The International Day of Yoga has come and gone. What did it do for the world’s population?
In a world increasingly vocal and demonstrative against the “other,” International Yoga Day did something unifying. It gathered people all over the world in a single day of demonstration that there is more that unifies us than divides us. No matter how the practice happened, people of all races and religions, spiritual and non-spiritual, male and female, children and adults connected to each other through a peaceful, mindful, and healthful practice of yoga. Who would have imagined something as simple as this could get us to think of each other as fellow citizens of the planet, rather than as foreigners, immigrants, refugees, job-stealers, and socio-economic drains?
Yoga does many things for the mind and body, but on International Yoga Day, it serves a much grander purpose. It focuses our individuality into a collective identity: human beings. If the United Nations had no other purpose than a political one in instituting the Day, at least it founded a positive response to the cries of the unheard masses yearning for a peaceful way to connect to each other. Too many “Days” are reactive responses to something negative; protecting rights of a subset of people who’ve become disenfranchised, raising awareness about a horrific and destructive action against a group of people, or calling people to action in response to a threat. While these things are absolutely important, they are reactive. International Yoga Day is a proactive and positive way to urge us all to think of each other as brothers and sisters, as friends, as people whose welfare is directly tied to our own.
Whether your yoga practice is meditative, hot, with bros or pets, or simply a way to get in a good workout, it is also something larger. Challenge yourself in your daily practice to connect with a stranger somewhere on the planet who is also doing the same thing. Peace through yoga…let’s make it a thing.