New Delhi (AP) – On World Yoga Day (June 21), crowds of people usually gather and greet the sun. According to Guinness, two years ago there was even the biggest yoga lesson ever. More than 100,000 people gathered in the northern Indian city of Kota.
But this year it will be difficult to set a new record. It can even have fatal consequences in Corona times – especially in India, where there are currently around 10,000 new infections every day. And also in Germany, most yogis celebrate the day in a small circle. Here are seven facts about yoga:
– Why World Yoga Day: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed the day to the UN in 2014. The Hindu nationalist politician is a faithful yogi with his own yoga YouTube channel. He presents yoga as a path to greater health and peace. But for Modi, yoga is also soft power and national pride. This year, the Indian government is holding a blogging competition. Participants must explain how yoga affects their lives. Prizes up to $ 2,500 are available to winners. Especially in the early years, Muslim groups in predominantly Hindu India and other countries criticized the day. They saw the popular sun salutation as a Hindu religious practice, also because the sun in Hinduism is considered a god.
Origin: Yoga is more than just stretching or acrobatic exercises. It is a philosophy that also includes meditation and breathing exercises. It was invented at least 5000 years ago in present day India. The exercises aim to promote inner harmony and harmony with nature.
– Health: Yoga can be healthy, as several studies show. For example, it may provide some improvements in back pain and asthma, writes the Cochraine research network. Ordinary yoga also has a relaxing and stress-reducing effect, writes the yoga teachers’ professional association. Studies have shown that yoga has a positive effect on many diseases, especially cardiovascular disease, limitations and damage to the musculoskeletal system and mental disorders.
– Dogs, beer or just naked: Yoga is trendy – and yogis around the world are finding increasingly crazy ways to practice it. In beer yoga, for example, it is “Prooost” instead of “Ooom”. Instead of a “sun salute” there is a “beer salute”. Beer bottles are integrated into the exercises – and drunk. In nude yoga, the participants experience that this is how you learn to love your body and also see best when small fat deposits disappear after a few weeks of training. There is also this variant: The so-called dog yoga, where only the dog owners make an effort and bend over the legs while sitting and scratching the dog. Alternatively, there is also goat yoga. And with laughter yoga, the goal is to laugh together in the group.
– German yogi: women in Germany prefer yoga more than men. According to a representative survey commissioned by the Yoga Teachers’ Professional Association, nine percent of all women and one percent of men practice the sport. Singles or people in partnership without children and with higher education do yoga more often.
– Yoga as a school subject: In Nepal, students must learn yoga in the future – as soon as schools reopen. The new curriculum for primary school students contains yoga exercises and texts about yoga, the responsible authority informs. Older students should also be able to specialize even more deeply in yoga and the traditional healing arts of Ayurveda. But like World Yoga Day, the curriculum change has been met with criticism from some Muslims. They are a minority in predominantly Hindu Nepal.
– Oldest yoga teacher: Canadian Ida Herbert still taught yoga at the age of 95 and received a post in the Guinness Book of Records in 2012. According to her, her secret to longevity is to avoid junk food, gardening and a glass of sherry after dinner.