By Alelí Peiró,
The message of Yoga in promoting both the physical and mental well-being of humanity has never been more relevant.
Argentina is one of the countries with the highest per capita number of Yoga practitioners in Latin America. On Sunday June 20, 2021, the Embassy of India in Argentina, closed a week-long festivities related to the International Yoga Day (IDY). A three hour long programme on the premises of the Embassy brought together famous Argentine artists, great exponents and institutions of Yoga in the country.
Cordoba, the second largest city in Argentina, is celebrating IDY organized by the Honorary Consulate of India and the Yoga Forum to which I belong and more than fifty yoga teachers. This was done virtually and people performed Sun Salutation, recited mantras and also performed Indian classical dance. Everyone said that this practice of Yoga helped them in these difficult times when Argentina was in the midst of dealing with COVID-19.
Yoga, the study of philosophy and the love and respect that Argentines have for the Hindu culture are strong ties that unite us. This extends to the political and economic areas.
History of IDY
For IDY, people around the world are all set to take out their yoga mats and start exercising, but they might not be aware that yoga goes back centuries.
The idea of IDY was first proposed by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 27, 2014, during his speech at the UN General Assembly, where a resolution to establish June 21 as International Yoga Day was introduced by India’s Ambassador, Asoke Kumar Mukerji.
The date of June 21 was chosen as it is the Summer Solstice, the day where there is the most sun out of every other day of the year. Overall, it received support from 177 nations, the highest number of co-sponsors for any UN resolution, proclaiming June 21 as the International Yoga Day.
Yoga as a powerful tool for well-being in times of Pandemic
For over a decade I have taught Yoga and I have incorporated it into all areas of tourism, literature and business companies like Ayi Group. This ancient discipline can be a helpful way to boost your immune system and decrease inflammation in the body. Some kind of daily Yoga practice can reduce anxiety and calm the mind, thereby enhancing the quality of sleep.
Coronavirus is known to attack the respiratory system and impair the functioning of the lungs thus putting the patient’s life at risk. When you practice pranayama (Yoga breathing exercises) and if done regularly over a period of time ensures that your body takes more oxygen. This increased intake of oxygen caused by the improved capacity of the lungs helps the body to heal in a faster way.
As I have written in my book `The Infinite in a Sound’ (The book was inspired upon my experiences during my stay in India), “in the West individualism and immediacy prevail. On the other hand, in India they have developed a spirit of community and patience that I take as an example. This is tied to the philosophy of the concept that each thing is part of the whole, and what one does individually affects the whole. Man is not an island but part of everything. A healthy society is a solid society. They have the wise idea that a humanity without solidarity does not deserve to be called humanity”.
(The author is a yoga teacher in School Samadhi Yoga and Ayurveda, and a pioneer of Yoga Trekking in Argentina. She has published two books on India. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of Financial Express Online.)