By Marlene (Matrikaa) Gast
“You will live your life even more fully and purposefully, once you are based in your own eternal, unending, ever-expanding, inner ecstasy.” Thus, Gurudevi Swami Nirmalananda reminds us of yoga’s promise. An authentic modern expression of yoga’s ancient teachings, her Svaroopa® Sciences focus on practices to fulfill yoga’s promise. Like a walking stick, they support you on the path to ever-expanding, inner ecstasy. How are you celebrating International Day of Yoga in June? You celebrate birthdays of beloved family and friends. You decorate with balloons, sing Happy Birthday and light candles on a cake. Even if you are in “pandemic stay at home mode,” you get together online for this party. You wouldn’t skip celebrating their presence in your life. So if you’re planning to skip International Yoga Day, ask yourself, “Why?”
There’s every reason in the world to celebrate this day. Svaroopa® yoga teacher Phil (Krishna) Milgrom notes, “International Yoga Day was proclaimed by the United Nations in 2014 and has been celebrated every year since 2015. The 21st of June was chosen because, in the Northern Hemisphere, it is the day of the year with the most hours of sunlight.” It’s a great day for Svaroopa® yoga, which opens practitioners to the ecstasy of their own inner Divine Light. This year, June 21 is also Father’s Day in the US and other countries. So you’ll notice celebrations before and after June 21 as well as on the day itself. Downingtown Yoga as well as the Rehoboth DE GeoCenter and the Greater New England GeoCenter have planned for this option.
Rehoboth GeoCenter Liaison Kelly (Kushala) Sharp describes what International Yoga Day means to her. She says, “Yoga is a big part of my life these days. Personally, yoga is my career, my passion and my spiritual practice. Celebrating International Yoga Day is a great opportunity to join in solidarity with the whole world to promote yoga.” Depending on her state’s “stay at home” orders in June, the Rehoboth Beach GeoCenter programs will be either in person on online.
Margot Garritt, Greater New England GeoCenter Liaison, remembers observing U.S. Yoga Day years before there was an International Day of Yoga. Teaching in Falmouth, MA, she’s eager to join other Greater New England GeoCenter teachers in International Yoga Day participation this year. Margot sees this initiative as reinvigorating the idea of having the whole community doing things together in support of each other, the Ashram and the community at large. She says, “It engages everyone’s interest and spreads the word. The collaboration results in synergy. In our GeoCenter, celebrating International Day of Yoga is uniting a dozen teachers. Geographically, we range from NH, ME & VT to MA, CT & RI. Having a joint focus, even with our offerings online, is wonderful. They include Philosophy Discussion Groups, Svaroopa® yoga classes, Svaroopa® Vidya Satsangs and vichara sessions.”
Depending on PA “stay at home” status, you’ll find Downingtown Yoga’s Free Events either online or in person. Either way, you can spend the whole weekend celebrating the International Day of Yoga:
Saturday, June 20
- 10:00 am–11:15 am: FREE Yoga for Pain Relief
- 11:30 am–12:45 pm: FREE Yoga for Stress Relief
- 1:00–2:15 pm: FREE Meditation Made Easy
- 2:30–3:45 pm: FREE Troubleshooting Your Meditation
Sunday, June 21
10:00 am–11:30 am: FREE Swami Sunday (for those attending Saturday programs)
Take advantage of Downingtown Yoga’s abundant, free online events to celebrate. And take classes with local teachers online as well. No local classes online yet? Let your local teacher know that now is the time to start. Spread the bliss — say how important celebrating International Yoga Day is to you! As a Svaroopa® yoga student, you’ll honor yourself for having chosen this way to nurture and reverence your own spirit.