Yoga: A Happy and Healthy Lifestyle

Yoga: A Happy and Healthy Lifestyle

“It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.”

- Mahatma Gandhi

Isn’t it true that if a person is healthy, he can prosper in his life? Today, people are trying so hard to be successful that they forget to take care of the most important part of life – health. With this fast-paced lifestyle, people face stress and mental breakdown. This type of lifestyle is affecting both physical and mental health. There are many problems like high blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid and many disorders that are becoming common now. To avoid such problems, it is necessary that there should be some type of physical activity. The main purpose of doing physical activity is to increase blood circulation throughout the body.

Yoga is one such exercise that does not have any age restrictions. It is simple yet effective. Yoga was derived from a Sanskrit word ‘Yuj’ which means ‘to unite or to integrate’. It is a 5000-year-old Indian spiritual and ascetic discipline. It is a way to harmonize the body with mind and breath by various breathing exercises, yoga poses, and meditation. A few hundred years ago, people who practiced yoga, lived for a long time without any health problems. Learning yoga can feel like learning a new language and a new culture. Yoga needs thorough dedication. It is all about breath, posture, focus, and movement. Yoga is all about flexibility. In the beginning, it may feel a bit tough and the body might not be that flexible. It may seem difficult but it is the most gentle and effective way to instill flexibility. Yoga becomes a part of the routine after regular practice. The focused breathing helps release endorphins that help to keep the mind and body calm, clear and energized throughout the day. There are various benefits of practicing yoga. Here are a few benefits of yoga:

    • Proven effective for weight loss and back pain
    • Relaxes mind and body
    • Improves breathing
    • Reduces stress
    • Improves sleep quality
    • Relieves anxiety
    • Improves posture
    • Improves self-control
    • Boosts immunity

Inculcating yoga in daily life is very simple. Basically, there are three types that ultimately aim towards relaxing the mind and the body. The three types of yoga are:

  1. Breathing Exercise:

Yogi’s described pranayama as a formal practice of controlling the breath. One can bring peace to mind by paying attention to the breath through various breathing techniques. It helps in enhancing and regulating the life force in the body system. There are a few basic types of breathing exercises one can start with:

A. Nadi Shodhan Pranayama helps increase concentration. To start with this exercise, one should sit straight in a padmasana position with an erect spine. Shut the right nostril with the right thumb and inhale deeply through the left nostril. Repeat the same procedure another way. There is no time limit for doing this exercise. Ideally one can start with 3 to 5 minutes.

B. Bhramari Pranayam or bee breath help relieve hypertension and stress. One should sit in the padmasana position and close the eyes. Stick both the fingers in each ear and breath in. While breathing out, make a loud humming sound. Repeat this technique a few times.

C. Kapal Bhati has been helpful for detoxifying body and clearing energy channels. Start with sitting in Padmasana and close the eyes. Inhale deeply and fill up the lungs. Now exhale forcefully through the nostrils. Begin with 3 to 5 minutes.

  1. Asanas (Yoga Poses):

Asanas or Yoga Poses help in various problems from weight loss to back pain. It also relaxes muscles and body pain. Posture can also be improved.

  1. Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation is an overall body relaxing method. It is very effective for weight loss and overall wellbeing of the body. It involves the basic breathing process and comprises of 12 basic yoga poses.
    1. Pranamasana or Prayer Pose
    2. Hasta Uttanasana or Raised arm pose
    3. Hastapadasana or Foot Pose
    4. Ashwa Sanchalanasana or Equestrian Pose
    5. Dandasana or Stick Pose
    6. Ashtanga Namaskara or Salute with eight points
    7. Bhujangasana or Cobra Pose
    8. Adho Mukha Svanasana or Downward facing dog pose
    9. Ashwa Sanchalanasana or Equestrian Pose
    10. Hastapadasana or Foot Pose
    11. Hasta Uttanasana or Raised arm pose
    12. Pranamasana or Prayer Pose
  1. Trikonasana or Triangle Pose helps reduce the fat in the waist area. It requires strength and flexibility. Start with standing with both feet apart. Stretch the right foot out at a 90° angle. Inhale while keeping the right leg towards the torso. While exhaling, bend the right arm and touch it to the ground. Make sure the left arm is aligned it a straight line to the right hand. Repeat these steps as many times as possible.

3. Meditation:

Meditation is an age-old practice that helps to calm the mind, improve concentration levels, increase inner strength and helps relaxation. It helps to seek deep rest in a proper direction. Meditation helps a person reduce his anxiety. It also is effective in increasing immunity. Here is a basic way to meditate:

    • Find a convenient time and a calm place. Wear some comfortable clothes.
    • Sit in a comfortable position with an erect spine, shoulders and neck relaxed.
    • Close the eyes.
    • Take a few deep breaths
    • Breath naturally
    • Now concentrate on the breath, the way air goes in and comes out.
    • One can also use any meditation guide.
    • Continue for 5 to 10 minutes.

It is advised to keep the stomach relatively empty. Meditation will help in relaxing the mind and calm the nerves down. It will keep the person active throughout the day.

Yoga does not only helps physically but it also helps mentally. Not only does it keep one going for the day, but it also helps for a sound and complete sleep. With all these different forms, one can mix and match the exercises according to the requirements. For instance, if someone wants to reduce weight, he can focus more on yoga poses. While, if someone is facing depression or anxiety, he can focus more on breathing exercise or meditation.