In 2015, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi succeed in his mission to establish June 21 as International Yoga Day.
At the United Nations General Assembly, he said:
Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfilment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help in well being. Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day.
June 21st was a natural choice; it’s the summer solstice – the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. Yogis were already unrolling their mats to shed winter layers, salute the sun, and enjoy the fresh abundance that nature provides. The summer solstice is a celebration of lightness, opening, and movement and a chance to deepen our harmony with the earth – and each other.
The formal establishment of the International Yoga Day adds an incredible incentive for people of all age groups, religions, nationalities and social backgrounds to experience meditativeness, expanding their perception of life from individuality to universality.
We PROMISE to give you a full list of events and workshops to attend on the 21st of June, so stay tuned!
But as we combed through all the awesome offerings our local studios have planned for June 21st, we started thinking – what other days should we be celebrating this summer?
Here are our Top Ten for 2018. NJ yoga teachers and studios – we CHALLENGE you to get creative and make something special happen within your community for these mindfully momentous and/or crazy cool days.
June 23rd: National Hydration Day
Drinking water is undoubtedly important for our bodies to survive and thrive. That being said, we also think this is a major opportunity to spread awareness for a SOLVABLE global crisis. Nearly a billion people on Earth lack consistent access to clean drinking water. WE can work together and make an impact by raising funds and be the change we want to see in the world.
July 4th: Independence Day
Fireworks are great, but we can absolutely do more than that this year. As Andrea Rice once said, “Yoga is a celebration of the freedom we experience in our minds, bodies, hearts and souls.Our perceptions expand as we acknowledge that we are all connected to something greater—to the great cosmic whole.” We suggest sharing that message with your class – it will ignite a light brighter than the biggest sparklers on the market.
July 12th: National Simplicity Day
Author, naturalist, philosopher, historian, tax resister, abolitionist, development critic, surveyor, and leading transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau was born on July 12, 1817. National Simplicity Day is observed on July 12th in his honor.
“In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness.” ~Henry David Thoreau
July 15th: National Give Something Away Day
This day was created to give people the opportunity to share their time, talents, efforts, creativity, and intentions with others – without expectations or limitations. For yogis, July 15th is a chance to dig in deep on the yamas and niyamas – the ethical tenants that form the foundation of our whole practice.
July 27th: National New Jersey Day
We wouldn’t be the NJYC if we didn’t show this day some love! Break out your favorite NJ playlist and jam out with a few rocking vinyasa sequences OR head to your favorite spot in nature for a practice that pays homage to the beauty that exists all over the Garden State.
July 31st: National Avocado Day
Because we will always practice for Peace, Love, and Avocados.
August 6th: National Wiggle Your Toes Day
Wiggle Your Toes Day is an excellent opportunity to let your yogi toes engage in a few public wiggling adventures. Whether you chose to wiggle alone, or use the occasion as a chance to join with like-minded friends in a glorious session of communal wiggling, no one can afford to let the day go by without some free-footed-fun.
August 15th: National Relaxation Day
Yes, we typically just call our relaxation day “Sunday” buuuuuuuut since it’s a legitimately acknowledged national thing, we couldn’t let National Relaxation Day go unmentioned. Grab a bolster, an eye pillow, a sandbag, and a few blankets, cue up some Shamanic music and give us a call on August 16th.
September 3rd: Labor Day
We don’t care WHAT you did all summer (or even just weekend) long – Labor Day is MUST for yogis throughout NJ and beyond. Practice with passion to close out summer, welcome in autumn, celebrate the beginning of National Yoga Month (September), and “honor the contributions and resilience of working Americans.” -President Obama.
Now you know our top 10! Make sure to drop us a note so we can practice with YOU on your favorite day of the summer. Especially if it is National Blueberry Muffin Day (hint, hint – July 11th).
Bridget Riepl is a mom, a yoga teacher, a former lawyer, a writer, a moderately decent cook, a really good baker, a seeker of fantastic coffee and a firm believer in the power of positive thinking. Bridget became all those things around the same time and credits the whole “former lawyer” thing as the impetus for most of the fun stuff she gets to do on a daily basis now. That, and her husband Joe’s complete willingness to support her spontaneity with a smile. Bridget was born and raised in New Jersey and cannot imagine calling anywhere else “home.” She loves the entire NJ yoga community with lioness-like ferocity and cannot wait to show the world just what NJ yogis are up to – because it is crazy amazing stuff.
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