International Yoga Day 2020

108 Surya Namaskars sounded enticing, but I wondered if I should go for it. I do practice Yoga regularly – three days a week, to be precise but the last time I participated in such marathon Surya Namaskars was more than two years ago. At that time, I used to practice Yoga under the guidance of trained and professional Yoga teachers. And, it is to them I owe my love and devotion for Yoga. The passion and dedication of my Yoga teachers easily rubbed off on me. That I confidently continue my practice to this day, on my own, is because of them.

Yoga is a holistic life philosophy that unites the body, mind, and spirit through Asanas (physical postures), Pranayamas (breathing exercises), and meditation. Yoga is as much about the mind and the spirit, as it is of the body. It is a powerful way to deal with everyday stress and anxiety. Consequently, Yoga does become a significant tool for the year 2020, where a healthy mind and body is of paramount importance.

Yoga Asanas involve specific breathing techniques and ideally should be practiced under the guidance of a qualified yoga teacher, especially at the beginning. Yoga Asanas, if done incorrectly can cause more harm than good. Though Internet provides hordes of articles, guides, and videos that one can learn from, nothing can replace the guidance of a real teacher. There are many subtle specifications that sometimes vary from individual to individual and often depends on one’s flexibility and body type. Such minute observations and corrections come through experience, which is only possible through individualized attention from a trained and qualified teacher.

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Pic Credit: http://www.modernagespirituality.com

When I had started Yoga five years back, I was extremely inflexible. Not that I am great today, but my teachers made sure I understood my body and correctly did the stretching, bending, twisting, and so on. Had it not been for them, I would have long given up. Yoga doesn’t bear fruit overnight. It’s not just a set of exercise. One needs to be patient. Today Yoga is part of my life, I cannot stay without it.

“Yoga is like music: the rhythm of the body, the melody of the mind, and the harmony of the soul create the symphony of life.” ~ B.K.S. Iyengar

Today, the 21st of June, is International Yoga Day. The theme for this year is “Yoga for Health – Yoga at Home”. My Yoga Teacher conducted a virtual session of 108 Surya Namaskars along with chanting and meditation. I was delighted to know about it but the number 108 made me hesitate. Will I be able to pull it off? A little deliberation and I just signed up.

The marathon Surya Namaskars turned out to be pretty smooth, and I did all of it with super ease. A confidence booster for sure, if not anything else!

Surya Namaskar also known as Surya Pranam or Sun Salutation is a set of 12 Yoga Asanas that are gracefully sequenced together. Six distinct Asanas are repeated twice during the sequence. The first set of six is dedicated to the right side of the body and the next set to the left side of the body. Surya Namaskar is done to express gratitude to the Sun for sustaining life on earth and has an immensely positive impact on the mind and body. It is a great cardiovascular workout too.

I have another post on 108 Surya Namaskars. You'll find it here.

Author: neelstoria

Traveling, Gardening, Trekking, Hiking, Storytelling, Writing, Nature, Outdoors, Yoga, DIY

29 thoughts on “International Yoga Day 2020”

    1. That is so good to know. If you have done some time, it would sure be a good idea to continue. You can just do on your own. Even if you just do 6-7 Surya Namaskars a day, it’s would be pretty good 🙂
      I know of Bikram Yoga but not sure what it exactly entails. I will have to do a little read up.
      Thank you so much for reading and leaving a comment!

      Like

  1. 108! You’re fit! Moving a little off track, there’s a nice takeaway in this post. In this age of information blitz – where the Internet is trusted by the masses to be the only true source of knowledge – it is foolhardy to forsake the importance of a teacher, in any field.

    Let me give a small example – my son learns the guitar from me and also follows several YouTube channels. The other day he confessed that the online videos only teach the “how”, but not the “why”, and that the theory I teach him behind the chords and scales (why a chord has those particular notes etc) simply doesn’t exist online. Today I can pass it to him because I learnt it from my teacher 25 years ago!

