The onset of a pandemic, and thereafter having to live with its repercussions, has opened our eyes to a lot of new realities. In this fast-paced world, we blindsided a few very important matters, including our health. Ever since I realised how dynamic the world is, my priorities have changed.
Today, I value the health of my family and myself more than ever. While discussing the same with a few friends, we all concluded that it would be wise to join a yoga class. Of course, the classes were online - thanks to the pandemic. We would connect early in the morning, but this time instead of coffee mugs in our hands, we had yoga mats.
Earlier, I was very sceptical of yoga- an ancient practice with supposedly mental and physical powers. However, I am not a sceptic anymore. You don't have to be a practitioner or an expert to begin practising yoga. And it doesn't matter if you are sitting in New York or Melbourne, you can practise yoga from anywhere. It even extends to the kitchen table. It brings deep relaxation, even if you perform it for just 5 minutes. I have never felt as mindful as I feel now.
Yoga has become a retreat from my chaotic and hectic life. I have even coaxed my husband and children into practising yoga with me daily. I now understand that until and unless I feel healthy from within, no matter what I change on the outside, it will not reap any benefits. I now religiously practise yoga every day.
In the beginning, I used to barely be able to do a few poses. But after a month, my body has become more flexible, and I am now increasingly aware of my surroundings. My physical appearance has changed. To add to all that, I can feel a different strength in my body. Emotionally and psychologically, I am more independent and can make prompt decisions.
Yoga has the potential to turn your life around. For years now, yogis have sworn by the powers of yoga. Luckily, the benefits come as easily as the practice of yoga itself. Research done by various institutes, including National Institutes of Health as a form of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, has proven the therapeutic effects yoga has on the human mind and body.
Yoga is regarded as a holistic approach towards health. It facilities our innate nature of compassion, friendliness, and gives us a greater sense of endurance. It also matches the need of the hour when our focus should be on our health. With the help of yoga, I have now been able to cultivate a sense of calmness, even in the face of adversities. It has helped me change my perspective towards life and bring me self-awareness.
Yoga, in turn, has introduced me to mediation. I am no longer anxious if a deal doesn't go through at work or if my kids are fussing over food at home. Mediation and practising yoga have helped me ground myself. I have a set routine, following which empowers me. Smaller studies have also found positive effects of yoga on our cardiovascular health.
Meditating helps to decrease the blood pressure, and bring balance in our lives by restoring “baroreceptor sensitivity,'' which allows our bodies to optimally maintain blood pressure. Isn't that great? So many health benefits. Yoga is like exercising, but instead of just benefitting the body, it includes our mind too.
Integrating mind and body, yoga is a rapidly emerging discipline in the Western world. I just happened to embrace it during the pandemic. Well, I am glad I got accustomed to a few good habits during the tough times.