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Friday, 1 April 2011

Yoga - Myths & Reality

We are living in a world of choices! Physical activity is no exception. One has to choose from outdoor/indoor sports, fitness clubs, running/cycling, aerobics, yoga, trekking, martial arts and so on. Each one of these activities gets introduced at different juncture in our life. I am not a proponent of any one of them, but surely a consumer of most of them.

I started practicing yoga routinely since last ten years. In this article, I am attempting to break some myths and help see the reality of this important discipline.

Myths:

  1. There are so many types of Yoga; I am not sure which is good for me?

  2. Yoga means breathing exercises i.e. Pranayamas.

  3. Yoga is helpful when you have chronic conditions.

  4. Yoga means meditation.

  5. Yoga is performed with expert teacher in a group class.


Reality:

  1. Yoga is a set of asanas, mudras and kriyas designed for flexibility, strength, better oxygenation of tissues, rejuvenation of organs and mental relaxation. Hatha Yoga (powerful physical work) has many simple asanas, which can be started by a novice.

  2. Yoga gives emphasis on proper breathing pattern while performing any of the asanas. This prevents injury and enhances the benefits of asanas.

  3. Like any other exercise, Yoga benefits most when you are healthy.

  4. Relaxation is a well established medical technique to prevent anxiety. As Yoga is a way of life, meditation is a part of this discipline to calm the mind.

  5. Yoga is best performed early morning in isolation.


I suggest that every individual should include few asanas/kriyas/mudras in their daily routine, especially for rejuvenation of organs and mental relaxation. Here is my recommendation for 15 minute routine.

Author's choice:

  • Suryanamaskara (for flexibility and cardiac training) -  minimum 5 cycle;

  • Sarvangasana (for balancing endocrine system & stress relief) - minimum one minute;

  • Kapalabhati (for cleansing and oxygenation) - minimum 3 minute; and

  • Shavasana (for deep relaxation) - minimum 5 minute.


From the CEO's desk - Mohammed H. Naseem

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