Last week, International Yoga Day was commemorated by communities across South Africa, including the Umhlatuzana Yoga Studio, which saw a sea of yellow and orange as members joined in the celebrations.

The aim of International Yoga Day is to spread awareness of the many physical and spiritual benefits yoga has brought to the world. Each year, there is a different theme for the event. 

The theme for 2022 is: ‘Yoga for Humanity’. The Umhlatuzana Yoga Studio commemorated International Yoga Day at the Umhlatuzana Civic Centre this year by conducting an exciting chair yoga session for senior citizens.

Guest speakers included Savy Ramlal, Honey Allee, Dhanpal Naidoo, Vivaga Thambiran and Ishwar Ramlutchman. The World Health Organisation promotes yoga as part of its global action plan on physical activity and health.

From a yogic perspective, it is heartening that the WHO definition gives importance to well-being that is a vital aspect of being healthy as well as feeling healthy.

This qualitative aspect of health is something that yoga and Indian systems of medicine have considered important for thousands of years. In 2014, the prime minister of India, Narendra Modi, proposed the establishment of a Yoga Day at the United Nations General Assembly.

The draft resolution was endorsed by a record 177 member states. Exercising yoga improves brain function, increases flexibility and also reduces body weight.

It helps to reduce stress levels, negative thoughts, and negative energy in the body.

“After a yoga session, one feels rejuvenated and energised, while practice reduces the risk of heart-related issues. It is my fervent wish that in the true spirit of yoga for humanity, together, we can show our commitment in making this most precious spiritual science of yoga a magnificent catalyst that would bring people together through kindness and compassion, love and peace during the post-COVID-19 geopolitical crisis and beyond and foster a sense of unity and peace across the world,” said Dr Ansuyah Moodley, yoga instructor and yoga therapist.

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