Life Style

Yoga: History and Health

B.S. Mubarak
Ambassador of India

Yoga is a centuries-old guide to healthy living. It is widely acknowledged that yoga is one of the most precious gifts given by ancient Indian sages to mankind. With its unique blend of exercises or Asanas, Yoga can help strengthen the balance between body and mind.

While addressing the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly on September 27, 2014, Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Mr. Narendra Modi urged the world community to adopt an International Day of Yoga. On December 11, 2014, the United Nations General Assembly approved the proposal by consensus with a record 177 countries co-sponsoring the resolution to establish 21st June as the International Day of yoga. In its resolution, The United Nations General Assembly recognized that Yoga provides a holistic approach to an individual’s health and well-being and that practicing Yoga improves the health of the world population.

This year the world would be celebrating the 8th International Day of Yoga. Yoga is known for disease prevention, health promotion, and management of many lifestyle-related disorders. It is widely recognized that inner peace is important for a healthy immune system. It is essentially the balance within us that protects and heals us.

The main principles of Yoga revolve around proper exercise, proper breathing, proper relaxation, proper diet, proper thinking, and meditation. The exercise or Asanas prescribed in the practice of Yoga work primarily on the spine and central nervous system. The Asanas help the spine gains strength and flexibility and improves blood circulation which results in a better flow of nutrients and oxygen to all the cells of the body. Asanas improve movements in the joints, enhance the flexibility of the muscles and activate internal organs and boost their functions. Deep breathing exercises prescribed by yoga help revitalize the body and mind. Deep and conscious breathing helps to reduce stress levels in the body and improves the energy level. Proper or deep relaxation taught under Yoga works at three levels, physical, mental, and spiritual. It promotes peace of mind and energizes the body.

Yoga prescribes a diet that has a positive effect on the body and has a minimum impact on the environment. A diet rich in grains, pulses, fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, and dairy products is recommended. Yoga prescribes and promotes fresh and unrefined food and simple cooking to preserve maximum nutrients. Positive thinking and meditation are the key principles of Yoga for maintaining Peace of Mind. Meditation techniques taught under Yoga enhance focus and helps our mind to be calm. Regular meditation promotes physical and mental well-being.

Modern medical science is now discovering the several health benefits of practicing yoga and the well-being it can bring to a person’s body and mind. The human body is a superb creation that can intrinsically balance itself, be it between day and night, between the various stages of life, or be it between active times and resting times. The human body is also created to self-heal itself. We succumb to illness only when this balance is disturbed. Yoga helps and boosts this self-healing power of the body and helps strengthen this complex balance within the body. Yoga also helps manage many lifestyle-related disorders like diabetes, hypertension, and respiratory disorders. Yoga helps reduce depression, fatigue, stress, and anxiety disorders. In essence, Yoga can bring a major positive change to a person’s lifestyle and well-being.

Studies on Yoga in managing flu symptoms during Influenza seasons have shown promising results. Asanas, especially Pranayama (Breathing Exercises) help rebuild breathing abilities post-COVID.

There are a large number of Yoga practitioners in Sudan. On the occasion of the 8th International Day of Yoga, I wish all Yoga enthusiasts a healthy, happy, and peaceful living. To celebrate the 8th International Day of Yoga, the Embassy of India in Sudan is organizing several events which will be publicized through our Social Media Platforms. I invite everyone to participate in these events and learn about the benefits of Yoga.

With my best regards,

B.S. Mubarak
Ambassador of India
Republic of Sudan

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