The United Nations declared June 21st as the International Day of Yoga (IDY), just three months after India’s newly-elected Prime Minister Narendra Modi used some of his valuable minutes during his address to the U.N. General Assembly to propose the idea in 2014. With an unprecedented 177 countries signed on, including the United States, China, France, the United Kingdom and Russia, it was an indication that the winds are changing. The resolution adopted by the General Assembly garnered a record number of co-sponsors.
On Sunday, June 16, 2019, thousands attended the 5th International Day of Yoga on the Washington Mall with Ambassador Harsh Vardhan Shringla at the helm, making it the most well attended IDY yet. A diverse group of yogic practitioners came out with their yoga mats, families, and friends to the Washington Monument to Om, stretch, bend, smile, and breath peace and harmony.
There are many forms of yoga today and in America alone, it is estimated that there are 155 yogic practices and over 60 million practitioners. India has historically been known for its mysticism, yoga and meditation. Arianna Huffington, founder and CEO of Thrive Global said to a group of leaders that India is in the unique position to offer the Eastern traditions of meditation and yogic methods to de-stress folks in the West. In this fast moving time, with India moving so fast, both in the East and West, the question here in India, is “Are Indians ready to return to its mystical ways of being as a people and a country, rather than chasing after the Maya of the West?”
Through practicing Raja Yoga, which directs the intellect to connect to the Divine so that the energies of “ALGAE,” an acronym I use that represents, Anger, Greed, Lust, Attachment, and Ego, reduces, we become fully awakened in thoughts and actions. The gift of the present day is that we have so many forms of support to choose from to take better care of ourselves. Ultimately, it’s about our own consciousness and what serves it best.
One way of awakening consciousness is by chanting the Om Mantra, but have you ever thought of asking a friend, loved one, or colleague at work to #OutOm you? Well the #OmChallenge offers you just that. See this short video HERE
I wonder and remain optimistic that the International Day of Yoga is not only about shifting the body, but it becomes an official day when everyone can choose to shift their minds towards a more empowered state. Could this be a means of declaring world peace? One thing is for sure, Prime Minister Modi and his Ministry of AYUSH are leading the world to awaken. To all citizens of the world, are you ready to chant your “OM” and find your own inner peace when you choose to lead?
Take the OM Challenge Here. Share your video and remember the hashtag #OmChallenge. Share on FACEBOOK HERE and your own social media. Watch the playlist of #omchallenge from around the world CLICK HERE
For more information on Om Challenge CLICK HERE