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Yoga's Holistic Benefits: Insights from Saima Wazed


Saima Wazed, the WHO Regional Director for Southeast Asia, emphasized the significant role of yoga in reducing stress and promoting overall well-being. She noted that yoga is not merely a form of exercise but a comprehensive approach to resolving inner turmoil and achieving balance and serenity.


“Yoga promotes mind-body awareness, assisting in addressing imbalances at their real cause, which is critical for long-term well-being,” Wazed remarked. “It also nurtures self-control, and mindfulness, and enhances self-awareness techniques, therapeutic methods, and assessment skills.”

Research-Backed Benefits of Yoga

Wazed highlighted various research findings that support the mental and physical health benefits of yoga. These include:


  • Stress Reduction: Yoga helps in managing stress effectively through deep breathing and mindfulness practices.
  • Anxiety Relief: Regular practice can Relieve anxiety.
  • Depression Management: Yoga can serve as a therapy for depression.
  • Pain Relief: It improves spinal flexibility and core strength, reducing lower back pain.
  • Quality of Life: Enhances overall quality of life by stimulating brain function, memory, and focus.
  • Heart Health: Aids in preventing heart disease by managing risk factors like hypertension.
  • Physical Fitness: Improves physical fitness, flexibility, strength, and balance, and assists in weight management.

“Consistency is key in reaping the benefits of yoga, whether it’s for fitness, stress relief, or holistic wellness. On this International Day of Yoga, let’s commit to integrating this ancient practice into our daily lives,” Wazed encouraged.

Celebrating the International Day of Yoga

Marking the 10th anniversary of the International Day of Yoga on June 21, Wazed reflected on the day’s significance. Introduced by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the UN General Assembly in 2014, the day celebrates yoga’s global impact.


“Yoga is an ancient discipline from India that represents the oneness of body and consciousness. It has grown in popularity worldwide, practised in various forms,” Wazed said. The 2024 theme, ‘Yoga for Self and Society’, highlights yoga’s transformative essence – the harmony of mind and body, thought and action, and restraint and fulfilment. Regular practice fosters mental well-being and emotional resilience.

Global Celebrations Led by Prime Minister Modi

The 10th International Day of Yoga celebrations were conducted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Srinagar’s Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC). Since 2015, he has led these celebrations at iconic locations globally, such as Kartavya Path in Delhi, Chandigarh, Dehradun, Ranchi, Lucknow, Mysuru, and the United Nations Headquarters in New York.


The International Day of Yoga continues to enhance awareness about yoga’s multifaceted benefits globally.

Source: Inputs from various media Sources 

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Priya Bairagi

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