance for them). They have agreed that yoga gives them a positive attitude in life and they all have the feeling they would like to give back what they have received, so many of them volunteer with an even older population, teaching them some gentle stretching, breathing exercises, and 'stillness of the mind'.
- 17 June – 'Yoga in Daily Life for Mental Well-being': The 10 panellists (including 4 diagnosed with anxiety and 1 with depression) agreed on how yoga practice helps them to come to a peaceful and calm state of being during stressful events. They explained the reasons and mechanism of exactly how yoga (especially Self-Inquiry Meditation) helps them to stay positive and motivated; to have better resilience; to accept and adapt to change; to know themselves better; and accept themselves and others; "being a better person" with a greater capacity to be there for others; to mitigate their anxiety and cope with the depression and moodiness in general; and to have clarity on what is really important in life.
By invitation from the Consul General of India, Gita from YIDL Melbourne, spoke on behalf of Yoga in Daily Life at the International Day of Yoga event at Victorian State Parliament House in Melbourne on Tuesday 20 June. Alongside addresses given by parliamentary leaders from both parties and other yoga professionals, Gita spoke of Vishwaguruji spreading the authentic teachings and wisdom of Yoga via the Yoga in Daily Life System all around the world and how it has inspired and benefited millions of people.
A free online Yoga in Daily Life class was led by Swami Gopal from Melbourne, on Wednesday 21 June, attended by 30 participants.
YIDL Brisbane organised a half-day workshop on 18 June (with 22 participants and 5 teachers) titled 'Inner Peace for World Peace – nurture your human qualities for your benefit and for all.'
It began with an inspirational talk on what makes us human, what is the aim of human life and the principle of Ahimsa Paramo Dharma, followed by a yoga class with Vishwaguruji's video on 'Khatu Pranam is a step towards peace', pranayama and mantra chanting along with a meditation on the Anahata Chakra (heart centre).
As well as moderating and co-hosting the online panel sessions noted above, YIDL Sydney offered a free in-person workshop, 'Yoga for a Healthy Back', which had 25 participants and took place on 18 June, led by Sarasvati.
A free senior class with 10 participants took place with YIDL Perth on 21 June, led by Tulsi.
Yoga in Daily Life Salzburg celebrated International Yoga Day on 21 June in the park of Hellbrunn. Around 40 enthusiastic participants enjoyed the asanas and pranayama in the open air.
At the end they sang together the song:
"The light of the sun is carried by you. Be humble in mind and let it shine through. Because light has the power to brighten the night and never was darkness stronger than light.“
The yoga group has been practising every Tuesday evening in Graz for 21 years. This time again, the long-time yoga friends, led by yoga teacher Yamuna, honoured the International Day of Yoga with asanas, pranayama, gyana (study) and meditation.
On Sunday morning of 18 June 2023 at 9am, about 150 people interested in Yoga gathered on the sunny Kaiserwiese section of Vienna's Prater public park. The event was initiated by the Indian Embassy of Austria and took place under the protection of His Excellency Mr Jaideep Mazumdarji, Ambassador of India to Austria, and his wife Parvatiji.
Swami Umapuri Ji hosted the programme and was supported by YIDL teachers, as well as teachers from other Viennese Yoga groups. A group of children started the event with an invitation for all to greet the Sun with a joyful song.
Swami Umapuri Ji then guided the practice of asanas and different Yoga teachers led pranayama, meditation and relaxation. Finally, when the programme was finished, many content people left the place for a hopefully even brighter Sunday afternoon.
Swami Dayamataji held an International Yoga Day event on Sunday 18 June at Burnaby Central Park, the largest park in the centre of Vancouver. The majority of 40 participants were Chinese students from the Tzuchi Foundation, a well-established Buddhist charity, where a Yoga in Daily Life teacher volunteers to teach yoga.
There were also a few students from English yoga classes and a few from the online Chinese class and the majority of students live near to the park. After the practice, participants had a picnic together and learned more about the Yoga in Daily Life System and the importance of International Yoga Day.
On 18 June, Swami Dayamataji conducted an online Zoom event for the Chinese YIDL groups to come together in celebration of IDY.
In 海口 Haikou her disciple Min led a program with 7 students.
In 逝江 Zhe Jiang the IDY program had 16 practitioners led by Mr Wu, 70, who passionately loves the Yoga in Daily Life System.
小茵 Xiaoyin from 北京 Beijing, had done a lot of yoga, but she realised that the YIDL system gave her knowledge of herself, relaxation and peace of mind.
Mabel from 广卅 Quanzhou finally got rid of her back pain by practising the Yoga in Daily Life system, and although she had done other yoga before, she always looks forward to her YIDL class.
荣新萍 Rong Xinping from Wuhan has been with Yoga in Daily Life since 2016. She has celebrated International Day of Yoga with some students for the past 2 years and this year is no exception.
Our yoga disciple Chandra Devi led some Waldorf school teachers in 成都 Chengdu to celebrate this occasion.
Our very enthusiastic 亚輝 YaFei from 河北 Hebei has attended all classes since the beginning of 2022 and gave a lot of positive feedback.
This year's International Day of Yoga online celebration with 7 provinces, practising in groups indoors and outdoors, was led by Swami Dayamata in Vancouver, so all were practising the same asanas at the same time,at the early hour of 7am (China time). One student from New Zealand joined as well. There were around 50 people.
When the celebration ended, they sang OM 3 times and the mantra
PRABHU DĪP KARTĀ
MAHĀ PRABHU DĪP KARTĀ HĪ KEVALAM
OM ŚĀNTIḤ ŚĀNTIḤ ŚĀNTIḤ."
I am not the doer
Prabhu Deep is the doer (Prabhu = God , Deep = Light)
Only Mahaprabhu Deep is the doer
Om, Peace Peace Peace
All the yoga practitioners concluded they all felt energised and blessed as they danced and resonated with the whole world!
On 21 June, Yoga in Daily Life centres in Croatia joined the international celebration of IDY this year, for the ninth year in a row. In co-ordination with the Indian Embassy, commemorations were organised in 12 cities and YIDL participated in the central celebration at Bundek, in the nation's capital.
The commemorations started a few days earlier in Zagreb, Samobor, Split, Varaždin, Labin and Novigrad and continued to Rovinj, Umag, Vukovar, Velika Gorica, Karlovac and Rijeka. It was a special and great event in all centres, and here are a few glimpses from some centres.
In Zagreb, the commemoration took place in the early morning with the Bari Khatu Pranam exercise and a large number of yoga enthusiasts gathered, just like in all other locations.
In Zagreb’s Bundek, the central celebration was organised by the Indian Embassy in cooperation with a few well-known yoga schools, including Yoga in Daily Life. Hundreds of people were practising yoga for IDY in Croatia : https://www.yoga-in-daily-life.hr/aktualno/750-medunarodni-dan-joge-i-ove-godine-proslavljen-sirom-hrvatske
In Split, the occasion was covered by the media, with Croatia National Television filming the event. The introduction to the main event for adults in Split was a children’s program, where the participants of the regular Yoga for Children classes showed that yoga can be practised quite seriously even at a young age, and at the same time, it can be a lot of fun.
In Novigrad, HE Raj Kumar Srivastava and the Mayor of Novigrad were also present at the public event.
In the park in front of the JUSŽ Culture Hall and the Dharma Hostel in Rijeka, about a hundred practitioners gathered. The mayor of Rijeka and manager of the 'Rijeka – healthy city' also attended.