5 Ways to Celebrate International Day of Yoga

International Day of Yoga has only been around for three years - the proclamation was announced on December 11th, 2014 - but already the yoga community has created the day into a worldwide celebration of yoga! The proclamation to make June 21st the International Day of Yoga is much more than just another official memorandum. Such a proclamation by the UN is symbolic of the international community's recognition of the impact of yoga on its mission to solve today's greatest problems. Really, this proclamation underscores what we've known all along, that yoga is an important and worthy practice that helps to make the world a better place.

Specifically, the UN noted "the importance of individuals and populations making healthier choices and following lifestyle patterns that foster good health". They went on to underscore the fact that "global health is a long-term development objective that requires closer international cooperation through the exchange of best practices aimed at building better individual lifestyles devoid of excesses of all kinds," and "that yoga provides a holistic approach to health and well-being," ad that "wider dissemination of information about the benefits of practicing yoga would be beneficial for the health of the world population."

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    Here are five ways you can get involved on International Day of Yoga

    1. Practice! As the grandfather of modern yoga himself, Pattabhi Jois, said, "Yoga is 99% practice, 1% theory." So roll out your mat, whether at home or at your local studio, breathe, move, and try. Those elements of breath, movement, and focus combined will bring fresh energy to the body and calmness to your mind. New to yoga? Find a local studio through the MindBody app. Yoga studios are starting to host International Day of Yoga events, many of which are free or donation-based, and sometimes held outdoors. If you feel like staying in, I highly suggest the yoga videos at yogainternational.com
    2. Join a community event. With the increasing awareness about IDOY, many studios, teachers, and organizations are hosting community events! Many of them are free, donation-based fundraisers, or even outdoors. These kinds of events can be a great way to meet new people in your neighborhood that are just as passionate about yoga and healthy living as you are.
    3. Choose eco-conscious yoga products. You don't need much to practice yoga, but for the products you do buy - from leggings to mats to props - try to buy consciously. Use yoga mats made from natural rubber or other natural materials instead of plastic. Jade Yoga Mats are a personal favorite and they're made of natural rubber. They also plant a tree for each yoga mat they sell!
    4. Support yoga-based nonprofit organizations. There are more organizations now than ever before that tap into the healing power of yoga to help make the world a better place in many ways. Yoga Gives Back is an organization that empowers women and children in India to build sustainable livelihoods. The Trini Foundation is dedicated to bringing the life-changing practice of Ashtanga yoga to those struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. There are many more organizations out there and I highly suggest doing a quick search to find a cause close to your heart.
    5. Spread the word! International Day of Yoga is all about promoting the benefits of yoga, so get out there and spread the word! Use #InternationalDayofYoga on social media. Coincidentally, June 21st is also National Selfie Day, so in case you needed an excuse to post a yoga selfie (yelfie?), there you go.

    Happy International Day of Yoga!