Celebrate International Yoga Day 2023

International Yoga day 2023 – Wednesday 21st June

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International yoga day takes place at this time of year to coincide with the winter solstice in the southern hemisphere or summer solstice in the northern hemisphere. So, wherever you live in the world, it is a significant time, either leading to the longest day if you’re in summer or the shortest day of the year if you’re in winter like me.

Winter Solstice

Here in Aotearoa, New Zealand the Winter Solstice is a time where we celebrate the rebirth of the sun after the shortest day. It’s also a time to reflect, go inwards and consider new beginnings.

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I have put together a list of my 7 top recommendations for you to choose from to celebrate International Yoga Day this year. You might just choose just one or two ideas that are meaningful to you.

Em’s Top 7 international yoga day recommendations

1.  Practice Ahimsa

For me this is the most important, the number one principle I teach in yoga. My interpretation of Ahimsa is the practice of self kindness. When things get tough, it’s very tempting to unleash our inner beast. If we’re not mindful, we may see our fellow humans and more likely ourselves as a problem that must be dealt with. Instead, practicing Ahimsa is to practice; kindness, compassion and acceptance. 

Come and join me on the mat if you would like me to help you in a guided practice https://yogawithemmie.com/classes-2/


I found this helpful, free resource through Yogahub, which you might find useful if you want help incorporating Ahimsa into your daily life. Ahimsa Workbook 

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2. Set Intentions

International Yoga Day – a perfect time to plant the seed for something beautiful to grow. What makes the practice of yoga so wonderful for me is that every movement has purpose and meaning. 

This applies off the mat into the way we live our lives: without intention, we can tend to get caught up in routines and habits rather than taking an active role in creating our life. Most of us have dreams and aspirations that exist outside of our regular patterns. Intention-setting is a chance to check in with your goals and make sure that they align with what you’re doing.

 Possible ways of doing this: 

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3. Have a screen-free hour

Schedule one hour on Yoga Day to turn off your phone, computer or TV. See how it feels to be “disconnected” with technology. See if it opens your ability to truly connect with yourself. Perhaps tune into your sense of creativity and if you need to fill the time, a creative project is a great option. Go outside and listen to the sounds of nature. There are proven benefits to spending time in nature! https://www.doc.govt.nz/news/media-releases/2020-media-releases/mental-health-a-key-benefit-to-spending-time-outdoors/

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4. Clear your clutter

Modern society often has us thinking that we need more and more, but what we really need is less. We are often layering things and ideas on top of ourselves, which actually bring us further away from feeling truly good. 

Yoga teaches us to remove the mental clutter and get down to the core of our being. Try this ‘letting go’ yoga practice for the space you live. Go through everything and discard the things that you don’t love or use. In letting go of objects, you create space for your true self.

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5. Write a list of gratitude

Now, imagine your body and the space around you as an empty vessel that is pure and ready to be filled with joy. Yes, times are tough but there is still so much light within and all around us. Take some time to think about the ways in which you are blessed. Write those things down and let the feeling of gratitude seep through every cell in your body. By focusing on the good, we invite more positivity into our lives. Have you ever been stuck in a rut where bad things keep happening? That is the time when you need gratitude the most. Just in the way you can get stuck in a bad rut, you can also get “stuck” in a good one if you keep up with this practice!

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6. Recommit to a regular practice

Practice always ebbs and flows- that’s just part of life. But no matter how busy you are, there’s always at least one little thing you can do daily to stay on your yoga path. Remember how unproblematic life feels when you get on your mat on a regular basis? Inspire yourself with that feeling. 

Starting a short, daily practice is an excellent way to enhance your knowledge of yoga and its benefits. And what better occasion to begin than on International Yoga Day! Here is a short video I have made to help you start a daily yoga routine


7. Just do it

I could talk for forever about philosophy, history, and everything around yoga, but there is a huge difference between talking and doing. My yoga teacher Swami Vidyanand would always insist on the importance of learning yoga and meditation by experiencing it and feeling it. Ashtanga yoga guru Pattabhi Jois said, “yoga is 99% practice and 1% theory.” So get out your mat and stretch it out or just get into child’s pose, feeling and experiencing sensation.

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Let me know what works for you!

I’d love to hear from you if you tried any of these on International yoga day, or at any time. What works best for you?

Namaste 🙏

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