“Yoga is a way of life”- Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India
Edited by Anna Popper
The United Nations General Assembly adopted a unanimous resolution on 11 December 2014, declaring 21 June the International Day of Yoga, because people massively celebrate Yoga Day every year worldwide.
In 2023, people all over the world were expected to participate in the various events dedicated to this occasion, with the theme ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’, translating to One Earth. One Family. One Future.
Yoga is an ancient practice that has crossed borders and is currently practiced by millions of people around the world. The word yoga derives from the Sanskrit root “yuj” which means union, to unite or to connect. It is the union of your mind, body and spirit, union with the source of existence. Yoga embodies the unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfilment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. Yoga brings peace in this modern, fast-paced life by combining body, mind, spirit and soul. Yoga is considered India’s gift to the world.
The Embassy of India in Budapest also celebrated the 9th International Day of Yoga 2023 in the evening of 21st June with a record participation on the famous Westend rooftop in the Hungarian capital. More than 200 yoga practitioners and enthusiasts of all ages took part in the Common Yoga Protocol. Dignitaries from the diplomatic corps, local community members of Budapest and surrounding cities, and members of the Indian diaspora also attended the joint yoga session.
The Yoga Day event started with the opening remarks by Mr. Shri S. Ramji, Head of the Chancery at the Embassy of India, and he reiterated the importance of yoga in promoting holistic health and harmony. He also talked about India’s growing stature in the world, keeping in mind the G20 Presidency of India.
He mentioned Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, an initiative by the Government of India to celebrate and commemorate 75 years of independence and the glorious history of its people, culture and achievements.
“Like the history of the freedom movement, the journey of 75 years after independence is a reflection of the hard work, innovation, enterprise of ordinary Indians. Whether in the country or abroad, we Indians have proved ourselves with our hard work. We are proud of our Constitution. We are proud of our democratic traditions. The mother of democracy, India is still moving forward by strengthening democracy. India, rich in knowledge and science, is leaving its mark from Mars to the Moon.” – quote from PM Modi.
Cultural performances by artists from both Hungary and India followed, presenting both fusion music and Indian classical dances.
The development of yoga can be traced back to more than 5,000 years ago. Essentially a spiritual discipline, yoga is based on an extremely subtle science, which focuses on bringing harmony between mind and body. It is an art and science of healthy living. As per yogic scriptures, the practice of yoga leads to the union of individual consciousness with that of the Universal Consciousness, indicating perfect harmony between mind and body, Man & Nature. Living with freedom in all walks of life, health and harmony shall be the main objectives of Yoga practice.
Yoga also refers to an inner science comprising of a variety of methods through which human beings can realize this union and achieve mastery over their destiny. Yoga has proved to serve both the material and spiritual upliftment of humanity. The basic human values are the very identity of Yoga Sadhana or spiritual practice. The word Sadhana in Sanskrit means an effort exercised towards the achievement of a purpose. In this sense, every effort is a kind of Sadhana, because it leads to the achievement of some intended goal.
The process begins with the body, then the breath, the mind, and the inner self. Yoga is also commonly understood as a therapy or exercise system for health and fitness. While physical and mental health are natural consequences of yoga, the goal of yoga is more far-reaching: Yoga is about harmonizing oneself with the universe.
Yoga does not adhere to any particular religion, belief or community; it has always been approached as a method of inner well-being. Anyone who is a dedicated yoga practitioner can benefit, irrespective of one’s faith, ethnicity, or culture.
Source: Embassy of India in Budapest
Photos: DPA, Embassy of India in Budapest