World over 21st June is celebrated as Yoga Day symbolising physical and mental fitness and wellbeing. The tradition that was started by the Prime Minister of India Mr. Narendra Modi in the year 2014, making it a part of lifestyle for several fitness freaks, health watchers and even those looking to bring in positive changes in their life.

Why is Yoga Day celebrated?

Yoga isn’t just about the body. The combination of yoga asanas and pranayamas help in bringing an equilibrium to both the physical and mental wellbeing. This is the prime reason for marking a day solely dedicated for the promotion and awareness building of Yoga. It is indeed one of the simplest ways to learn to care for the mental health and stability, one that is highly in demand in the recent times.

Quite aptly the theme for this year’s International Yoga Day is “Yoga for Wellness”. The challenges that the recent times have put forth us, Yoga is the perfect way to stretch out all the stresses and unwind into a calmer state.

Let’s find out some of the benefits of doing Yoga regularly

Yoga is not just for flexibility and stretching post workouts. Here are just a few of the benefits one can reap by practicing yoga regularly.

Heart health:

Contrary to the perception, yoga does have a huge impact on heart health. The seemingly easy to slip into yoga poses when done correctly and held for the right amount of time can work the heart and lead you to break into a sweat.

Anxiety:

Several studies have been done that show yoga can bring down anxiety and help in reducing the symptoms of anxiety. Just by practicing yoga twice a week can bring such changes.

Stress and Depression:

Yoga is also known to help control or bring down the levels of cortisol, the hormone that is released when one is excessively stressed.

Increased muscle mass and reduced fat:

Yoga asanas requires one to balance, concentrate and handle their body weight. Physical exercises that require pushing body weight against gravity contribute in building those lean muscle mass that most of us crave to get.

Some other benefits include-

  • • Improved lung capacity
  • • Increased flexibility
  • • Good metabolism
  • • Help in managing chronic pain, etc.

Yoga Asanas for beginners:

Who can practice Yoga? Yoga is for everyone. Few simple asanas that you can start with as a newbie are

  • • Tadasana,
  • • Adho Mukha Svanasana,
  • • Phalakasana,
  • • Bhujangasana,
  • • Chakravaksana, and
  • • Setu Bandhasana

You will find several easy to follow training videos on youtube. You could pick any of the beginner’s yoga video that celebrities like Shilpa Shetty or Malaika Arora have posted on their youtube accounts.

Pranamaya for beginners:

It is equally important to include atleast 10 to 15mins of pranayama in your everyday workout routine. This helps centre your thoughts and bring clarity in your thinking. Wouldn’t it be perfect if everyday begins with a clear and sharp mind?

If you feel lost and can’t figure out where to start your pranayama routine then you can start with

  • • Bhrastrikasana
  • • Anulom-vilom
  • • Ujjayee
  • • Bhramri
  • • ‘Om’ Chanting

Many holistic living organizations such as The Art of Living, Isha Foundation, Ramdev Baba Yoga, etc. host mass training sessions to promote pranayama. If in class session isn’t possible then you could look at their youtube videos to learn how to perform these pranayamas.

Things to keep in mind

If you are a beginner it is a good idea to get trained under a professional yoga practitioner. This way you can learn yoga quickly and the correct way. Like with any form of exercise, the posture and form of doing yoga is also critical.

If finding a yoga practitioner isn’t possible then you could join a group of yoga enthusiasts. You could also download the soon to be available mYoga app that can help you in your journey into the World of Yogasanas.

This Yoga Day let us promise to take care of the physical and mental health of ourselves and of those around us.

Happy International Yoga Day!

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