International Yoga Day (or International Day of Yoga) has arrived -- a day for us to dedicate entirely to our beloved yoga practice and the ancient yoga tradition that has so generously offered itself to us. Today you can fill your day with all things yoga, without feeling as if you should be doing something else! This is your day, yogis and yoginis. Here are 10 fun ways to celebrate your special sacred day:
Treat a Loved One to a Yoga Class
This is the perfect day to say, “Hey Mom and Dad (or whomever!), it’s International Yoga Day! Which means I want to treat you to your very first beginner’s yoga session!” If they comply, this could be a lovely way to share some sacred time with your loved ones, and perhaps even get them hooked on the practice. Wouldn’t that be great?!
Dedicate Your Entire Day to Sadhana
Your daily sadhana might look like 20 minutes of morning meditation and 30 minutes of evening yoga, perhaps taken from a wonderful instructor online, from the comfort of your own home. But what about spending the entire day devoted to your spiritual practice? Doesn’t that sound scrumptious? You could start the day by lighting a special candle and chanting a sacred mantra with your japa mala beads. Then brew yourself a cup of chai and sip it while meditating on the flame of your candle. Next, ease into an earlly yoga practice before preparing yourself a cooling smoothie. Plan another special meal for the day, and another yoga and meditation practice for the afternoon. Take a bath with bath salts and essential oils. The day is yours to practice the art of stillness! (Learn more about How to Create Your Own Unique Sadhana.)
Attend a Yoga Festival
Yoga festivals abound on International Yoga Day. Why not take this day to finally head out of town and attend that festival you’ve been curious about. Maybe there’s even a yoga festival in your hometown. Do a search on the Internet and take a friend! It’s the perfect excuse to grab your best buddy and do something fun and different.
Check Out a New Yoga Studio
If you live in a city, chances are you have more than a few yoga studios to choose from. It’s easy for us to stick with the same studio and same teacher, but it’s always a good idea to get fresh perspectives on the practice. International Yoga Day is a great day to get out of your comfort zone and try a class with an entirely new instructor at an entirely new yoga studio. Plus, a lot of studios offer discounts and even free classes on this day!
Support a Good Cause
There are loads of charities out there that do great service for people, animals and places in need. Yoga is all about serving the greater good. This is a good day to donate to an organization (perhaps created by yogis) or reputable charity. Yoga teaches us that we are all connected, so helping a fellow human being (and/or animal) is a great way to remind us of this sacred connection.
Attend Your First Satsang
A satsang is a gathering of yogis and yoginis. The meeting often takes place at a local yoga studio. This might include a spiritual talk, a chanting session, or even a potluck lunch or dinner. Attending a satsang is a great way to meet like-minded people and perhaps a new friend.
Host a Yoga-Themed Potluck
If you have a nice space to throw a small dinner party, why not invite some yoga enthusiasts over for your own satsang. You could cook up an Indian-inspired main dish and ask your friends to bring some side dishes and drinks. Give them a few ideas and perhaps even find a yoga film to watch after dinner. Play yoga-inspired music and offer up a bit of gratitude before breaking bread. (Here's A Simple Kitchari Recipe to get you started.)
Purchase a Yoga Music Album
There are some beautiful yoga chanting albums online and in your local music store that can really enhance your mantra practice. Singing along to these melodies deepens your meditative state, and can also be a great accompaniment to a home yoga practice. (You can start your search by using this list of Our 4 Favorite Chants.)
Teach a Free Class
If you’re a yoga teacher yourself, today is the perfect day to teach a free yoga class to the public. Maybe you invite a handful of people over to your home, play some yoga music and lead them through a nourishing vinyasa practice. (Maybe use this for your class, A Vinyasa Sequence for Beginners.) Perhaps you give a public class for free in a city park. Give back and you will receive much!
Perhaps it’s your time and energy you’d like to donate today. After centering yourself with a morning meditation and yoga practice, as well as a nourishing breakfast, get out and volunteer. Help a friend who might be sick. Cook a meal for a family that’s going through a tough time. Find a cause that resonates with you and then give your time to that cause wherever it’s needed.
Whatever you choose to do today, enjoy yourself. International Yoga Day only comes around once a year!