national yoga month

National Yoga Month: Inner Peace for Everybody

The United States Department of Health & Human Services celebrates National Yoga Month (or National Yoga Awareness Month) every September to explore yoga, understand its many health benefits, and promote a healthy lifestyle.

This event highlights the holistic perspective of health and wellness that yoga offers, bringing together various yoga enthusiasts, regardless of their age or experience level. Moreover, National Yoga Awareness Month aims to broaden our understanding of how yoga can enhance physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Read on to learn more.

Featured in: September - Awareness Months, Days & Observances

History and Background of National Yoga Month

group yoga
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In 2008, the US Department of Health and Human Services supported the Yoga Health Foundation in establishing this event. The Foundation, a non-profit organization, promoted preventive health care and a healthy lifestyle thanks to yoga practices.

It started with a tour of ten cities featuring yoga health festivals, free yoga classes, and informative workshops.  Then, Johannes Fisslinger, founder of the Yoga Health Foundation, also created the Yoga-Recess in School program, emphasizing the connection between yoga and overall well-being.

Over time, National Yoga Month grew into a larger celebration. So, the "Ten City Tour" became a tradition, offering free yoga classes, concerts, and health and wellness expositions throughout the United States. 

Likewise, the "One Week Free Yoga" initiative allowed beginners to try yoga for a week for free in studios nationwide. Big-name supporters like Dr. Deepak Chopra and yoga guru Shiva Rea helped the event gain traction. 

Today, the event spotlights a new aspect of yoga and its various benefits, continuing to attract attendees.

Why You Should Start Practicing Yoga

outdoor yoga
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Yoga is an ancient practice passed down from 5,000 years of Indian philosophy. Beyond the physical practice, it combines body postures, stronger core muscles, mindful breath control, and meditation to promote body, mind, and spirit harmony. 

Scientific evidence supports the physical health benefits of practicing yoga. The challenging poses improve balance3, while breathing techniques lead to better respiratory health1.

On the other hand, yoga also promotes mental health by reducing stress2. The breathing exercises calm the nervous system and lower stress hormones, promoting inner tranquility. 

Yoga also fits individuals of all ages and physical abilities, with various styles and levels. 

Whether you plan to visit a studio or practice at home, use sustainable yoga clothes and grab some sustainable yoga props to accompany your eco-friendly yoga mat to start a relaxing, eco-friendly session.

Efforts and Initiatives

International organizations like the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT) have helped yoga become a global phenomenon. 

Comprising various yoga professionals, the IAYT hosts workshops, webinars, and intensive training sessions during the monthlong celebration. 

The focus combines tradition, science, and wellness to create a cohesive whole according to ancient Indian tradition.

Meanwhile, the United Nations designates June 21st as International Yoga Day to commemorate the significance of yoga on a global scale. 

This event precedes National Yoga Month, celebrated by UN member nations as they encourage their citizens to achieve peace and balance. 

In India, the Ministry of AYUSH ensures that the public can access yoga through mass demonstrations and enlightening sessions.

Small communities and yoga studios worldwide also make yoga accessible to everyone through free or discounted classes, engaging workshops, and special events. 

Bent On Learning in New York and Yoga Ed. in Los Angeles are more examples of organizations that bring yoga to people of all ages and fitness levels.

How to Get Involved and Support National Yoga Month

yoga class
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  • Visit a local yoga studio or community center that holds classes or workshops. This is a gateway to build connections and inspire others to incorporate yoga into their daily lives.
  • Organize a fundraising event to promote yoga's benefits while supporting a charity of personal importance and raising awareness about how yoga can create a better body image for you.
  • Raise awareness by sharing informative articles about yoga philosophy, infographics, and personal stories about yoga on social media. Don’t forget to add a yoga quote.
  • If you want more direct involvement, join outdoor yoga festivals or events and immerse yourself in positive energy and the spirit of yoga.
  • Even in the comforts of your home, practice yoga consistently by joining an online challenge.

Conclusion

National Yoga Month reminds us to go beyond the yoga mat and revisit the age-old wisdom of yoga, which provides numerous benefits for overall health. The month-long event aims to spread awareness of how yoga can lead to transformational changes when incorporated into daily life.

By celebrating this awareness month, let us nurture a culture of mindfulness and wellness by understanding and practicing this ancient exercise that brings us closer to a healthier world.

National Yoga Month FAQs

1. What is National Yoga Month, and when is it?

September is National Yoga Month, which promotes yoga's health benefits and inspires people to incorporate yoga into their daily lives.

2. Who started the event?

The Department of Health and Human Services, in collaboration with the Yoga Health Foundation, started the event.

3. What are the health benefits of yoga?

Yoga can improve flexibility, strength, and balance, reduce stress and anxiety, enhance mental clarity and focus, promote better sleep, and contribute to overall physical and psychological well-being.

4. How can I celebrate National Yoga Month?

Attend free or discounted yoga classes by participating studios, join online yoga challenges, host yoga events or workshops, or incorporate a daily yoga practice into your routine.

5. How can I support National Yoga Month?

You can raise awareness about yoga's benefits through social media, share your yoga journey with others, support local yoga studios or organizations, and encourage friends and family to try it.

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1

Abel, A. N., Lloyd, L. K., & Williams, J. S. (2013). The effects of regular yoga practice on pulmonary function in healthy individuals: a literature review. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 19(3), 185–190.

2

Pascoe, M., & Thompson, D. R. (2017). Yoga, mindfulness-based stress reduction and stress-related physiological measures: A meta-analysis. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 86, 152–168.

3

Prado, E. T., Raso, V., Scharlach, R. C., & Kasse, C. A. (2014). Hatha yoga on body balance. International Journal of Yoga, 7(2), 133.

Mike is a degree-qualified researcher and writer passionate about increasing global awareness about climate change and encouraging people to act collectively in resolving these issues.

Fact Checked By:
Isabela Sedano, BEng.

Photo by Wesley Tingey on Unsplash
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