Honoring and Celebrating International Day of Yoga
“If there are threats to humanity, Yoga often gives us a way of holistic health. Yoga also gives us a happier way of life. I am sure, Yoga will continue playing its preventive, as well as promotive role in the healthcare of masses” – Narendra Modi, India Prime Minister,
Originating in ancient India, Yoga derives from the Sanskrit language, meaning to join or to unite, symbolizing the union of body and consciousness. Over time, Yoga has increased in popularity across the globe, and has evolved into many different forms and variations. Throughout the history of our organization, Yoga philosophy has been the backbone of our program— using mindful movement, meditation, and breath work to bolster curiosity, mindful presence, and resilience in youth.
This year to commemorate International Day of Yoga, we honor the rich wisdom and heritage that India continues to offer the world, and the immense benefits of the Yoga practice for the mind, body, and spirit. We are forever grateful for Yoga’s roots, culture, and the teachers who gifted it to us.
To celebrate we share stories from our beloved community on how Yoga has impacted their lives.
Leilani ‘Lala’ and Jasmin ‘Jazz’, two of our lovely InnerConnected participants from Pleasant View Elementary School shared with us what Yoga means to them
Jazz says her favorite part of her Yoga practice is when she is together with the group. Lala says that Yoga makes her feel good. They both love child’s pose, and practice at home and at school. Strengthening social relationships, and improving emotional regulation are two powerful skills that we strengthen in our Yoga practice.
Before we start any meeting at InnerConnected, we have someone lead us in a mindfulness exercise. The purpose of the opening is to have us all connect, ground, and feel refreshed for our discussion together.
Chris, our wonderful consultant, said that prior to our meetings at InnerConnected, he had never practiced mindfulness or meditation. As a life long swimmer, he says he always took the time staring at the black line on the bottom of the pool as an opportunity to clear his mind. He says he is impressed by the thoughtful approach at the start of important conversations. Since our meetings, he is inspired to continue a mindfulness practice.
Every second Monday of the month, InnerConnected partners with Yoga 4 Philly to offer a free, virtual mindfulness class. Yoga 4 Philly is a nonprofit organisation dedicated to creating a safer, more supportive society in Philadelphia. Steven Brice, founder of Yoga 4 Philly, says that if it weren’t for Yoga and meditation, he doesn’t know where he would be today. These practices not only have impacted his personal life, but have helped sustain him in the context of his organisation.
To honour and celebrate International Day of Yoga, Steven will make yoga accessible to others, especially people who are marginalized in society.
Kyra deGruy Kennedy, Board Secretary for InnerConnected, practices mindful movement and meditation everyday. Over the years, Yoga has played a significant role in her life, and has allowed for her to cope with anxiety, depression, and stay present in the moment. She believes Yoga allows us to be more present, open, and loving.
Mostly, she believes yoga reminds us that we’re all connected. “We can make a commitment every day to do something that helps someone else”, she says. Her wish this year as we honor International Day of Yoga is to support and give back. India is still being devastated by COVID, Kyra and her family will donate to Project HOPE, join her and support the relief efforts in India.