International Day of Yoga – Summer Solstice

Tuesday, June 21st is the International Day of Yoga. Recognizing it’s appeal and health benefits, the United Nations proclaimed this day of Yoga to increase awareness of yoga’s benefits for healthy body, mind and spirit. It is no coincidence that this day coincides with the Summer Solstice, when the sun appears to stand still, a perfect opportunity to find “stillness” in our lives through the practice of Yoga.

“Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition. This tradition is 5000 years old. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfilment; 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. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help in well being . Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day.”

— Narendra Modi, UN General Assembly

 

“This year’s observance of the International Day of Yoga highlights the important role healthy living plays in the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals, adopted last year by all 193 United Nations Member States.”

Portrait of Ban Ki-moonBAN KI-MOON
United Nations Secretary-General
Yoga continues to grow in popularity. It is now practiced by over 36 million Americans (up from 20 million four years ago). Of those Americans who don’t practice yoga, 34% of them say they would like to try yoga for the first time over the next 12 months. 
Yogis around the world will be celebrating!
Dr Dilip Sarkar, president of the International Association of Yoga Therapists, has been sharing his yoga wisdom around the world, recently at the Pentagon and now headed to India for the International conference on Yoga for Body and beyond as a part of celebrating International Day of Yoga by the Ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddhi, Homeopathy), Government of India at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi during 22-23rd June, 2016.  Dilip Sarkar, MD, FACS, CAP has been invited as a guest speaker for the conference. 
Prime Minister  will participate and lead nearly 40,000 participants in a  practice in , India

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi participates in the mass yoga demonstration at Rajpath on the occasion of International Yoga Day, in New Delhi on June 21, 2015.
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi participates in the mass yoga demonstration at Rajpath on the occasion of International Yoga Day, in New Delhi on June 21, 2015.

In Times Square, in Celebration of the Summer Solstice, The 14th annual “Mind Over Madness Yoga” event takes place all day. There are different free yoga classes for people with all different skill levels

times square solstice

Here on the beautiful beaches of the Chesapeake Bay in Norfolk, friends and family will come together to celebrate Yoga in our lives, to connect with the Sun, the Moon, the Earth, the Water, the Air and Space in 108 Sun Salutations. sun salutation

How will you celebrate Yoga Day? Maybe, you’ve never done yoga before and are curious – well, there are numerous studios and athletic stores such as Lululemon, around the country offering free classes.

Whatever this day brings for you, live it mindfully and breathe. This is Yoga.

Namaste

 

Yoga Therapy

As I return from an inspiring conference for the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT), I realize that yoga therapy is still a new concept, even to many yogis. So, What is Yoga Therapy?

Even though yoga has been applied with therapeutic intention for thousands of years, Yoga Therapy is now (slowly but surely) being recognized as an effective modality for healing and managing many health conditions. Thanks to organizations like the International Association of Yoga Therapists, the science behind yoga is being well documented and disseminated.

Yoga therapy is a type of therapy that uses the principles of Yoga and yoga techniques for physical and mental health. It is a comprehensive approach to wellness using asana postures and movement, breath work (pranayama), meditation and guided imagery, with a major emphasis placed on the mind-body-spiritual connection.

Yoga therapy can be done one on one, or more commonly in a small class setting of individuals with similar needs where the yoga therapists will adapt the yoga techniques to those needs. Yoga therapy can be applied to various conditions such as chronic pain, hypertension, heart disease, cancer, depression, anxiety, and autism in children.

Many people know that yoga can be beneficial for their health. However, your typical yoga class may not necessarily be the best place to start if you have any health related concerns. With proper guidance, I believe that nearly anyone can do yoga.

Chair-warriorhow-yoga-and-meditation-can-improve-your-overall-health-_327_409883_0_14085765_300

 

One of my favorite books on the subject is written by Dr Timothy McCall who is a board-certified physician of internal medicine, who through his own practice and journey of yoga, learned of its positive effects.

yoga as medicine book

So, as my good friend, Mala says, “we have to keep pounding the pavement and spreading the word”

Namaste

Healthy Relationships

Strong relationships can improve health and increase longevity.

Summer is finally here in Virginia Beach. For many of us, summertime means family gatherings, getting together with friends, and getting out for fun outdoor events. These are perfect opportunities to reconnect and nurture our valuable relationships with friends and family.

Social connections like these not only give us pleasure, they also influence our long-term health in ways every bit as powerful as adequate sleep, a good diet, and not smoking. Dozens of studies have shown that people who have satisfying relationships with family, friends, and their community are happier, have fewer health problems, and live longer.

Likewise, toxic relationships are deleterious to your health. They drain you of your energy, leaving you physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted, which can lead to illness.

I am deeply grateful and lucky for time spent with amazing friends this weekend, and looking forward to a summer of quality time with my family and friends.

I am in no way an expert on relationships but my heart is wide open and continues to learn valuable lessons about relationships. A friend is someone who sees your light and makes it shine even brighter. A friend is always there for you. Even if you don’t see them regularly, you know that they would drop everything in a second and be there for you. And sometimes you have to let a relationship go if it’s not healthy – loving, supportive and respectful.

So gravitate towards those shining lights in your life. make each other shine even brighter, and let go of anyone who doesn’t see your light.

shine-the-light

Namaste