Prices are soaring, the workplace is getting more competitive and everything seems to be moving faster than before, often leaving you breathless, exhausted and under stress, both in body and mind.
This is where yoga comes in. It is an excellent stress reliever, calming your mind and your nerves, lowering raised blood pressure and alleviating symptoms of anxiety such as headaches, breathlessness and insomnia.
It is a misconception that one needs to be flexible for yoga. The truth is, yoga helps you gently stretch your muscles.
It is a low-impact form of exercise, allowing people to do other workouts after a yoga session, if they wish, and making it ideal for all — including those with health problems or joint problems, children and senior citizens.
The most common argument for not working out in any form is lack of time. But there are some yoga asanas that can be practised any time, anywhere — at home, at your desk or even on a local train.
You need no equipment, no assistance, just a good teacher for your first few sessions.
Yoga also helps with weight loss and improves flexibility, working on body and mind in a holistic manner to make you feel better about your body as you become stronger, tone your muscles and reduce stress.
For best results, the yoga asanas must be paired with a healthy diet. However, a yoga session can act as a cardio workout if practiced well for more than 45 minutes; such a workout will help burn calories, raises your heart rate and strengthens the respiratory system.
The three aspects that make yoga so effective are asanas or postures, pranayam or breathing and dhyana or meditation. What you do need for yoga, especially in the beginning, is patience. Yoga is not a miracle cure; do not expect results overnight.
If you want to work yoga into your daily life, then consider doing asanas before you even get out of bed in the morning. Poses that require you to be on your back can be done this way. Then, when you get out of bed, you can do some standing poses. The morning, before your day begins, is the best time to practice yoga.
The best part is there are no side effects. No muscle strains or pill-popping to supplement the workout. Just the effects of your body reaching a sense of equilibrium. Try it once and you will see the difference. After that, it’s just a question of listening to your body.
(The author is co-founder of Cosmic Fusion — The Yoga Wellness Studio)