SKY ABOVE. EARTH BELOW. PEACE WITHIN.
Jumping on the fitness wagon and getting that perfect bod during the quarantine was on the list for majority of us. At least at the beginning. With the never-ending cycle of extension after extension of the lockdown and same repetitive home workout routines, many of us fell off the wagon. While that may have put a stop to workouts, it did not put a stop to our lives or the physical and mental stress which are an inescapable part of it.
So how do we fix that? How do we let loose and de-stress?
How about if instead of trying another new-fangled workout technique, we go back to our roots?
Why not turn to an old practice, which has been renowned for centuries.
Life stresses may fall or rise, but an hour of practicing Yoga can help change your lives.
In recent years, Yoga has experienced a stupendous increase in popularity in the western world with a lot of celebrities and medical professionals vouching for its benefits and uses, but it is not a newfound workout fad.
Yoga has been around for centuries, dating back to the pre-Vedic ages of ancient India. It is an age-old practice consisting of physical, mental, and spiritual exercises which help one relax, de-stress and meditate.
Derived from Sanskrit, the term “Yoga” means ‘to join and direct one’s attention’.
Initially, the primary reason for practicing Yoga was relaxation and meditation. Yoga incorporates breathing and meditation which is known to help alleviate mental stress. Now however, it also serves multiple fitness goals.
A gentle practice consisting of poses and exercises combined with breathing techniques which help stretch, strengthen and tone our body’s muscles, Yoga helps improve our flexibility and mobility. A strong and whole practice will assist you in taking your yoga off the mat and into the world.
The term “Yoga” has various definitions in different Indian religious and philosophical traditions, but they all indicate to one thing: a perfect harmony between the mind and the body.
Yoga helps you to connect with your inner self.
Originally also called ‘Yog’, yoga is all about how you tune into your body and mind.
- What happens to your body when you practice Yoga?
Practicing Yoga involves deep breathing, stretching and various poses known as asanas. These increase the blood flow to your muscles, while also improving the oxygen flow. Regularly practicing stretching results in muscles becoming more flexible. Yoga is mentally and physically very strengthening.
- What are the benefits of practicing Yoga?
Including the practice of Yoga in your daily life has many health benefits associated with it.
- Cardiovascular health: Regularly practicing Yoga decreases the blood pressure and pulse rate while improving the circulation of blood. This aids in oxygenating and transporting nutrients throughout your body, which results in healthier skin and organs. Improved oxygenation coupled with a lower heart rate results in better cardiovascular endurance and health.
- Improved respiration: Yoga involves a combination of various controlled breathing exercises which helps lower the respiratory health and keep your lungs in perfect condition.
- Improved organ functions: Yoga helps improve our circulation which further improves the functioning of our internal organs. Yoga helps massage your internal organs by means of its asanas, and healthy organs ensure a healthy body function.
- Weight management: Consistent yoga practice have shown to improve gastrointestinal functions and creates a more efficient metabolism. The benefits of a better metabolism combined with stretching and exercises work to keep your weight in check. Consistently practicing yoga also helps to better tone muscles.
- Improves Posture and Balance: Practicing yoga helps in holding and controlling one’s body in a healthier position. Through regular practice, overtime your body posture and balance improves.
- Strength and Energy: One important feature of Yoga is that there are no extra equipment’s required; instead, you use own body weight for overall strength. It also improves your core strength, and a strong core helps reduce and heal injuries. Yoga, when done regularly and perfectly, leaves you feeling energized post the session.
- Improved Sleep: Due to the many benefits that a yoga routine can provide to both the body and the mind, it is widely accepted that it also helps you sleep better.
- Improves mood: Yoga works to create a strong mind and body connection. The exercises/asanas involved in yoga not only ensure a healthy body but also results in release of dopamine and serotonin, which stabilize the mood. The controlled breathing and meditation techniques of yoga can help alleviate anxiety.
- Reduces Stress: Yoga demands your complete focus and concentration on the activity you are doing which reduces the emphasis you otherwise put on your worries and stress.
- Improved Brain activity: Yoga requires rapt attention on its various asanas and breathing techniques. As your controlled breathing matches the movements of your body, you achieve a sense of complete peace and calm. The attention required helps sharpen your focus and the improved blood circulation to the brain results in a better memory.
- Low injury risk: Since Yoga involves a lot of control in terms of both breathing and movements, there is a far lower risk of injury as compared to other forms of exercise.
- Improved co-ordination: Since yoga demands both our mind and body to be involved in the process, it creates a harmony in our body. Yoga also helps maintain hand-eye coordination, which without practice can diminish.
- Pain relief: Yoga asanas have always been a great remedy for body pains. Multiple poses and exercises involved helps to stretch and flex the body in a controlled manner which help relieve many troubles such as back pains, migraines, sciatic pains, arthritic symptoms.
Above listed are only a few examples of the various benefits one stands to gain by practicing Yoga regularly. With physical strength, also comes mental strength.
Boosting one’s mental stability starts with committing to a habit; a habit of eating healthy, of giving your body a good stretch every morning before you check your mails or Instagram feed! It takes 21 days to build a habit and according to us you have just got to get up and say today is Day One not One Day.
Happy Stretching! Namaslay!