International Day of Yoga

International Day of Yoga aims to raise global awareness of the benefits of practicing yoga. The Departments of Public Health and Recreation partner annually with health and wellness instructors from local yoga studios to host an International Day of Yoga event. Hundreds of residents from across Brookline, with varying levels of experience, gather to participate.

WHAT IS YOGA AND HOW DOES IT WORK?

Yoga is an ancient and complex practice, rooted in Indian philosophy. It began as a spiritual practice but has become popular as a way of promoting physical and mental well-being.

Although classical yoga also includes other elements, yoga as practiced in the United States typically emphasizes physical postures (asanas), breathing techniques (pranayama), and meditation (dyana). 

A group of people practicing yoga in the park with an instructor.

There are many different yoga styles, ranging from gentle practices to physically demanding ones. Differences in the types of yoga used in research studies may affect study results. This makes it challenging to evaluate research on the health effects of yoga.

Yoga and two practices of Chinese origin—tai chi and qi gong—are sometimes called “meditative movement” practices. All three practices include both meditative elements and physical ones.

BENEFITS OF YOGA

  • Help improve general wellness by relieving stress, supporting good health habits, and improving mental/emotional health, sleep, and balance.
  • Relieve low-back pain and neck pain, and possibly pain from tension-type headaches and knee osteoarthritis.
  • Help people who are overweight or obese lose weight.
  • Help people quit smoking.
  • Help people manage anxiety or depressive symptoms associated with difficult life situations.
  • Relieve menopause symptoms.
  • Help people with chronic diseases manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life.


ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Yoga for Health (eBook)

source: NIH