    Sorry to digress from your topic, but I found your point most valid.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. What your little boy said is so insightful. Hadn’t thought of it that way but absolutely true. And, for every field as you mention. Virtual live tutorials are somewhat better but again no where near a live class. The engagement that can happen with a real teacher cannot be replicated digitally. It’s the personal connection you make leading to life-long lessons as you rightly mention.
      Thank you for reading, Narendra. I am yet to catch up on your latest post. I have become very bad at time management lately – that’s what I seem to have learned (un-learned) from the present Corona times. 😀

      Liked by 2 people

    2. A very good point. This lesson is similar to what is said about yoga not just being a set of stretches. It’s learning to listen to your mind and body and understanding it at a greater level – not just the how but the why. Thank you for the lovely blog post ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I am truly intrigued by yoga but have never had the chance to pursue it. I know there are YouTube channels and online instruction but I feel like as a beginner I really need someone to walk me through it – at least at first.

    Here there’s a bit of an additional challenge. Yoga is extremely trendy and so a good number of the places where I could take classes are not only expensive but catering to those who seem to want to take classes because it fits with their vision of the lifestyle they lead with all the right clothes and accessories for the perfect class.

    I was actually scheduled to go to a free intro class at a centre across town that appears to be much more down to earth (they’ve been here since 1962 – long before the trend reached North America). I’ll definitely be going when things open back up again when I resume 52 Adventures…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Todd, you should absolutely start with a teacher and not follow online instructions. My teacher has wrapped up her studio because of Covid-19. She has started delivering lessons virtually through Zoom. My sister participates three days a week. She’s a very very good teacher. She has participants across the globe now. Her son is doing his graduation in Toronto, in fact. If you are interested, I can check with her and let you know. This is her website, you can take a look: http://www.yogatree.in/

      You are absolutely right that Yoga has become kind of an happening thing and its true essence is compromised in may ways. The exorbitant charge for learning and accessories aside, I am often shocked by the kind of variations they bring in to the practice , like Beer Yoga and what not. These things are atrocious actually!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Depending on the timing of classes that might be really good. If you could check with her that’d be great.

        I hadn’t heard of “beer yoga” but I do remember describing the concept of “Goat Yoga” to my Hindi teacher some months ago. That was the day I learned the word “वीभत्स”. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Yoga is the best gift to us from our ancestors. 108 Suryanamaskars are a big number to me. You pulled it off well. I too practice yoga at home. It is so rejuvenating and refreshing for both body and mind.

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  4. When something becomes “happening” and “fashionable” you can expect anything and everything. The kind of variations and different types of ideologies/branding one sees in Yoga is a testimony of the same. I guess the essence is most important. I still feel the Hatha style is the most authentic one. On another hand, I also feel Yoga is so adaptable that one can do the restorative or challenging practice. Personally, I will never do 108 Suryanamaskar. I prefer focusing on other Asanas as well to have a complete workout. That’s a personal choice. So how is your experience of doing Yoga on Zoom?

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    1. Hatha Yoga is what I practice, Arvind. I do not know all the asanas so I stick to a few that I am fully confident about. Suryanamaskar is one of them. Normally, I do only 9-12 and combine it with other asanas. 108 Suryanamaskars happen only once in a while, doing it regularly will be impossible. This time I did it after 2 years. Also, personally I feel it is better not to attempt these without guidance. Doing it over zoom was fine. The reason being, I already know the steps – it was just the guidance from my teacher that helped. On other days, I practice on my own. My sister practices through Zoom with her teacher and she says it works fine 🙂
      Did you do anything special for Yoga Day?

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      1. If you understand what you are doing, it is generally safe. I have grown out of zoom yoga classes. I find zoom a big pain. A pre recorded class is better in many ways. Well, everyone has their own preference. I did have some plan but it didn’t see the light of the day. It was just another day. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  5. 108 without much practice, just tells about your fitness level. There is something called Muscle memory, I am sure that played a major role here. You should do it often, would love to 108 one day with you 🙂

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  6. So agreed that nothing can replace a real teacher…. do hard in these days to feel safe doing so… also feeling the disconnect of that in my regular life, especially when I would do hot yoga regularly… I should try to recreate it at home. Speaking of things at home, I have found Dr. Alandi who teaches Yoga Nidra to be extremely helpful… sharing in case anyone is interested: https://www.chiropracticlifeforce.com/ Thank you again for this article!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. First of all thank you for visiting my blog and reading this post. Finding a good teacher is really the most difficult part and if you’re lucky enough ti find one, there’s nothing like Yoga! Thank you for sharing the link for Yoga Nidra. I will check it out and it will be helpful to others too.

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