The European Union of Yoga (EUY) has noticed with regret that in Russia, in June 2015 in the city of Nizhnevartovsk the authorities banned yoga classes under the precinct that it is tied to religious practices and due to the assumption that hatha yoga has an occult character. This goes against historical evidence, where yoga as such had a separate line of development from even Indian or Chinese religious movements.
Yoga is about changing a lifestyle towards a holistic one. It includes practices that care for the whole human system. As a life coach and yoga practitioner from Moscow, Maxim Kuzmenko noted: If we can slowly introduce holistic life changes in Russia that combine yoga and Ayurveda,” we can dramatically improve public health,”
The EUY is against linking yoga to religious movements as it ties yoga to processes that not everyone could endorse and specifically is against linking yoga to sects. Yoga in its original form is a way how to make human life as perfect as possible for the given individual practicing yoga.
In contrast, this year, the controversial “cult leader” Bomjon from Nepal, could freely market his ideas and organize pujas in Moscow and later in Kiew. So there seems to be a strong imbalance in assessing the value of traditional yoga and of new occult streams in Russia.
International day of Yoga
Yoga aims to transform both body and mind. On December 11 in 2014, the United Nations General Assembly declared June 21 as the International Day of Yoga. The declaration came after the call for the adoption of 21 June as International Day of Yoga by Honorable Indian Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi during his address to UN General Assembly on September 27, 2014 wherein he stated: “Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition. It embodies unity of mind and body, thought and action, restraint and fulfillment, harmony between man and nature and a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature.” In Suggesting June 21, which is the Summer Solstice, as the International Day of Yoga, Mr. Narendra Modi had said that, “the date is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and has special significance in many parts of the world.”
Yogi and mystic Sri Sadguru notes the importance of this day in the yogic tradition: On the day of the summer solstice, Adiyogi [the first yogi] turned south and first set his eyes on the Saptarishis or Seven Sages, who were his first disciples to carry the science of yoga to many parts of the world. It is wonderful that June 21 marks this momentous event in the history of humanity.
Please find below the link for the Common Yoga Protocol, an online video to guide your practice for the day: Common Yoga Protocol.