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Wednesday, Jun 15, 2016 International Day of Yoga – June 21, 2016


Celebrating International Day of Yoga – June 21st
by Kerry Morris

2016-06-11 Yoga Day Closing CircleIn 2014 the Prime Minister of India made an appeal to the United Nations General Assembly requesting the adoption of an International Day of Yoga. At the meeting, he pointed out: “It is not about exercise, but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature.” June 21st is an auspicious day to celebrate Yoga, because it is the first day of the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. Ancient cultures revered and tracked the movement of the sun and moon: Stonehenge in England, the Pyramids in Egypt, the Incas, and the Mayans, are a few such examples.

The term yoga brings to mind the physical practice of doing yoga poses. However, that is only one aspect of the science and philosophy of yoga. There are eight “limbs” in yoga, and the physical practice called asana is merely one of those limbs. Born over 5,000 years ago in India, it is thought that yoga started long before any religion, in approximately 2700 BC. In The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali with Commentary by Shri Lahiri Mahasaya and Metaphorical Explanations by Paramahamsa Prajnanananda, he notes “…Maharshi Patanjali is not the founder of yoga; rather, he compiled different aspects of yogic practice and meditation in a systematic way.” In the Foreword of the book (from the Original Commentary by Shri Lahiri Mahasaya), it states:

“Body and mind are correlated. In the happiness and comfort of one, there is also happiness and comfort of the other. In the affliction of one, the other is also afflicted. By making the mind still and tranquil, you will find that all the functions of the body come to cessation. On the other hand, by trying to cease the functions of the body, you will find that the mind also becomes peaceful. Through the practice of yoga, it is possible to achieve mastery over the activities of the body and mind, while maintaining life in the body. The Yoga Sutra of Sage Patajnali is precious for those who are following such a path or those who are interested in walking this path.”

Thus, connecting body and mind is achieved through the science and practice of meditation. There are many different types of physical yoga practices: hatha, kundalini, Iyengar, Ashtanga, Bikram, vinyasa, etc. Many of these combine focus on physical postures (asanas) with focus on the breath, using the breath to help “move you through each posture.”

Kriya MastersThere are also many different types of meditation practice, of which Transcendental Meditation, or “TM,” is probably the most well known. However, there are truly too many types to list for the purposes of this story. Searching the internet for different types of yoga and meditation practices can be confusing, because there is so much information to go through, so it may be more frustrating than helpful.

The true science and culture of yoga should be done with the guidance of a guru. How do you find such a person? Ask people you know in your community. Keep trying and searching until you find one that speaks to you and brings you great happiness and feeds your soul.

The Kriya Yoga lineage follows the teachings of eight realized masters, one of whom is still living: Paramahamsa Prajnanananda. Kriya Yoga is called “the science of soul culture” and is considered the fastest path towards self-realization. To learn more about this ancient technique and the science of Kriya, please visit Kriya Yoga Institute.

To learn more about Kriya Yoga and our gurus, please visit Kriya Los Angeles or the U.S.-based Mother Center for Kriya (in Homestead, FL). Initiations, performed by Yogacharyas, are done all over the world, and schedules can be found on both sites. Initiation is typically done over a 2-day period on weekends, with an introduction on the Friday night preceding the initiation.


The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali, with Commentary by Shri Lahiri Mahasaya and Meetaphorical Explanations, by Paramahamsa Prajnanananda