As well as being Fathers Day, Sunday 21 June was also the Summer Solstice and International Yoga Day.
The latter, International Yoga Day, has been well covered in the media. It arises from a United Nations Declaration at the behest of the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, and across the world there have been mass public yoga classes, to media herald of “Bending and stretching around the globe for World Yoga Day“. There has also been dissent, with suggestions that Mr Modi’s aspirations were political.
In the UK there were a number of special events, alas none I know of on the Island. Seminars, mass classes, opportunities to do 108 Sun Salutations.
So how did I celebrate?
Well, it didn’t involve a yoga mat. It did involve a quiet morning with coffee and newspapers on our boat, and then lunch with my parents, followed by a gym session at home. I may have snuck a wobbly headstand in during the latter.
So, not very Yogic?
Well, the word Yoga translates literally from its native Sanskrit as “join” or “union” – Union of mind and body? Of self and universe? Or soul and divine? Some of the earliest writing about Yoga is in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, written around 1,000 to 500 BC. The opening verses give us an expanded definition of yoga, “Yoga is control of thought-waves in the mind, so that man can abide in his true nature”. In the original Sanskrit this is “yoga chitta vritti nirodhah tada drastuh svarupe vasthanam”.
For me, today, my Union, my Yoga, my steps towards controlling of the minds thought waves – quietening the mind – was relaxing and time with my family. Tomorrow it will probably – certainly – involve a yoga mat.
Whatever your yoga was today, Namaste.