Two Weeks after the First International Yoga Day

Two weeks ago, the first International Day of Yoga saw mass celebrations around the world. People from diverse ethnic, racial and cultural backgrounds rolled out their yoga mats and woke up to the ancient mind and body discipline. No former event has received such an overwhelming observance from all the corners of the world. The movement involved participation of 170 nations, including major countries like USA, Canada, China, Russia, India, Israel, UK, France and almost rest of the world.

Amid the controversy surrounding Yoga, 47 Islamic nations co-sponsored the event including Turkey, Iran, UAE, Indonesia and even Afghanistan.

Significance of Yoga Day for the Society

Yoga has been welcomed with open arms across all the regions and religions. But this is just a first step in the long journey of awakening every human being to the transforming powers of yoga. Earlier, I have discussed in one of my posts that yoga is more than just physical health. It is the key to unlock the latent power of human mind. By learning to make use of instinctive powers generated through yoga practice, an individual can achieve success and wisdom in all the spheres of life. I have been regularly writing and publishing about the same in my Patanjali Yoga Sutra series of articles.

The World yoga day signifies that yoga has nothing to do with any particular religion. It is confined to no single country or culture. If the world at large adopts a yogic way of life, there will be a paradigm shift in tolerance and peaceful coexistence. It will turn our world into a society of healthy, happy and intelligent people. That is the need of present time in order to build a sustainable planet.

Indian Prime Minister Mr. Modi spoke enlightening words on yoga day. He said, “It is not just a yoga day celebration, it is the beginning of training the human mind to cultivate peace and harmony in the society.” Since everything in the society is undergoing constant development, the human mind also needs to go through the improvement process in line with global evolution”

Our mind has immense abilities and it is impossible to measure its capacity. So far, our growth and development has been directed towards improvement in lifestyle and fulfilling the material needs. We have gone to great lengths in the tangible world from exploring the unknown areas in outer space to building gigantic structures on earth. But what has been most challenging for us is creating a peaceful and stress free planet. This is what yoga has to offer to the society. Yoga results in expanded mental awareness and enhanced understanding of the surrounding environment. It reaches deep into the different layers of the mind and channelizes the energies.

Unlike other body parts, we cannot dissect and understand the process and capacity of our brain. But through yoga, it is possible to explore its powers and understand the operations. We can do so by becoming aware of how our thought process works. Taking control of the same lets us stay calm and take smart decisions even during the time of turmoil and distress.

How can Corporations reap benefits by Investing in Yoga?

The corporate world largely determines all the developments in our society. Success and happiness of a person mostly depends on how well he manages himself on the professional front. Moreover, workplace is the best location to practice yoga. Employees can practically learn to utilize the benefits of this exercise in their job and stay optimistic and productive in their tasks.

Being an industrialist and employer for over two and a half decades, I am keen on sharing the benefits that yoga has to offer to the business world. Conducting periodic yoga sessions in the office is an inexpensive and feasible solution for organizations that are looking to improve the productivity, reduce workplace stress and maintain employee well being.

There are several reasons as to why the corporations should embrace yoga for their personnel. Below are some important statistics about stress related work losses:

  • Workplace depression tops the list of health related productivity costs in the United States.
  • A survey found that 42% of employees intentionally left their job position due to stressful work environment. (Survey: monster.com)
  • The American institute for Stress found that US corporations spend $300 Billion annually due to Job Stress factors like absence from work, decreased productivity, employee turnover, etc.

So it is prudent for the employers to conduct yoga sessions in the office for increased cohesion and team spirit. Companies as a part of society, are now recognizing the importance of yoga and its positive effects. Major corporations including GE, Nike, Motorola, Apple, Forbes, General Motors and Google, etc. are providing yoga classes to their employees as a part of their stress reduction and employee wellness programs.

Yoga is a 360° solution for human beings. Be it mental or physical or emotional problems, the practice helps maintain balance in every field of life. From confusion and distress to physical weakness, yoga is an effective and proven remedy for all the ailments. Having yoga sessions at the workplace will definitely improve productivity and reduce the stress levels of employees. A tolerant, calm and composed workforce can take critical decisions on behalf of their organization and create a positive spiral.

How did you celebrate world yoga day in your area? I’d be happy to read your experiences with yoga and your thoughts about the same in the comments below.