When you think of a UNESCO World Heritage List what do you think of? Sites like the Grand Canyon, Macchu Picchu, Stonehenge, perhaps? Well if so, did you know that recently an intangible entity has been recognised by UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, in case you were wondering)? And if not, can you guess what it might be?
Well – the headline gave it away, didn't it – yes, yoga!
As UNESCO tweeted last week, yoga has been added to their Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity for 'the philosophy behind the ancient Indian practice of yoga has influenced various aspects of how society in India functions, whether it be in relation to areas such as health and medicine or education and the arts' , their website says.
They make the point that yoga is practised by people of all ages, 'without discriminating against gender, class or religion' and that it helps people to 'build self-realisation, ease any suffering they may be experiencing and allow for a state of liberation'.
Basically yoga is ace, as we all know. And now it's finally getting the recognition it deserves – hurray! It joins Yama, Hoko, Yatai float festivals in Japan and the Flatbread making and sharing culture: Lavash, Katyrma, Jupka, Yufk, which were also added to the same list last week.
Interestingly, Cuba's rumba dance and Belgium's beer culture were welcomed onto the UNESCO culture list recently too, as was the Mediterranean diet. Turns out there are a whole lot of things that UNESCO recognises as being super great that we had no idea about... Ha! #LearnSomethingNewEveryday. (Or, you know, lots of new things...)