The excitement that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s participation brought about in creating two Guinness Book World Records for India, one for largest number of people practicing Yoga simultaneously and the largest number of people of different nationalities coming together to perform the exercise, has turned attention back to India’s ancient form of training of the mind and the body. International Yoga Day was declared by the United Nations of June 21, with close to 36,000 people performed asanas with the prime minister.
If you read the reports or saw the coverage and felt like pulling out your yoga pants or checking the price of a yoga mat online, let’s take a moment to understand this effective form of exercise. Deemed as one of the more balanced training vitalizing the spiritual, religious, physical and mental condition of the body. It may not be taken lightly. So before we jump onto the bandwagon, let us look at what we know about yoga, and the more important do’s and don’t’s.
What you need to know:
- Yoga is not just a physical exercise, but it improves muscles and skeleton structure of the body and does wonders for your cardiovascular system
- It is the purest form of meditation, and practise it regularly and notice yourself becoming calmer, reducing levels of stress, hypertension and many lifestyle related diseases
- If you’ve suffered from mild attacks of anxiety or depression, you have naturally been recommended Yoga. It is a prescribed cure for improving mental stability and battling depression
- Ditto for insomniacs; Yoga will relax the mind, clear the head and will help you sleep better
- You’ll never have looked better. Yoga clears up your skin, improves your poster and sculpts and tightens your muscles. Like mentioned before, Yoga is not to be taken lightly. An exercise that lends so much to your system needs to have a set of guidelines. So before you start practicing Yoga at home or sign up for the next class nearby, browse through these important do’s and don’t’s.Do’s:
- Drink lots of water daily: If you’re not in the habit of hydrating yourself, make one of out it now. Yoga looks like it’s a breeze, but regulars will tell you how taxing asanas can be. You need plenty of water to avoid cramping and exhaustion.
- Invest in a Yoga mat: If you plan to take Yoga seriously, buy a mat. The thickness and size will save you back pain. Never practise on the floor directly. If you don’t have a mat, carry a light mattress, sheet or perform on carpeted floor.
- Be an early bird: Join an early morning batch or wake up an hour earlier to your schedule to do Yoga. The benefits of waking up early to an hour of Yoga are endless. It is a healthy start to the day when your mind is at its most peaceful and calm state. Perfect for Yoga.
- Breathe: Yoga helps you breathe better. Throughout the exercise, breathe through your nose. Make it a habit, and it will help you breathe easy otherwise as well.
- Beginners, join a class: For people who have not practised Yoga before, it is advised to join a class or hire a trainer. Yoga is more complicated than it looks, and maintaining the right poster, stretching the correct limbs and not overdoing it is of extreme importance.
- Food woes: Never practice on a full stomach. Yoga must be performed on an empty to light stomach.
- Women, pay attention to your cycle: Skip the class when you’re on your menstrual cycle. Pregnant women should also keep away from Yoga.
- Patients stay away: If you’ve just been through a surgery or an accident, consult a physician before you resume Yoga. Your body may not be in the right state to start stretching yet, and you may end up doing more harm than good.
- Take thirty: Wait for twenty minutes to half an hour before you eat or drink anything. Your body has been through an intense workout. Give it time to cool off.
- Do what you can: If you’re a beginner, take it easy. If you can’t strike a particularly tricky asana, try it later but don’t push yourself too hard. You’ll end up pulling a muscle instead. If something hurts, stop. It is your body telling you that it can’t take it.
- Keep calm and carry on: You’re not going to see results in one or two sessions. But continue for a few weeks and you’ll start feeling the difference. If the first few classes bore you out, (yes, it’s a slow exercise and there’s no music) stick it out. You’ll not regret it.
Under the practised care of an expert, Yoga will elevate your exercise experience. So if you’re a beginner, an expert or just interested to give it a shot, there’s no better time than now. The world is, literally at its feet. So take a deep breath and begin.