The fourth annual International Yoga Day is being celebrated by major brands across the world.

Take a deep breath, now breathe out. Today is International Yoga Day. This holiday was established in 2014 and has been celebrated ever since. The day has both new and experienced practitioners engaged in Yoga around the globe.

Yoga has been traced to Indus-Sorasvadr civilization 6,000 years ago. It is mentioned in the oldest text the Rig-Veda. The text lists Lord Shiva as the Adi Guru, the first Yoga instructor. Yoga has been used as a spiritual practice of Hindus, but also secularly as a form of exercise and meditation by millions. It is practiced by people of all faith, for example in Muslim countries like Iran and Pakistan it has a large popularity.

Yoga has been shown in some studies to offer health benefits: boosting the immune system, cardiovascular health, sleep, weight loss, possible help with depression, OCD, and migraines. Those that use Yoga have said it helps relieve stress and improve their quality of life.

Yoga has become a large business, with $16.8 Billion dollars spent on Yoga classes and equipment last year alone and 80 million using Yoga in the United States.

There remains some controversy among some religious organizations about the religious influence of Yoga. To avoid any association with religion, some groups have changed the names of Yoga poses to animals to allow them to be done in schools. Christian organizations have used PraiseMoves, where a Bible verse is spoken through each pose to promote their faith.

There are numerous events going on today and throughout the week.


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