By Staff Reporter
Yoga is rising in popularity all over the world because of the health benefits it offers to enthusiasts. According to yoga practitioners, health benefits of yoga are both physical and mental, bringing immediate long lasting effects to those who practice it. Yoga contributes directly to human happiness, says Satish Thakkar, Founder and Chair of the Board of Directors of the International Yoga Day Canada (IYDC)
“In the 21st century, happiness index has also emerged as an important parameter of economic development, and here again yoga contributes directly to human happiness,” he says. “It is time for a change in the approach to health care by paying more attention to prevention. The advocacy of yoga as an alternative form of health care can bring about a substantive change in reducing health care costs and promoting overall wellbeing of Canadians. Equally, yoga is directly instrumental in enhancing productivity thereby contributing to economic progress.”
With this in mind, the third International Day of Yoga is being celebrated at the International Centre in Mississauga on Sunday, June 25, 2017. World renowned Yogrishi Baba Ramdev, who has taught and touched the lives of over 800 million followers all over the world, will lead the practice of yoga in the morning and Sister Shivani, with a following of over 200 million, will lead the meditation in the evening. More than 10,000 people are expected to participate in the IYDC celebrations, says Thakkar who himself does 60 minutes of yoga every day.
“Yoga’s rising acceptance among the masses is because it is inexpensive and inherently simple to practice. All it requires from the practitioner is discipline and dedication. Pertinently, by involving the mental faculties as keenly as physicality, yoga transcends from being a mere exercise routine and transforms into an instrument to alleviate both body and mind. Yoga is at the root of the mindfulness and wellness endeavours that advocate a holistic approach to the understanding one’s existence both by knowing one’s minds and one’s body,” says the Yoga proponent, the chair of IYDC, the not-for-profit organisation formed in 2015 to promote yoga in Canada.
Organizations with a global footprint engaged in popularising and propagating the virtues of yoga are collaborating with the IYDC for the program.
According to statistics, yoga has grown by over 70 percent in the United States in the last five years, indicating a spiralling popularity of an ancient form of self-purification and self-actualisation technique which originated in India. Purely from a commercial standpoint, in the United States, yoga is estimated to be over $30 billion industry.
In Canada, says Thakkar, the healthcare system is under a severe strain already and the financial burden of a rapidly aging demographic is expected to grow exponentially in the near future. The population of seniors are outnumbering youth, a situation that has major implications on health care budgets.
And the situation is going to get aggravated, says Thakkar.
“It is time for the Canadian health care establishment to look at alternative forms of medicine. In the 21st century, the practice of yoga has become the most effective means to counter many of aliments whose roots lie in sedentary and static urban lifestyle. The Conference Board of Canada has estimated recently that depression related ailments cost the Canadian economy $32 billion and similarly anxiety related ailments cost $17 billion. Yoga has proved to be one of the most effective methods to reduce the both. The practice of yoga also provides soothing mental equilibrium.”