Editorial✍ Hindu Edi Prelims cum Mains

Let’s strike a balance 

International Yoga Day:

  • As over 170 countries around the world are celebrating the fifth International Yoga Day on June 21.
  • Yoga is today practised in various forms around the world and continuing to grow in popularity.
  • The UN recognised that yoga provides a “holistic approach to health and well-being” and also that wider dissemination of information about the benefits of practising yoga would be beneficial for the health of people all over the world.
  • As a result, the UN proclaimed June 21 as the International Day of Yoga via Resolution 69/131.

Yoga now popular across the world:

  • Yoga has become hugely popular all over the globe.
  • Schools in some countries, including the US, have introduced yoga as a part of the curriculum for children.

It is an ancient Indian treasure:

  • Yoga is essentially an ancient physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in India possibly around the 5th century BC.
  • The word yoga comes from Sanskrit and means “to join” or “unite”.
  • International Yoga Day is a good moment to reflect on this treasure of ancient India and a unique part of the world’s intangible heritage.


Yoga represents Balance and Sustainability

“Balance” is at the heart of sustainability:

  • As the global community started drafting its development agenda in 2015, it realised that we have been missing a big component of “development”.
  • There was a need for balance.
  • There was a need to avoid excesses, avoid reckless exploitation of nature, avoid excessive consumption.
  • Our individual lifestyles and patterns of global governance needed to be rebooted.
  • Sustainability has become the new mantra, and “Balance” is at the heart of sustainability.

Yoga represents this balance:

  • “Balance” in all spheres starting with physical well-being is what yoga is all about.
  • Yoga is an approach to life that focuses on physical balance, mental equilibrium and working towards a harmonious synthesis of diverse elements including the protection of the environment.
  • The Bhagavad Gita makes two important statements:
    • “Yoga-sthah kuru karmaani” – Do your duty with a yoga approach
    • “Samatvam yoga uchyate” – Balance is the essence of yoga

Theme for the year:

  • The theme of the 2019 International Yoga Day is aptly “Climate Action”.


India’s contribution to world health

Changing disease burden across the world:

  • The world is making an epidemiological transition and the contribution of most of the major non-communicable disease groups to the total disease burden is increasing.
  • In this context, it is important that individuals make healthier choices and follow lifestyle patterns that foster good health.
  • Even Harvard Medical School experts have recognised the significantly positive impact on health.
  • Yoga’s benefits are slowly being realised the world over.

Yoga comes with health benefits to cope with this:

  • Yoga is a combination of four components — postures, breathing practices, deep relaxation, and meditation.
  • It can alleviate arthritis pain, reduce the risk of heart disease, relieve migraines and fight osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis or fibromyalgia.
  • A study showed how yoga increased blood vessel flexibility by 69 per cent and even helped shrink arterial blockages without medication.
  • It helps to rev up immunity and decrease the need for diabetes medications by as much as 40 per cent.

Image result for international yoga day 2019

Yoga is a comprehensive approach to wellness:

  • While Yoga also works as an effective workout, it is much more than that.
  • It is a comprehensive approach to achieve wellness. It recognises the vital connection between the body and the mind.
    • “Yoga is like music. The rhythm of the body, the melody of the mind, and the harmony of the soul creates the symphony of life,” remarked a famous yoga guru.
  • It aims for balance and equanimity, peace, poise and grace.
  • It is a sublime expression of the quest for excellence, for synthesis and harmony.

It is also about excellence:

  • Yoga is not just about health and well-being. It is also about “focusing” and “excelling”.
  • As the Bhagavad Gita states, “Yogah karmasu kaushalam”(excellence in your work is yoga).
  • This excellence comes as a corollary to “dhyana”(concentration) and “dharana”(retention) along with “yama”(ethical behaviour) and “niyama”(discipline) as a part of the eight-fold approach of yoga as defined by Patanjali, the pioneering exponent of yoga.
  • Yoga, therefore, is a way of thinking, a way of behaving, a way of learning and a way of problem-solving.



Spreading Yoga:

  • Through Yoga, India is contributing to the health and well-being of millions of people across the globe.
  • The fact that the UN resolution moved by the Indian government was co-sponsored by a record 177 countries bears testimony to yoga’s universal appeal and India’s readiness to support the cause of global health.
  • A few of the important first steps in the efforts to spread the benefits of yoga include:
    • Establishment of the first India-China Yoga College at the Yunnan Minzu University in Kunming in China
    • The India-Turkmenistan Centre for Yoga and Traditional Medicine in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan



GS Paper II: Social Issues

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