International Day of Yoga
he United Nations’ declaration of International Day of Yoga on June 21st comes at a critical time in the history of humanity. It is of much more significance than a few more people twisting and turning their bodies. For the first time in the history of the UN, 177 countries co-sponsored the resolution for Yoga Day. Never before has any resolution in the UN gotten this kind of support. On this day, we want to change the direction of humanity as to how people seek their wellbeing. In pursuit of their wellbeing, we do not want people to look out, up or down – we want them to look in.
Yoga is a technology, a tool for people to turn inward and create their own wellbeing. Your wellbeing will not come from somewhere, either you create it or you do not – this is the fundamental of yoga. As there is a science and technology for external wellbeing, similarly there is a science and technology for inner wellbeing. This science and technology has found such a profound expression in this land. It is a wonderful moment for India that today we are able to offer something which is of tremendous value in the world.
We have been in conversation with various governments and large businesses in the world and they are all looking forward to this possibility. This is because we always believed that if affluence comes, people will be well, but today you will see the most affluent countries are the most ailment-ridden. For example, the Unites States has so many choices for nourishment, but they are spending over three trillion dollars per year on health care. This kind of expenditure can sink a nation, and unfortunately, India is heading this way rapidly. As reasonable economic wellbeing comes, we are heading towards becoming the diabetic capital of the world, and various types of ailments are taking shape.
For all of this, introducing yoga into everyone’s life will provide a simple yet powerful process to create one’s health and wellbeing. The significance of yoga is that once you learn the practices, you do not need anyone’s help, a special place to do yoga, or any equipment. It can be done wherever you are. The science of yoga is a phenomenal gift to the overall wellbeing of the human being.
Spread the Message
It is incredible that heads of nations are talking about yoga for the first time. Governments are investing money to spread this because healthcare systems have failed, ways of creating happiness and wellbeing for people have failed, and now everyone is talking about creating a happiness quotient.
To bring this about, many things are being done. Records are being broken, and yoga programs are happening internationally in thousands of places. The government is teaching yoga through every Indian embassy across the world. This is a phenomenal development because we are looking at wellbeing as a science, not as faith or as something that happens to you by accident. We are not looking to the stars to fix our wellbeing. We are looking towards a scientific process of creating wellbeing consciously.
The United Nations is talking about yoga, the Prime Minister of India is talking about yoga, and the US president is showing interest in learning yoga. These are significant developments because people who are in important and responsible positions are beginning to see there is a need to turn inward. For the first time in the last few hundred years, heads of state are talking about the inner wellbeing of the human being rather than just talking about the economy, military and other aspects of a nation. This is a consequence of the declaration of the International Day of Yoga.
This effort to bring the spiritual process to the world has been on for a long time. Ashtavakra enlightened King Janaka around 8000 years ago. Krishna’s whole life mission was to marry the spiritual process and the political process. He did not only work with the kings, he also established over a thousand ashrams across the northern plains of India. It is important that the spiritual process should happen both at the top and down the line too.
Interest in yoga is not a new phenomenon, but because of media coverage and publicity, more people are getting into it like never before. It is also because people are stressed out like never before. They are anxious and neurotic. Whatever methods they have been using to handle their internal turmoil has only worked to some extent; it has not given them a solution. So, looking towards yoga is a very natural thing.
This June 21st, we want to spread this message internationally to people and bring the profoundness of what is available. It is fundamentally to establish that every human being can create wellbeing for himself; he need not wait for some other force to bring wellbeing to him. In addition to the simple Upa-Yoga practices we have now made available online, or at any of our teacher-led IDY workshops around the world, we have rolled out a new three-minute video: Namaskar – Yoga for All. The simplest form of yoga is to put your hands together. If you hold namaskar and look upon someone or something with loving attention, you will begin to harmonize. Namaskar brings harmony between polarities within.
I want everyone of you who read this to take this upon yourself. Make use of the tools offered in the form of Upa Yoga and commit that before the coming of the winter solstice, you will ensure that at least one hundred more people from your end are practicing this simple form of Upa Yoga for their wellbeing. Whatever support you need from the Foundation will be available to you, but commitment from your end to see that it happens is your sadhana for the coming Dakshinayana – the sun’s southern run. In the yogic system, this phase between 21 June and 22nd December is the sadhana pada. Let this be your sadhana, your karma yoga. Any number of times I am being asked, “Sadhguru, where is the world going?” As if you have no role in seeing where the world goes. Don’t be a spectator, become an active participant in making what the world will be. An active involvement in raising human consciousness is a privilege that I want all of you to know. This is my vision and my plan to make the world inwardly inclined. Be a part of this.
Let us make it happen.
Check out the 5-minute Upa Yoga tools of transformation that Sadhguru has created for Yoga Day, that anyone can practice. You can also join or host a workshop, or train to become a facilitator.