National Yoga Awareness Month is on the doorstep! Starts September 1, 2012. Hundreds of Yoga events around the world are taking place to celebrate the role of Yoga in healthy living and to introduce new people to Yoga. If you have ever been curious about Yoga, this September is the perfect time to discover how Yoga can open the door to lifelong health benefits.
Yoga studios across the nation are opening their doors to celebrate National Yoga Awareness Month. Some are planning special displays and exhibitions.
Yoga Aid Challenge
This September 9, Yoga studios around the world are celebrating the joy of Yoga by fundraising for a cause. The Yoga Relay will follow the sun around the world, starting at Sydney, Australia, and ending at sunset in Los Angeles.
More than 200 Yoga events are planned for this day alone. Many of them will feature some of the premier Yoga teachers in each community. Thanks to the miracle of time zones, MC Yogi will be able to participate in both the opening and closing events of the 2012 Yoga Aid Challenge.
Since this event first began in 2006, the Yoga Aid Challenge has raised $1.2 million for charities around the world. This year, organizers hope to raise $1 million. The funds raised during this event will go to local charities, many of which are involved in smaller, community-driven projects.
Global Mala Yoga for Peace
On September 20 through 23, the global Yoga community will unite to form a "mala around the earth." The mala and its 108 beads is symbolic of the prayer for peace, hope, and charity.
The events of a Yoga mala will differ by Yoga tradition and inspiration. Typical events during a Yoga mala may include 27, 56, or 108 sun salutations, or 108 minutes of meditation, kirtan, or movement meditation. Some Yoga centers will also add community service as part of their global mala events.
Most centers will time their early events this year for September 19 or 20, to match the fall equinox and give a strong lead-up to World Peace Day on September 21. Many will also have major global mala events on the September 22-23 weekend. Check with your local Yoga centers for details.
The Time for Yoga
National Yoga Awareness Month winds up on September 30 with another worldwide celebration of Yoga. At 7 pm local time, Yoga students around the world will participate together in an hour of Yoga practice, followed by 15 minutes of savasana and a 15-minute meditation for universal peace and well-being. In this way, a wave of Yoga will flow around the world to bid the sun farewell at the end of National Yoga Awareness Month.
Different Types of Yoga
Yoga is an extremely ancient concept. It is mentioned in writings as old as the Bhagavad Gita, where Yoga is divided into karma Yoga, Bakhti Yoga, and Jnana Yoga. Karma Yoga is the Yoga of action. Bhakti Yoga is the Yoga of devotion, although all Yogas are considered devotional. Jnana Yoga is the Yoga of knowledge. Hatha Yoga is the most familiar form of Yoga to most Americans. It develops strength, flexibility, and stillness of mind through physical postures ("asanas") which are designed to open the channels of the body so that energy can flow freely. The word "hatha" comes from the word for "forceful," as focused through physical exercises and applied willpower. It also has the balance of sun ("ha") and moon ("tha") which is essential for creating balance and uniting opposites. Many other types of Yogas are also practiced around the world. For example, you may see references to "eight-limbed Yoga" ("ashtanga Yoga"), which is the basis of modern Raja Yoga. These eight limbs cover all parts of lifestyle and spirit from right behaviors to proper breath control. Moksha Yoga is a form of Yoga which is practiced in very hot temperatures.
Wondering how to get started?
Making Yoga a part of your healthy lifestyle is easier than ever during National Yoga Awareness Month. Over 1,600 Yoga studios are offering a week of free introductions to Yoga, from beginner levels all the way to specialist branches of teacher training. Whether you want to try out a new branch of Yoga or have never tried Yoga before, you are certain to find a Yoga center event which is ideal for you.
Even the American government has gotten behind National Yoga Awareness Month. This National Health Observance has been marked by the Department of Health & Human Services to promote and educate the public about the health benefits of Yoga.
National Yoga Awareness Month is the perfect time to discover how Yoga can work for you. Commit a week to a free introduction to Yoga, invite Yoga into your life for a month, and discover the health benefits that will last you a lifetime.
How will you participate in National Yoga Month ?
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