Last Dec. 11, 2014, the United Nations (UN) declared June 21 as the International Day of Yoga. This move was supported by 175 countries, the highest record number of declarations and co-sponsors of any UN General Assembly Resolution.
Globally, yoga communities are organizing different events to celebrate the first celebration. In the Philippines, one yoga community’s intention is to send waves of peace to Mindanao, with Mindanao doing the same for Manila.
This intention is very timely, considering the fact that we are in the middle of deliberations on the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), the aftermath of the Mamapasano incident, and decades of armed conflict in many areas of Mindanao. Around 120,000 Filipinos have been killed, 2 million people displaced, and over 200 schools destroyed. On top of this are the countless livelihoods that have been adversely affected. In addition to that, a 2014 report reported 10 out of 16 regions in Mindanao as some of the poorest.
I personally feel sad about this because I spent 10 years of my childhood in Mindanao and I knew it as a land that was not only a melting pot of cultures that respected each other’s presence, but one that was rich in natural resources as well.
I’m happy that the Art of Living Foundation Philippines (AOLF) has decided that its participation for the International Day of Yoga is a combination of yoga, meditation and breathing techniques to send waves of peace from Manila to Mindanao. Called Yoga for Peace (#YogaForPeacePH), it aims to gather people to meditate and wish peace on Mindanao. At the same time, a friend’s yoga studio in Cagayan de Oro (CDO) will simultaneously conduct yoga and meditation and wish peace on Manila. Nameeta Dargani, Chapter Coordinator for AOLF says “Peace is possible, and regardless of where we are in the nation or the world, everyone has the ability to contribute to it through nurturing our own internal peace.”
Both events (Manila and CDO) are FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC so please drop by. The yoga portion will be very gentle in anticipation of some people joining who have never done yoga before. As one who has been introduced to yoga since 2006, I have found so many health benefits in the practice of yoga, meditation and the right breathing techniques. You will be also learn some of these to start you off on a healthier journey.
Some of us got a glimpse of what the June 21 meditation was going to be like when we were invited to the Art of Living Center in Makati.
|Art of Living’s meditation area|
|(L-R): Charmaine Cu-unjieng, Nameeta Dargani, Ruth Owen|
|Media get a taste of a meditation practice|
Ruth Owen, AOLF’s Breath and Sound Therapy (BeST) instructor shares, “Awareness on the rhythm of one’s breath and on the movement of the air coming in and out of the body can make a big difference. It’s something you can do anywhere, and it helps you to relax and find your center.” Charmaine Cu-unjieng, Head of Special Projects at AOLF sayd that “the youth of today are full of so much potential but they are also subjected to a lot of stress and distractions that keep them from becoming the best that they can be.” She adds, “Meditation can remedy this by helping the youth explore themselves and channel their potential and energy constructively.”
Here are the posters for both Manila and CDO.
See you on the mat June 21, 3-5pm in Manila, 3-7pm in CDO.