Sunday, 21 June 2015

Insight > Celebrating Yoga



There are many reasons to celebrate yoga, International Day of Yoga is just one!

I never cease to be fascinated with the way our ancient yogis understood much more about the human body ages before medical science could comprehend what was what. The benefits of yoga (even those that go beyond the physical body) have been expounded upon by many saints and sages, new age gurus and trendy celebrities who have experienced them. But I'm not getting into all that right now. I only want to share with you what I know for sure. And that is the fact that I feel happy and alive when I do yoga. 

I know that when I stretch my body upto its optimal point I am pushing the boundaries further. Although I am blessed with a naturally flexible body, I am very grateful for the strength in my muscles and bones that allows me to stretch into varied asanas. This reminds me of a wonderful quote I read recently: Do Yoga Today So That You Can Do Yoga Tomorrow! Our body is meant to be agile and healthy, no matter what our age. It is only when we stop short of utilising the body’s optimal potential that we start diminishing our scope of movement. When was the last time you could sit comfortably on the floor and get up without any trouble? Do you feel out of breath after climbing a few flights of stairs? Muscles and lungs are only a few parts of the body that benefit from this lovely practice. We can’t even see how wonderfully the abdominal organs are massaged during bhujangasana or how our nerves are soothed by bhramari pranayama. Yoga has benefits that penetrate deep within the physical body and impacts our overall being. 

Although it is an ancient practice, the relevance of Yoga is Now more than ever before. We seem to be living in a world filled with toxins, right from the air we breathe to the food we eat. The increase in lifestyle diseases is scary. And while we can either succumb to the ill effects of our lifestyle or live in perpetual fear, there is a way out. In the face of all the negativity and fear, yoga is one tool with which you can actually do something about improving your health naturally. 

Coming back to what yoga does for me: all the stretches and contortions into asanas with complicated sanskrit names leave me blissed out. I can safely say that the time spent on my yoga mat is the happiest part of my day. It makes me appreciate the wondrous mechanisms of the human body that we have learnt not to trust. In the larger picture it makes me appreciate nature for what it is. It makes me realise that I am just a little dot in the vast universe that is perfect just as it is, even with all the toxins and the negativity. In fact, it infuses me with an unmatched positivity. It makes me realise that life is indeed beautiful and makes me want to live it to the fullest.

I sincerely hope that you try this wonderful practice and let its magic hook you on!