When I started practicing Yoga about 2 years back, I never dreamt that one day I would be sitting with my Laptop on a wonderful Tuesday afternoon and going Ga Ga about it. Even though I don’t consider myself an expert, I still feel I have developed the conviction within me to write about the positives of this ancient Indian Art which we as Indians have gifted to the World.
The primary reason I Joined Yoga was to ensure that I bought in a sense of discipline in the morning which should be used to enhance your development. However as I look back now and see the tremendous change in me, I feel that Yoga has played a big role in shoring up my emotional and physical levels. To explain in brief some of the amazing benefits of yoga according to me are –
Re-energizes the system:
The first and foremost benefit which comes to my mind is that by doing a deep breathing exercise called pranayama, the lung capacity increases and this in turn feeds each cell of our body with more oxygen. I know it sounds funny when I say that most of us do not breathe properly and that’s one of the main reasons to feel lethargic and irrational just after only a few hours into our respective days. Deep breathing exercises are the corner stone of Yoga and most of the exercises in yoga do focus on one’s breathing. When done early in the morning before the sun rises, the added benefit is that the mind and Body is fresh and your energy level shoots up drastically.
Brings in a sense of calmness:
Since I do my morning Yoga with a group of 10-15 people in a temple courtyard, there is a sense of calmness when so many people do it together. The reason behind this is the sense of oneness amongst so many people doing the exercise and reciting the necessary shlokas together. When I walk out after my yoga sessions I feel a sense of calm enveloping me. It is something similar to what I feel when I swim for an hour. What is the connection you might ask? I think in both activities we focus on our breath and tend to introspect deeply while doing it.
Increases one’s focus:
Yoga according to me is meant to work more in the metaphysical level and by focusing our thoughts inwards we gradually tend to be more disciplined and focused in life. Even though I have solved problems earlier in my life in the BY(Before Yoga) period, the discipline and focus obtained by doing pranayama(deep breathing) and surya namaskara(Sun Salutation) helped me immensely. My level of focus increased manifold and without any doubt the credit goes to my yoga practise. I feel so privileged to just walk across the road to a place where Yoga is still taught unadulterated in India.
Improved my immunity:
Even though I lead a pretty disciplined lifestyle in most of the areas of my life, I seem to fall sick less often and when I do go under the weather I rebound that much faster. I believe that my immune system has improved drastically compared to my earlier days of fast food and sitting around in an air conditioned atmosphere. Practising yoga has definitely decreased my visits to the doctor as far as I can remember. I have visited the doctor just about twice or thrice in more than two years now.
Well these are some of the immediate benefits that I can recollect. The important question am always asked when I discuss about Yoga is – Does it help in weight loss? I believe that only doing Yoga does not make it possible to lose weight or even tone up the body, because that can be done only by proper diet and exercises other than Yoga. Yoga is extremely helpful to people who are stressed and need to bring in more clarity and focus in their lives. However Yoga is a wonderful catalyst for people who are already into a fitness regime.
Would I recommend Yoga to everybody? Of course Yes – Especially for children because it brings in a sense of discipline which is lacking amongst younger generations. I would definitely recommend doing Yoga early in the morning on an empty stomach if possible, but a second option would be to do it at any other time even maybe during your lunch break. I have an overseas client who does her Yoga during the lunch break. She practises her yoga for about 40 minutes, finishes her lunch in about 20 minutes and ensures that she manages to do this about 3-4 times a week. So what is it that is stopping you from doing something which the west has caught on and making a big noise about? Just look out for any reasonable place around your house, look for a good Instructor or even if you can’t fine one, practise basic stuff by picking up a DVD that is easily available in the market.
Well I do hope this article on Yoga has brought in awareness that with simple things we can change our lifestyle and we do not need head out to a fancy gym where we could end up paying through our noses. Do share your feedback on my email at email@example.com or on my facebook fan page www.facebook.com/B.N.Satishrao.