Yoga Embraces all ages

During his address to the UN General Assembly in 2014, PM Modi Ji urged the world body to observe a day for Yoga. Subsequently, June 21 was earmarked for the ‘International Day of Yoga’. That day he told the UN : “ Yoga embodies unity of mind and body, thought and action, restraint and fulfillment, harmony between man and nature, a holistic approach to health and well-being.”

As the world celebrated the second International Yoga Day on June 21, health experts have urged people to make Yoga an integral part of their life as it can boost their immunity and help tackle several health conditions. Yoga is a scientific approach for remaining fit and fine in today’s era. Experts say that if one performs Yoga regularly then there is no need for extra efforts through artificial means, such as surgeries, radiation etc. For cancer patients the will to fight against the disease gets stronger due to Yoga.

Yoga is an ancient practice of exercise that focuses on strength, flexibility and breathing to boost physical and mental well-being. It builds immunity, reduction in weight, a strong and flexible body, glowing skin, peaceful mind, good health; Yoga has everything to offer. Yoga has been performed in India across the ages, and now the entire world has adopted it for healing and motivating the inner spirit. There are 36.7 million Yoga practitioners in the US. Lately, there has been a tendency amongst Indians towards central (tummy) obesity which indicates metabolic disorder. Yoga can be beneficial to such people.

The teachings of Yoga were traditionally passed down from teacher to student. Yoga wasn’t something you just learned from reading books, it also isn’t something you stop learning. Even the Gurus still have their teachers. Science and medicine continually affirm that Yoga is life-affixing and age defying. It eases childbirth, supports babies to be comfortable in their bodies, brings families together for fun and relaxation, provides a vigorous workout, supports our adult years with strong, balanced bodies and allows us to enter our senior years with increased confidence and ease.

True Yoga is more than a workout. There are breathing techniques incorporated with movement. Chanting, meditation and spiritual teachings may be weaved into the practice. Yoga is a personal experience. Yoga means union. Mantra is a sacred phrase used to keep the mind focused. Om is a mystic syllable considered the most sacred mantra. Asana is a position which is steady and comfortable. It’s a lifelong study of oneness with all that is. Duration, frequency and devotion will influence the transformation of body, mind, heart, spirit and soul. Choosing the right teacher or an Ashram that connects with students’ needs, will keep practicing aspirants ready for self-discovery, joyful living and tranquility.

Restorative Yoga:
Restorative Yoga allows both muscles and the brain to recover from fatigue, so we are stronger, sharper and better able to act in the world afterward. Restoration Yoga is also tailored to support natural healing for issues related to tension, premenstrual syndrome, weak immune functioning, back pain, pregnancy and recovery for athletes. An awful lot of research has shown that Yoga may affect your body at the cellular level. “ If you practice it on a regular basis, you will notice a cascade of health changes that can occur within a slit out of time,” says Mindy Caplan, a psychologist and Yoga instructor. Dozens of studies have revealed that Yoga can ease lower back pain.

Improved Immune System:
Folks who flowed for 10 minutes once a week for 12 weeks had higher antioxidant levels and stronger immune function, per research in the Journal of Alternative and Complemental Medicine. It improves blood pressure, heart rate, cholesterol, according to review of 37 studies. While the practice may be thousands of years old, creative Yogis are always coming up with new cool and effective-hybrids.

“Meditating on your breathing can help you feel calm, guided and connected; tune in to your breath to find immense peace.” ~ Dr. Richard Miller , meditation expert. Your breath is one of your most powerful healing resources. For instance, deep, slow and rhythmic whole-body breathing can reduce anxiety, fear, pain, and depression; activate your immune system; increase your ability to concentrate; and release healing and ‘ feel-good ’, hormones, such as, serotonin and oxytocin. By mindfully following and observing your breath, you develop a relationship with sensation energy, nervous system energy your body and mind release. For example practicing exhalations that are longer than your inhalations supports your nervous system in maintaining a healthy equilibrium between your sympathetic responses. This in turn, helps you feel balanced and at ease as you move through your day. Attuning to your breath can help you recognize subtle sensations of irritation, fatigue or early warning signs for rest, change in diet or take action to reduce stress. You will be amazed how only a few minutes of breath-sensing can leave you feeling grounded and refreshed. Nevertheless, at the end of the day one has to choose a befitting Guru or an Ashram that can meet his / her Yogic aspirations.
Dr. Tej K.Munshi, {Ex. Prof. in Applied Sciences},
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