Yoga for the world
Ahead of International Yoga Day, it’s time to dust off our mats , take out those yoga pants and prepare ourselves for the occasion. An ancient practice that originated 5,000 years ago in India, it has been developed as a way to interconnect the mind, body and soul to step closer into enlightenment. With the world reeling under a pandemic, this year’s theme - Yoga for well-being, couldn’t have been more relevant. Scores of individuals have been embracing yoga to stay healthy and fight psychological evils such as depression, anxiety fuelled by social isolation and the fear of contracting the virus. A day dedicated to the significant role of this meditative and holistic practice in the psycho-social care and rehabilitation of COVID-19 patients in quarantine and isolation seems just perfect, this year.
“Yoga day has helped improve awareness levels and given credibility to a powerful ancient practice. It has brought the focus back on the various health physical benefits of this practice which makes it indispensable given our high-stress modern-day lifestyle. Recognising a day for Yoga has helped people understand that this isn’t a practice just for a selected few but can also be relevant to our everyday life,” says Namita Piparaiya, Yoga and Ayurveda Lifestyle Specialist.
The health benefits are no surprise but it bears repeating, yoga works to improve health, heal aches and pains, and keep sickness at bay. “In such difficult times, I would say Yoga is therapy. Whether it’s about stress or any health-related problem, yoga is a cure to major lifestyle problems. It relaxes your mind, body and soul,” says Aarti Vij, model. It is important to supplement it with a nutritious diet, “Accompany yogic practice with a wholesome diet replete with herbs such as ashwagandha, neem and tulsi. These magic potions will help you achieve a restorative balance,” quips Mansi Vyas, yogic expert and nutritionist, founder, Azafran Organics.
Yoga is a harmonious union of the self, breath, body and soul. Grandmaster Akshar feels the various asanas, pranayama, mudras and meditation techniques bring complete bodily health, even conditioning our nervous system and internal organs. Yoga is the one process that has techniques to even facilitate mental well-being .
What makes yoga practice perfect is practicing often and always being willing to learn new things. It brings about an awareness of yourself and the universe at large which in turn brings a calming sensation to your being, physically, mentally and spiritually.
Ravinder Kaur, Co-founder, YogaZoo believes chanting aum leads to limbic deactivation, fades away stress, worries, heightens awareness and concentration. He adds, “The Pranayama teaches breath control, keeps air passages clear, and, if done regularly, has a long-lasting effect on our lung capacity, our body’s fuel. So, let’s not limit the benefits of yoga to stronger immune systems or calm minds; the practice is a comprehensive development of you as an individual.”
International Yoga day is a beautiful opportunity for the people of the world to come together and make this planet healthier and happier. Grandmaster Akshar beautifully sums up the day, “The IYD is a wonderful platform to put the spotlight on this renowned practice that is a national treasure and our gift to the world. “
Benefits of yoga
Builds muscle strengthSlow movements and deep breathing increase blood flow and warm up muscles, while holding a pose can build strength.
Expanding breathing and lung capacityPracticing yoga can be one of the best ways to keep your lungs and body healthy. “Lung capacity greatly improves and one learns to breathe effectively. The way we breathe changes everything in the body and mind,” says Nishtha Bijlani, Yoga Expert, Wellness Counsellor, and Master at ThinkRight.me, a meditation and mindfulness app.
Better sleep patterns“Yoga gives a fresh, rejuvenated feeling. When you meditate and do yoga, a sense of calmness engulfs you which helps you to sleep better at night,” says Anjum Chopra, cricketer.
Heart health improvesRegular yoga practice reduces levels of stress and body-wide inflammation, contributing to a healthier heart. Several of the factors contributing to heart ailments, including high blood pressure and excess weight, can also be addressed through yoga.
“Yoga, and deep breathing, practicing create the multiple chemical reactions in the body which help the body to fight against bacterial and viral infections. Daily Yoga practicing, keep the chakras balanced, which support the whole system of human body,” says Dr. Sanjiv Pathak, Yoga Guru, Routes 2 Roots.