Why did I start yoga? Growing up, I was always the weak kid, full of excuses to skip any physical extra-curricular activities in school, even as an adult, I dreaded going to any fitness classes or would reject any invitations from friends for any sports related outings. I was not fit, strong, coordinated, flexible nor fast. Hell, I would even trip and fall when walking down the streets. My mantra was, ‘Sweating is not my thing’. Experiencing severe menstrual cramps, blocked sinus and migraines was also part and parcel of my life.
My aversion to exercise changed in 2019. I quit the big 4 and had gotten a job that afforded me with a more work life balance. I wanted to be healthier and less prone to falling sick. I joined all sorts of fitness classes. At one point of time, I was attending fitness classes 4 to 5 times per week, mainly because it gave me the feel-good hormones after a frustrating day at work. But yoga was the only exercise I kept going back for more. The saying, ‘Yoga frees our minds from the negative feelings from the stressful, fast-paced nature of our daily lives.’ was something I experienced myself. I would walk out of class with a lighter mind and mood. I was addicted. That was how it all started for me.
In early 2020, the world entered lockdown and we were all made to stay at home. Mentally, it was very draining to be stuck in front of the laptop without any change in atmosphere, day after day. I felt moody and even went through a period of binge eating and drinking. Physically, I could feel my body weakening and becoming less energetic. Luckily, my yoga studio offered livestream classes throughout the lockdown period. Again, the endorphins and serotonin from practising yoga helped to rebalance my mind and body from being stuck at home.
I did not understand why I had this feeling until after starting the YTT with Tirisula, learning that this sense of calm comes from the practice of yoga asanas and pranayamas. Unlike other forms of exercise (I have dabbled with HIIT and spin classes) which strain muscles and bones while increasing heart rate to high levels within a few short seconds, yoga gently rejuvenates the body with poses and breathing exercises at a moderate pace.
The ultimate aim of health is to stay away from illnesses, maintain a functioning bodily system and good mental wellbeing. This can be all achieved when we regularly practise yoga. Asanas balance the respiratory, circulatory, nervous, hormonal, digestive, and reproductive systems. The equilibrium in the body then brings mental peace and enhance intellectual clarity.
I would highly recommend this non-competitive yet nonetheless, challenging sport to all my friends. Yoga is an evergreen exercise which allows us to practise it throughout our lives, no matter the age. Yoga asanas, or poses, can cure physical ailments aka ‘vyadhi’, and redress angamejayatva or unsteadiness in the body. ‘Shvasa-prashvasa’ aka uneven breathing – an indication of stress – is alleviated by the practice of yoga. Additionally, asanas tone the whole body. They strengthen our muscles and bones, corrects our posture, improves our breathing, and increase our energy. This physical well-being has a strengthening and calming impact on the mind.
Yoga is the best! 😊