It was Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, that proposed the adoption of an “International Day of Yoga” (IYD) to the UN General Assembly back in September 2014.
In his speech to the UN, Prime minister Modi said,
“ Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; harmony between man and nature……By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help us deal with climate change. Let us work towards adopting an international Yoga day.”
Prime minister Modi proposed the 21st June , the Summer Solstice, as IYD which has great significance in many parts of the world. From a Yogi’s perspective, the 21st June marks Guru Poornima; which according to Yogic lore, was the first day Shiva (the first Guru) began Yoga practice. And so the UN General Assembly declared the 21st June 2015 as the first International Yoga Day.
At the time, I recall thinking simultaneously, “How cool is that…… but nothing will happen in Luxembourg, I’ll need to head to the U.K.” So I was more than ecstatic (if that’s possible) when I learnt that the Federation Nationale des Ecoles Luxembourgeoises de Yoga (FNELY) were planning an event, right here in Luxembourg city!
The 1st International Yoga Day in Luxembourg will take place at the park adjacent to the lake behind the Coque. If you have never practiced yoga outside, it’s reason enough alone to go. Staring at the horizon whilst in Prasarita Padottanasana is a transformative experience in itself!
The day will begin at 9am with a ‘common session’ practiced simultaneously around the world. It will include a short meditation, some simple asanas and an Indian prayer allowing you to set your own intention for your practice. From 9.30am there will be 2 sets of 25 minute workshops offering various styles of Yoga and in multiple languages. The good news is, that you don’t have to be able to tie yourself up into a Pretzel to attend. The workshops will appeal to both complete beginners and the most experienced of yogi’s. The Yogi teachers will all be dressed in white and the timetable provides details of where to go.
For those ‘hardcore’ Yogi’s out there, I will shamelessly plug the Ashtanga Workshop led by my very own teacher and therefore utterly awesome!!!
Once the workshops are finished, the ‘highlight’ of the event will take place…..the ‘Yogathon’ with 108 sun salutations. Yes, that is not a typo…..108 sun salutations! If you are a complete ‘nutter’ (like me) you can do this is as a solo challenge Or (thankfully) you can perform the salutations in a team. This is also a ‘common session’ simultaneously being practiced around the globe….”Go Team Luxembourg!”
If you just came for the Savasana! You will be glad to hear that once the ‘Yogathon’ has finished, 30 minutes will be dedicated to relaxation and inward meditation…..or a quick nap, whichever you prefer!
The day will end with a homemade South Indian Buffet serving lots of tasty plant-based dishes to nourish those tired muscles before you either:
1) Head home to collapse on the sofa
Don’t forget to bring your mat, a LARGE bottle of water and a towel.
With a bit of luck, the sun will shine…..if it doesn’t…. what the heck…. it’s sure to be a day to remember; leaving you invigorated, at peace and probably absolutely knackered!
Namaste Y’all and see you on the mat.
Credits: Illustrations by Linda Dieschbourg.