As everybody around the world knows, 21 June is declared as the International Day of Yoga by the United Nations General Assembly. I also celebrate the event with the whole yoga community in Jakarta, Indonesia on Sunday, 21st of June 2015.
I attend the celebration of the International Day of Yoga in Jakarta by joining the Morning Yoga Event in Gelora Bung Karno with hundreds of yoga practitioners. This event is organized by the Embassy of India in Jakarta.
The following are the Yogasanas (Yoga Postures) that we practice:
- Seated Meditation to set our intentions and calm ourselves before starting the yoga practice.
- Loosening Practice (Twist, Side Bend, and Chair posture) in standing position that helps to increase microcirculation.
- Tadasana (Palm Tree Posture) that teaches one to attain stability and firmness.
- Vriksasana (Tree Posture) that tones up the leg muscles and rejuvenates the ligaments.
- Pada-Hastana (Hands to Feet Posture) that makes the spine flexible.
- Adra Cakrasana (Half Wheel Posture) that strengthens the neck muscles, and improves breathing capacity.
- Trikonasana (Triangle Posture) that strengthens calf, thigh, and waist muscles.
- Bhadrasana (Wind Releasing Posture) that acts on the abdominal organs and releases any tension in the abdomen.
- Ardha Ustrasana (Half Camel Posture) that increases blood circulation to the head and cardiac region.
- Sasankasana (Hare Posture) that tones up reproductive organs and improves digestion.
- Vakrasana (Spinal Twist Posture) that stimulates the pancreas and helps in the management of diabetes.
- Bhujangasana (Cobra Posture) that helps to remove backache and bronchial problems.
- Salabhasana (Locust Posture) that helps in weight management.
- Setubandhasana (Bridge Posture) that relieves depression and anxiety and strengthens lower back muscles.
- Pavanamuktasana (Wind Releasing Posture) that tones up the back muscles and spinal nerves.
- Savasana (Dead Body Posture) that relaxes the whole psycho-physiological systems.
- Kapalabhati that balances and strengthens the nervous system and tones up the digestive system.
- Pranayam that purifies the principle channels or carrying energy and nourishes the whole body.
- Dhyana that increases concentration, memory, clarity of thought and willpower.
The whole yoga community around the world who celebrate the International Day of Yoga practice the same postures as I mention above.
What surprises me is that there is no Surya Namaskara (Sun Salutation) performed in the event. I think this is because the Moslem people are celebrating the fasting month at the same time, so they might feel tired and hungry if they practice Surya Namaskara. Another reason I think is that hundreds of yoga practitioners who attend the event come from all level of yoga skills, so I understand if the organizers of the event want to perform the easy yoga practice that can be done by everybody at any level of yoga skills.
During the Morning Yoga Practice at the event, I can feel that all the yoga postures are easy and nice that release the stress and make us happy. It is totally a stress-free yoga practice! Well, we should not forget that the purpose of practicing yoga is to give us happiness and enlightenment, not pain in our body and the wrinkles at our face :-D
As I practice the morning yoga session in this event, I realize that the position of my yoga mat is near to a group of senior women. One of the senior ladies tells me that they practice yoga at an area in Pasar Baru, Central Jakarta with their teacher from India. During the yoga session, these senior ladies keep moving following their own level of yoga skills. For me, this is awesome! Because there are so many people who push their own limit to perform radical yoga postures, and this might hurt their bodies. These senior ladies know what they have to do, and I guess this is what I call a true yoga practice, the practice that does not harm the body. Practicing yoga with these senior ladies also makes me believe that yoga is also about making new friendships and connecting to one another. It is always good to practice yoga with some people who have different yoga skills and come from different yoga styles.
In the late afternoon, I also celebrate the International Day of Yoga at one yoga studio in Kemang, South Jakarta called Gudang Gudang. This is my first time to visit the studio. The yoga studio is beautiful. Most of the yoga studios in Jakarta are located inside buildings and offices, and Gudang Gudang is located in a beautiful garden next to an art store. When I practice yoga in here, I feel like practicing yoga in the middle of the Mother Nature. Cool!
The yoga postures that we practice in Gudang Gudang are a bit challenging and led by two senior yoga teachers, Slamet and Deera. The postures are totally not for everyone, but what I can learn from it is that sometimes I need some challenges in my life to breath and feel alive!
We end up the celebration of the International Day of Yoga in Gudang Gudang by having some meals to break the fasting. Well, yoga is also about having happy muscles and happy belly :-D
A few days after that, my happiness to celebrate the International Day of Yoga has not finished yet. I am invited by the organizer of International Day of Yoga in India (www.idayofyoga.org) to conduct a Twitter Chat discussing about Yoga. So I do the Twitter Chat with the official Twitter account of International Day of Yoga (@idayofyoga), and other panelists: Esha Tewari - @eshatewari (2nd Runner Up of Miss India 2013, actress and singer), Ami Patel - @stylebyami (celebrity and film stylist, and former creative director of Harper's Bazaar in India) and Reema - @scrollsnink (Google partner trainer and a blogger in India). We discuss about how we start practicing yoga, what we feel after practicing yoga, how we feel about yoga becoming the international event, etc.
I feel honored to be invited in this Twitter Chat. This is a very beautiful opportunity for me to share my yoga with all the people around the world. Yes, I want the whole world know that the clear message of yoga is all about peace and love!
I am so happy to have these many chances to share my love in yoga to my community in Jakarta and to the whole world at the first International Day of Yoga. By sharing my love in yoga, I hope that people see and feel yoga in positive ways.
Things I learn from this event are:
- Yoga is not just a physical practice, but it is also a way of life that can bring peace, love and compassion to the world.
- Yoga is about sharing our positiveness with the community around us, so let's connect, share and collaborate!
- Yoga has united everybody through its positive energy, so let's stay positive all the time.
- Yoga teaches us to be strong for ourselves, because strong body creates strong mind and soul.
- Yoga is about joy, happiness and peace. May every living beings happy, and may the Universe join us in our happiness.
Thank you, God, for this wonderful experience! Thank you, Yoga, for making it happen!