One of the inspirational quotes (by Jigar Gor) on Yoga goes Yoga is not about touching your toes, it is what you learn on the way down. Hitting the gym is a status symbol, wearing headphones, fancy sports shoes, and running miles is the trend. But if you consider Yoga as a tool for fitness, then I am afraid, it has received a rather step-motherly treatment.
It is perceived that Yoga is more about gaining wellness rather than fitness. It is important to note that Yoga not only encapsulates meditating and breathing techniques but also focuses on the physical development of the human body. For instance, Suryanamaskar (salutations to Sun God) involves 12 steps, and each step exercises different parts of the body. Apart from Suryanamaskar and Pranayam, there are many more techniques and asanas forming a part of the strong institution of Yoga.
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Performing Yoga for just 20-minutes a day can do a world of good to all those who are contemplating joining a gym or indulging in sports to reduce weight or maintain their fitness levels. One of the many advantages of Yoga is that you just need a small amount of space, say 6 by 6 or even less to perform it. Apart from the space and a towel or a yoga mat, you do not need any other accessories or equipment.
Suryanamaskar (Sun salutation)
In this fast-paced world of today, where everybody is busy running in the rat race, Yoga acts like a tranquillizer, which helps to curb the anxiety and stress, that has become a part and parcel of todays life. Pranayam which involves breathing techniques may assist people suffering from asthma and other breathing disorders and curb the stress and anxiety levels. According to the extant literature on Pranayam, 80% of the toxins in the human body are released through the outgoing breath.
Some of the commonly performed Pranayam techniques are Kapalbhati, AnulomVilom, Sitkari, inter-alia. Each of these techniques facilitates detoxicating the body through the different breathing patterns.
Anulom – Vilom
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It can be said that Yoga emphasizes more on the internal cleansing of the body, rather than developing muscles, which is an external body aspect. Though it cannot be ruled out that Yoga aids in toning the body but depending on Yoga to build muscles is slightly unreasonable. Mental power, calmness, and temperament, to name a few are developed because of Yoga. Being an avid practitioner myself, I can vouch for the tremendous benefits of Yoga and how it has helped me maintain my fitness levels. Despite the busy schedule and odd-working hours, sparing some time for Yoga is important.
It is essential to know that our body is like a temple, and if we want it to function well, then it is necessary to worship it every day. As it is said that you can clap with two hands and not with one hand, similarly, fitness is a two-way process. As an individual, you are required to put in efforts to work towards your fitness, and once this is practiced regularly, the body will be your loyal follower and emulate whatever orders are sent by you to your body. Thus, Yoga can be used as a useful tool to conquer fitness.
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