The 193-member U.N. General Assembly on December 11th, approved that June 21 will be recognized as 'International Day of Yoga'. The proclamation is welcomed by Hindus and received enormous support with more than 170 co-sponsor member states.
Rajan Zed, President of Universal Society of Hinduism, calls it a "step in the positive direction" and suggested the incorporation of yoga to pupils of all public schools around the world.
Yoga, referred as "a living fossil", was a mental and physical discipline, for everybody to share and benefit from, whose traces went back to around 2,000 BCE to Indus Valley civilization, Zed pointed out.
According to an estimate, about 21 million Americans, including many celebrities, now practice yoga. Long-term yoga users in the United States have reported musculo-skeletal and mental health improvements, as well as reduced symptoms of asthma in asthmatics.
There is evidence to suggest that regular yoga practice increases GABA (gama aminobutyric acid) levels in the brain, and yoga has been shown to improve mood and anxiety more than some other metabolically matched exercises, such as walking.
Overall, studies of the effects of yoga on heart disease suggest that yoga may reduce high blood pressure, improve symptoms of heart failure, enhance cardiac rehabilitation, and lower cardiovascular risk factors.
There has been an emergence of studies investigating yoga as a complementary intervention for cancer patients. Yoga is used for treatment of cancer patients to decrease depression, insomnia, pain, and fatigue and to increase anxiety control.
Yoga would not only promote health, but also support clarity of vision and action and prevent contradictions, which often generates confusion while making rules and promoting laws, a UN release says.
The US National Institutes of Health says, yoga may help one to feel more relaxed, be more flexible, improve posture, breathe deeply, and get rid of stress.