It’s International Day of Yoga!

hands in a heartAccording to the Yoga Alliance, today is International Day of Yoga. “In 2014, the United Nations declared June 21 as the International Day of Yoga.” This is a day that everyone, including non-yogis, should celebrate.

You may not know this, but one of the focal points of yoga is kindness to yourself and others. (More information on the principles of yoga can be found by reading the Yamas and Niyamas.)

Today is a great opportunity to make a difference in your community. By spreading kindness and love to others around you, you are embracing the spirit of Yoga Day. Below are some ideas for quick and easy things you could do today to celebrate.

Ways to Celebrate

Kindness to Yourself

If you’ve watched the TV show Parks and Rec, you may be familiar with the quote “Treat yo self.” For those who aren’t familiar, two of the main characters have a special day every year where they treat themselves. Their day is filled with good food, shopping, massages, and quality time together.

Here are some ideas for how you can treat yo self.

  • Practice yoga.
  • Get a massage.
  • Find 10 minutes of quiet time and meditate.
  • Do something that you’ve had on your to-do list for a while.
  • Spend time with a friend.
  • Get a tasty treat to eat.

These are just a few ideas, but the point is that you take care of yourself today. Self-care is crucial and often neglected. Make the time, then take the time for yourself today!

Kindness to Others

Although self-care is important, you have the potential to improve your community with your kindness. Remember that frequently, kindness is contagious. A smile to a stranger could mean that they do something nice for someone else, and so on.

Here are some ideas for how you can share your kindness with others.

  • Smile.
  • Thank people when they do something for you.
  • Take a moment to ask someone about their day.
  • Give sincere compliments.
  • If you see someone who might need help, ask if you can help them.
  • Introduce yourself to a neighbor that you may not know.
  • If you’re in a drive-thru, pay for the order of the person behind you.
  • Volunteer at the organization of your choice.
  • Donate unnecessary items from your house to a worthy charity.
  • If you have a friend with his or her own business, tell others about the great work that your friend does.
  • Call a friend just to say that you’ve been thinking of them.
  • Work in the community garden.
  • Organized yoga-enthusiasts could create a free community yoga event.

Maybe you’re reading this at night or after June 21. That’s okay! You can still have Yoga Day on your own. Decide that tomorrow will be your day, and reflect on all the ways you will share kindness.

How do you show kindness to yourself and others? How will you work to create a positive community? Let us know in the comments below.

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Sarah Stockett is STOTT certified in Matwork, Reformer, Cadillac, Chair, & Barrels, Injuries & Special Populations, and CORE; a Yoga Alliance RYT-200; and has studied Active Isolated Stretching. When she is not trying to discover the best exercises to get rid of pain, she likes watching movies and travelling with her family.

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