Yoga Day: How to Adopt the Yogic Lifestyle Beyond the Pandemic
Yoga is believed to be a system of self-treatment. According to Yogic texts, all the diseases, disorders, ailments in the body and mind are a result of bad habits, disturbed ways of living, improper knowledge about oneself, and inappropriate consumption of food.
Yoga says that we are sufficient enough to take care of ourselves (unless it is something major where medical science cannot be taken out of consideration).
This pandemic is a big eye-opener for everyone who has been neglecting their mental and physical health over a long period. What if Yoga is taken as a holistic practice for precaution and not for a cure? Implementation of yogic practices should not only be limited to the mat, it is of utmost importance that the practice is carried off the mat as well.
Tips on How to Adopt a Yogic Lifestyle
A few major practices which if inculcated in daily lives can bring immense changes:
Sedentary lifestyle, lack of movement, and lack of exercise are major reasons for the development of diseases in the body. Asana practice if learned under someone’s guidance can bring a major impact in correcting the posture which includes the functioning of the body at skeletal, muscular, and neural levels. Unknowingly while practicing Asanas, one is completely working on each and every cell of the body. Be it the spine, joints, ligaments, tendons, organs, etc. They all contribute towards a healthy posture and a healthy body.
Prana is a very important term to understand. It is the life force that is responsible for vitalization in the body and mind and is directly controlled by the breath. Systematically controlling breath can bring immense changes in the body. Pranayama that is learned over the mat is working directly on the lung capacity. In simple terms, healthier lungs means increased intake of oxygen, resulting in improvement of the immune system, mental clarity, heart health, reduction in stress levels, et cetera.
Food Intake Correction
Lack of time, temptations, improper knowledge and not giving it enough importance are some of the major reasons for having an unhealthy eating habit. Food is the major energy source for the body and unknowingly for the mind too. As much it impacts the body, it does the same to the mind. The energy that is provided to the mind is being transferred to the body. No matter how energetic the body is, if the mind is lethargic, the body won’t be able to function. Consuming an excess of Tamsic food can lead to a lazy lifestyle, whereas consumption of Rajasic food can lead to anxiousness. Hence, it is of utmost importance to intake Satvik food to maintain proper balance within the systems.
More than often the mind functions in a distracted state. It does not work with hundred percent focus and involvement towards a particular task. True meditation is not always practiced with eyes closed, but with complete awareness and mindfulness towards whatever is being performed. It is a practice which not only helps in completing a task efficiently but also helps to reduce mental stress and anxiety. Living in the moment and practicing mindfulness are some of the best ways to keep the mind in a peaceful state.
How Does Yoga Work Towards Building Your Body's Strength?
These practices should not only be practiced over the mat or not only be read inside the books but should be implemented in day-to-day functioning as well. Understand the body, and start working towards it. Whenever the body feels out of posture, correct it. Whenever it stays at a place for a very long time, move. Whenever there’s tiredness, rest. Whenever there’s anxiousness, correct the breath. Whenever there’s something wrong with digestion, change the diet. Whenever there’s too much distraction, come back to the present moment.
There is no better time to start practicing after all that we have seen around. The times are changing, but we must stay connected to our roots. No storms or winds can uproot a tree if it is strong enough to withhold.
On this International Yoga Day, let us make sure to work towards our mental and physical goals. If the start hasn't happened, it is time to make it happen.
Stay safe, stay healthy!
(An ex-tennis player, Akshit Chawla is now a yoga practitioner)
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