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International Yoga Day: Why You Should Take Yoga Seriously Now

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None of us had ever thought in the wildest of our dreams that the year 2020 would turn out to be a nightmare for the entire world. A pandemic seems to have changed us inside out, like nothing else ever before. So it’s not only that we have started spending all our time at home, catching up with our long lost folks, taking to indoor games like Ludo, trying our hands at cooking for ourselves and our family, but we have also come to realise the importance of ‘Health is Wealth’, more than ever before. While our anxiety level is at its peak and we all are back to basics like washing hands, maintaining hygiene and greeting each other with a traditional Indian Namaste, can a 5000-year-old Indian wisdom of Yoga help the world put its mind at rest? Time to check out!

1. Work-Out and also Work-In

Work Out and also Work In
Photo by Tanmayi Gokhale

With gyms shut, swimming pools inaccessible and any kind of outdoor sports restricted, our body is yearning for recreation like never before. With almost 3 months into the lockdown, and with the arrival of monsoons, how do we exactly give that much needed exercise to our body? Here’s where Yoga comes into picture. With no equipment required and while still adhering to the norms of physical distancing, probably at their best, it’s Yoga that’s sure to satisfy our body’s appetite for work-out. Follow the Yoga teacher online or switch on the television to follow Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev… And your private yoga studio is all set. Rope in everyone in your family and that will just add to the fun and also to your entire family’s well-being. What’s more, with Yoga you don’t just work-out but also work-in. While the many Asanas will burn all those extra calories, even when you aren’t lifting weights or running out of breath at a run, the Pranayamas or breathing exercises will help you re-engineer your thoughts and emotions and put all your anxieties at rest. Yoga which literally means, ‘Union’ in Sanskrit, as our honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi has put it,
“… embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfilment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being… ”. If you are yet to taste the magic of Yoga, it’s time you did.

2. What Yoga does to us?

What Yoga does to us
Photo by Tanmayi Gokhale

As you move ahead in your fantastic journey of Yogic Practices, you’ll experience and enjoy its many benefits. If practised under proper guidance, Yoga can indeed revitalize your body, mind and soul. Just as Hinduism, Yoga was never ever a religion, but is rather a way of life. Let’s have a look at what miracles this ancient physical, mental and spiritual practice, inherited from our Rishis and Sadhus can do to us…

2.1 You become more flexible

You become more flexible
Photo by Tanmayi Gokhale

Improved flexibility is one of the first and most obvious benefits of yoga. With practice, you’ll notice the toughest of the poses becoming possible and gradually all your aches and pains starting to disappear. Moreover, with Yoga, you develop strong muscles, while balancing it with flexibility, unlike if you just went to the gym and did it at the expense of flexibility.

2.2 Shed all those lockdown calories

Shed all those lockdown calories
Photo by Tanmayi Gokhale

With minimum physical exercise, we all seem to have put on weight over the last three months of lockdown. Looking for the most natural holistic approach for shedding those extra calories, with no side-effects at all? Let Yoga take over. While Yoga increases our mindfulness and makes us more aware of what we are eating, there are certain Asanas like the very popular Suryanamaskar (Sun Salutations), which helps you sweat out and burn all those extra calories. Yoga for weight loss indeed works. What’s more, Asanas like Naukasana (Boat Pose), Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose), Dhanurasana (Bow Pose) and many more really help you flatten that flabby tummy.

2.3 Yoga for Blood Circulation

Yoga for Blood Circulation
Photo by Tanmayi Gokhale

Yoga gets more oxygen to your cells, which function better as a result. While with twisted poses, you replenish your internal organs with oxygenated blood, Yoga also helps in thinning of the blood, thus decreasing the chances of heart attacks and strokes.

2.4 Yoga for stress relief

Yoga for stress relief
Photo by Tanmayi Gokhale

Over time, research has proved that consistent Yogic practice does relieve stress to great extent and can also treat depression. Yoga encourages you to relax, slow your breath, and focus on the present. Yogic practices like Yoga Nidra (a form of guided relaxation), Savasana (Corpse Pose), Pranayama (breathing exercises) and meditation help you sleep deeper, which means you’ll be less tired and stressed.

Apart from these, there are innumerable other benefits of Yoga too, which extend way beyond the scope of this blog. Yoga is indeed that magic wand which can indeed reap results, which you need but never thought of or asked for. There are Asanas and practices which can bring back that glow on your skin, can make your hair healthy and can even prove extremely beneficial for students and kids in their academics and otherwise.

4. Yoga, Immunity and COVID-19

Yoga Immunity and COVID 19
Photo by Tanmayi Gokhale

Until an effective drug or vaccine is clearly in sight, immunity is the only weapon which can shield  humanity against the wrath of COVID-19. While government of India’s Ayush Mantralaya has recommended various Ayurvedic and Homeopathy tips for boosting one’s immunity, Yoga will enhance it even the more. Asanas, Pranayamas and Meditation have beneficial effect on the functioning of one’s immune system. With COVID-19 posing a threat to one’s respiratory system, consistent Yoga, especially the various Pranayamas can indeed help give one’s lungs functionality and can improve their resistance against any kind of infections.

Now, do we need to mention as to why there’s no better time for Yoga than now? Come Sunday, the 21st of June, as the World celebrates 6th International Yoga Day, it’s time you joined in the league and rolled out your Yoga Mat. We wish you and your family, good health and well-being!



Spiritual, Yoga

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