Yoga – A Way of Life

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yoga

All of us desire to be fit and healthy. To attain a healthy mind we need to have a healthy body. For this we need to follow an exercise pattern. We have to incorporate exercise into our daily routine. You could play a sport, go for a run, learn some form of dance or martial arts or simply burn all the calories at the gym. Or you could practise yoga on a daily basis. Yoga has taken the world by storm. People around the world are seeking yoga teachers. Yoga is now synonymous with fitness and health. Now what exactly does yoga mean?

Yuj

 

Yoga is a form of exercise introduced by the ancient Indians. It incorporates various stretches with fixed breathing patterns. It aims at achieving perfect synchronization between mind and body. It improves flexibility and concentration. The basic idea behind yoga is to achieve perfect harmony between the spirit and the mind by using the body. Yoga allows the mind to become more alert and more connected with the spirit.

The spirit, mind and body should function as a single entity. Only then can a person give hundred percent to any work that he does.

The mind as we all know is a monkey. It is restless and can think many thoughts in quick succession. Learning to empty the mind is a feat that takes many many days. Close your eyes and picture a black screen. How long does it stay that way? Are you capable of warding off thoughts for at least a few minutes? It is rather difficult. Easier said than done. You will be surprised to notice how quickly thoughts pop into the mind. To exercise the mind is to train the mind to stay calm and quiet. If you can turn off your thoughts when you wish to; you have acquired one of the most superior forms of mind control. Now acquiring such control is an arduous task.

The body aspect is entirely physical. Your weight and body mass index are the parameters with which your bodily fitness will be judged. Being physically fit means having just enough fat and carbohydrates in your system; nothing more nothing less. To calculate your fat percentage: use the formula:

Child body fat % = (1.51 × BMI) − (0.70 × Age) − (3.6 × sex) + 1.4

Adult body fat % = (1.20 × BMI) + (0.23 × Age) − (10.8 × sex) − 5.4

where sex is 1 for males and 0 for females.

 

Description Women fat in % Men fat in %
Lean 14-20 6-13
Medium 21-30 14-24
Obese >31 >24

 

The above table gives you an idea about  where you stand as per your body fat percentage.

To maintain good health you should lie within the medium category.

Yoga is the way to achieve to achieve both mental and physical fitness. By practising yogasanas on a regular basis you can make your body fitter and more flexible while also acquiring control over your wandering mind. To achieve more control over the mind you may practise any form of meditation in addition to yogasanas.

I will list out a few basic asanas you can practise daily. These asanas are simple and can be done by beginners too.

1. Vajrasana:

  • Sit on your heels and place your hands on your thighs.
  • Remember the entire weight should rest on your heels.
  • Ensure that your knees are resting on the ground.

This asana is a great posture for meditation. It brings a sense of peace. Try sitting in this posture for a few minutes and take deep breaths.

vajra

2. Sarpasana:

  • Lie down on your stomach and rest your chin on the ground. This is also known as prone lying posture.
  • Place your hands below your shoulders.
  • Lift your body up. Inhale as your rise up.
  • Try to look at the ceiling or the roof.
  • Hold this for 4 or 5 counts. Relax and slowly come back to the initial position. Exhale while doing this.

Health benefits:

Practising this asana will reduce abdominal fat as the muscles of the abdomen are exerted. It strengthens the legs and also regulates heart beat. It aids in relieving constipation if practised regularly. You could practise this asana to reduce your paunch.

sarp

3. Sarvaangasana:

This asana is known as the queen of all asanas. It has a profound effect on the body and many health benefits.

  • Lie on your stomach. Place your arms along the floor.
  • Lift your legs with the help of your hands.
  • Raise your body slowly with your elbows propped firmly on the ground.
  • The entire weight of the body should rest on the shoulders and neck.
  • Then slowly lower your body onto the ground.
  • Lie on your back for a few minutes before attempting the asana again.

You may experience slight discomfort when you first attempt it. With regular practise your body will readily bend into the required posture.

Health benefits:

When you literally stand on your shoulders the flow of blood to the spine and brain is increased which increases concentration. Also it is known to strengthen lungs. It helps in aiding gastric problems. It is known to relieve asthma and insomnia. It also helps in flushing out toxins from the system. It is a total body workout and exerts almost all the body muscles.

sarv

 

4. Halasana:

  • Lie on your back with your hands along the ground.
  • Make your palms touch the ground.
  • Lift your legs as in sarvangasana. You may use your hangs if required.
  • Stretch your legs and make them touch the ground behind your head.
  • For beginners stretch as far as you can without bending at the knees.

Health benefits:

This asana improves flexibility and strengthens the spine. Blood flow improves. It is known to tone the leg and thigh muscles.

hala

 

Practise these asanas on a daily basis to experience greater flexibility; greater levels of energy and good health.

I am a third year Electronics and Communication Engineering student with a passion for literature. I am an avid reader ;particularly fascinated by modern fiction . I love to pen short pieces about day to day occurrences.