Have you ever stood tall and balanced like a tree? Arched your back in cat and inverted it to cow? Or rested like a child?

If you’re not an experienced “yogi,” you probably have no idea what tree, cat, cow, and child refer to. They happen to be the english names for different asanas (or poses) in yoga. The practice of asana yoga, which involves moving through poses aimed at improving practitioners’ strength and flexibility, is a popular form of exercise around the world, boasting more than 20 million participants in the US alone. Yoga is well known for its physical, mental, and spiritual benefits, and is deeply rooted in ancient Indian philosophies. The word “yoga” derives from the Sanskrit word “yuj” which means to unite; in this sense, it refers to a union of an individual with the “universal spirit.” In its traditional roots yoga includes eight areas every practitioner is to master, including: moral restraint, spirituality, self-discipline, mental focus, postures, breath control, self-awareness, meditation, and self-transcendence.

In recognition of both its benefits to human wellness and its widespread popularity, the United Nations established June 21st as the International Day of Yoga. Across the globe events and celebrations of yoga are planned to increase public awareness of the benefits of yoga practice. You can learn more at idayofyoga.org.

As a proud supporter of healthy lifestyles and community wellness, Delaware North offers yoga lessons and retreats at a few of its properties, including the Tenaya Lodge in Fish Camp, California and the Gideon Putnam Resort in Saratoga, New York. But you don’t need to be on vacation to try yoga! There are various internet sources to begin an at home yoga regimen for a busy schedule or tight budget. Here are a few Youtube-based classes for you to try.

-Lesley Fightmaster: https://www.youtube.com/user/lesleyfightmaster

-Tim Senesi: https://www.youtube.com/user/yogawithtim

-Adriene Mishler: https://www.youtube.com/user/yogawithadriene

Can’t find time to commit to a 20 minute session? Try incorporating a few yoga poses into your daily routine—you won’t even have to leave your desk! Check out these sources for some inspiration. Your back will thank you.

-Rachel Brathen: http://rachelbrathen.com/office-yoga/

-Yoga Journal: http://www.yogajournal.com/category/beginners/how-to/office-yoga/

Namaste and Happy Yoga Day!