Find the yogi in you

Find the yogi in you

January is a month when people talk about new opportunities, new plans and most importantly fitness goals. Each year starts off with a list of resolutions to improve your health. So this year, how about you include yoga in your fitness routine? Yoga is not just another item to be ticked off your list, but a whole new lifestyle.

Yoga is that one enabler for all the positive things one wants to achieve. It's not a practice with a single benefit, but a bundle of it. Here, let's look at some of the reasons why you need to include yoga in your daily fitness routine:

Benefits both body & mind: Yoga involves both body and mind. It challenges you both mentally and physically. Be it weight management or overcoming stress. Yoga helps you detox, eliminates toxins and free radicals. This in turn delays ageing.

Tackles illnesses: Most of the health issues will fade away, if we have a strong mind and positivity from within. This can only be achieved with yoga. It helps in preventing illnesses, healing your body and promoting overall health.

Age no bar: Yoga is accessible to all age groups. It really doesn't matter if you are seven or 70, a yoga routine can be tailor-made just for you. A personalised yoga session will help you address your unique needs, which vary with age, profession, interest and physical ability.

Relieves trauma: Yoga will help you deal with any trauma that you have been struggling to overcome. You no longer have to rush to counsellors, psychiatrists or agony aunts to cure your anxiety or fears. Practicing yoga can clear your mind and give you fresh perspective.

A spiritual outlet: Yoga was originally meant to tread the spiritual path. Those seeking a spiritual experience can benefit from yoga irrespective of their culture or religion.

Discipline for life: Yoga brings in a sense of discipline in that little time you spend practising it in a day. This discipline will automatically be translated to discipline in our diet, fitness routine, lifestyle and finances. The controlled movements teach you how to exercise self-control in all the facets of your life.

Helps achieve targets: Yoga will help you overcome your fears and shed complacency, to start on that one idea you have been waiting to breathe life into. Be it taking the plunge to become an entrepreneur or musician, it helps you pursue what you always wanted to.

Improves relationships: The practice of yamas of Ashtanga Yoga will help you deal with relationships issues, be it at home, at work or in society at large. By knowing yourself better, you understand and appreciate others. Yoga makes us more sensitive towards ourselves and connect better with everybody around us. The breathing and meditation calm the nervous system, thus reducing anger and hostility. The practice of yamas will bolster your cause to create a harmonious co-existence with the whole of nature.  

Your new year resolutions can easily be integrated in your regular yoga practice. The resolutions can be reaffirmed either at the beginning of the yoga sessions or more appropriately, at the end of the sessions, when you find your moment of solace. This isn't a new idea, yogis have been using sankalpa (a solemn vow) for as long as yoga has been practiced.

So, without any second thoughts, make this year better with healthy and peaceful lifestyle. Your resolution could also bring in happiness to your loved ones. The calm and relaxed state of mind that one experiences after a yoga sessions will be helpful in thinking clearly and getting the priorities right.

(The author is master trainer for yoga at Curefit)

 

 

Indulge in prenatal yoga  

Premature birth is a leading cause of death in children below the age of five. Babies born too early are more prone to have long-term health issues. One out of seven babies are said to be born preterm. The main reason for premature labour could be hypertension, hormonal imbalance, maternal health problems and lifestyle. The best way to balance your emotions, hormones and stay healthy is to practice prenatal yoga.

Practising yoga during pregnancy is a great way to bring about positive changes to your body. It allows circulation to the womb and prevents complications during labour. Prenatal yoga not only strengthens you physically, but it prepares you emotionally. It preps you for pregnancy by strengthening the abdominal, back and leg muscles. Some yoga moves can help you ease the whole process of labour by relaxing your abdominal and hip muscles. Just a few gentle motions and breathing techniques is all you need to practice for a healthy labour.

Researchers have found out that more than 2,000 women were linked to lower risk of gestational diabetes, fewer C-sections and prematurity. Exercising during pregnancy is also said to have reversed stress causing DNA reactions, thus keeping symptoms like depression, stress or anxiety at bay.

The moves taught in prenatal yoga are safe, but should be practiced with utmost care. Remember to focus on strength, avoid over stretching, wear comfortable clothing and remember to keep yourself hydrated.

Here are a few asanas you can practice under the supervision of an experienced trainer:

Baddha Konasana

* Start by sitting erect, stretch your legs out. They must be parallel to each other.

* Bend the knees inside so that the soles of the feet are together

* Move both the feet inwards so that they touch your groin region

* Try and rest your knee on the ground.

* Inhale getting into the posture. Follow a balanced breathing pattern. Stay in the pose for 1-5 minutes.

Balasana

* Start in a comfortable seated position. Inhale and raise arms above head

* Exhale and bend your upper body forward

* Extend your arms and place your palms in front of you

* Touch your forehead to the mat

* Arms and head should lie in line with the trunk

* Pelvis should rest on the heels

* Inhale when raising arms and exhale when lowering the body

Prasarita Padasana

* Start off with your feet spread wide apart parallel to your shoulders

* Bend slightly at the knees and bend sideways.

* While bending sideways arch your hands sideways.

* Repeat the same on the opposite side

Pranam Asana  

* Stand erect with the feet held together.

* Bring the two hands together and the palms touching each other at the chest. Look straight ahead.

* Breathe in. This will help you relax.

Author is founder & course director, Akshar Yoga

 

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