Many were not too fond of International Yoga Day which was observed Sunday, June 21. Some organizers had a hard time scheduling the day, which would allow everyone to be able to participate in yoga sessions worldwide. Although many organizations prepared different types of yoga courses and gatherings they all had one thing in common, International Yoga Day created unwanted stress.
India organized yoga sessions in 192 countries. They covered many schools with advertisements encouraging kids to participate in the celebration. Throughout the week, Bureaucrats laid their mats out in crowded spaces trying to perfect their downward facing dog for Sunday. India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi invited Guinness World Record to come and record the largest yoga session of all time which is said to have 35,000 people performing yoga sequences. The session was held in New Delhi at 7 a.m. where participants gathered for a 35-minute session.
Yogis are celebrating yoga to lead a conflicted world to a peaceful path. The day was created by India’s Prime Minister who is also a yogi. He announced his proposal September 2014 to the United Nations during his maiden speech. Modi called the historical practice India’s gift. The U.N. agreed to host the event, and foreign minister Sushma Swaraj told sources, “Yoga is the greatest power that has been brought to the world by India, which has helped decreased the violence trend, and bringing the world together.” Although the holiday is made for everyone to come together as one, International Yoga Day created unwanted stress in other parts of India.
The Muslim community clerics did not support International Yoga Day. They told sources the government’s force to promote yoga is a silent offer promoting Hindu religion, which most Indians practice. The clerics also stated the yoga sequence Surya Namaskar also known as the sun salutation goes against Islam’s beliefs because it forces one to become submissive to a being other than Allah, in other words, the sun.
The tensions surrounding International Yoga Day began a couple of months ago due to previous events. Fundamentalist issued a variety of prejudiced remarks stating,” Muslims should not have a voting right, and school textbooks should focus on Hindu achievements.”
Muslim novelist and filmmaker Sohail Hashmi shared his worries about the remarks from the Hindu’s and stated, “There is nothing wrong with sun salutations, yoga is a universal practice, and it is a very good way for a person to clean his or her body, along with toning it up.” He also stated, “If a person does not like chanting Om, he or she can chant Allah.”
The sun salutation is performed at the crack of dawn since the sun rays are very strong during that hour. Whether a yogi is practicing an asana, meditation or pranayama, yoga is a tool which brings people to a state of harmony. Damage control took place when Modi’s party, firebrand Yogi Adityanath said, “If a person does not practice or opposes the sun salutation he or she could drown in the sea.” The foreign minister denied the remark made by the yogi, and also stated, “Yoga is not being used to convert people into Hinduism.”
India’s government removed the sun salutation from International Yoga Day due to many people suffering from back pain. The day was made to de-stress people, too much thought has been put into the meaning of International Yoga Day, resulting in a lot of unwanted stress.
By Krystle Mitchell
BBC: Who Knew Yoga Caused Stress
LA Times: India’s Yoga Day Plans taking a stressful turn
NDTV: Art of Living to organize International Yoga Day
Photo Courtesy of David Fulmer’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Photo Courtesy of Grand Velas Riviera Maya’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License