Yoga, meaning union, is a centuries old discipline that originated in India and involves the use of specific body postures to achieve a variety of goals including simple meditation, more enhanced breathing control, a healthier lifestyle, and the transformation of both body and mind. Just like running can be divided up between different fields such as sprinting, long distance, or relays, yoga has many different forms so if you don’t find yourself particularly inclined to one there’s always another worth checking out.

Hatha is one of the most basic forms of yoga that involves slower body movements and holding poses for several breaths at a time, it’s great for beginners. Vinyasa links movement together with breathing to provide a more upbeat flow for participants, it’s highly recommended for runners or endurance athletes. On the opposite side of the spectrum there’s Yin Yoga which is perfect for relaxing, de-stressing and finding one’s inner “zen”.

The call for an international holiday celebrating the practice came from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 27th, 2014 where he spoke before The United Nations saying, “Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well being. It is not about exercise, but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world, and the nature”. June 21st was selected as The International Day of Yoga because it’s also the Summer Solstice and longest day of the year. The holiday has been sponsored by 175 nations worldwide making it one of the most supported resolutions of its nature.

Although International Yoga Day is relatively new Yoga itself has been practiced for over 5000 years ever since it’s development by the Indus-Sarasvati civilization in Northern India. Centuries later new Yoga masters altered some of these original ideas and embraced the body as one’s means of achieving enlightenment. In the 1800s and 1900s the same yoga masters began traveling West to spread their beliefs which have since continued to trickle down into other cultures, including that of Costa Rica.

As International Yoga Day approaches The Costa Rica News will be doing extensive coverage on the discipline so stay tuned to learn about the vast variety of customs, poses, and figures that have played a key role in bringing yoga to its current status as one of the most practiced holistic disciplines worldwide.

Here’s a brief video summarizing some of the values associated with yoga.

Join our Free Event for International Yoga Day 2016