Roll out the mats

Yoga day

Roll out the mats
While for some, it’s a healthy twist to their lifestyle, for others, it’s about going back to their roots. Yoga, as a meditative form, has caught on immensely among health and wellness enthusiasts.

From yoga with more primal movements to face yoga, the practice has also evolved greatly with time. On the occasion of ‘International Day of Yoga’, youngsters in the city shed light on how it has changed their lives.

Yoga was a life-changing decision for Deepthi Rao, who was a long-distance runner. “I felt the need to do stretching at times and found a studio near my house. What started off as an hour-long class extended to become a major part of my lifestyle. I found it very calming,” she says.

Having seen changes in herself, Deepthi encourages the practice among everyone. “Yoga has been around for ages but people have started turning to it only now. It’s also a part of gym workouts,” says Deepthi. “People post pictures, carrying their yoga mats or all refreshed after a session, on Instagram which triggers interest among others too,” she adds.

Stress levels, increased bodyaches and a weak immune system are some of the reasons youngsters have started taking up yoga. Avanika Ayush, a junior IT consultant who used to be an athletic person, says that her lethargic lifestyle affected her approach towards many things.

“After taking up a yoga course, I now make it a point to do ‘surya namaskara’ everyday apart from taking small ‘yoga breaks’ at work. I am able to handle stress much better and am a more positive person now,” she says.

Yoga works differently for people from varied professional backgrounds — for instance, yoga for a dancer and for an IT professional is entirely different. Medha Bhaskar, an entrepreneur who practices everything from ‘ashtanga vinyasa’ to ‘hatha yoga’, elaborates, “For dancers who are energetic through the day, yoga is a requisite for balance. Dancers are either too flexible at certain joints or not at all at some others, so a combination of strength and flexibility is a must. Movements which concentrate on the hips are advised to them.”

People who have to sit straight for prolonged hours must remember that the spine tires out after a while.

“Our body operates in poles and at such jobs, the mind is overactive while the body is still for a long while. Movements that focus on the hands, legs, necks and shoulders, which are usually points where there’s more stress, should be practised,” she details.

Of the many innovations in yoga, ‘face yoga’ is a recent addition. Ema Trinidad, who runs a spa, details that the human face is the only part of the body where the muscles are attached directly to the skin. “By exercising the facial muscles, one can affect the skin tone. I came out with this holistic approach to keep the facial muscles fit and allow the connective tissue around them to stay supple,” she details.

Ema points out that the facial exercises are concentrated on individual muscles in key areas like the neck, mouth, cheeks, eyes and forehead. “Healthy, toned and supple skin discourages formation of lines when the strong underlying muscles work and relax,” she says. Ema adds that ‘face yoga’ also brightens the eyes and reduces wrinkles, making one look younger.

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