By Neha Raman:
“Yoga? I don’t need to do yoga; I’m already fit!”, “Dude, I would any day prefer an AC gym over yoga classes”, “Yeah, I know yoga is a good thing, but you know I don’t have time. I’m too jam-packed to do it.” Seem like familiar phrases? Yes, this is what is happening in India these days. Yoga is one of the most ancient Indian practices. But unfortunately, we appreciate the modern fitness techniques more than the indigenous ones while the rest of the world is converging towards Indian practices.
Ancient Indian philosophers have gifted us with Yoga, Ayurveda etc. and we are extensively drifting towards Allopathy, Air-conditioned Gymnasiums, Aerobics classes and whatnot. While on the other hand, countries like the US are adapting themselves to the Indian practices of Yoga and are largely promoting Yoga by organizing “yoga asana championships”, “yoga at work” for the corporate, etc. Did you know that from the year 2008 to 2012, there has been a 30% increase in the number of Americans who practice yoga? Feels good to read about Yoga spreading in the US? Then you shall feel even better when you practice it.
India at present has been subject to a large number of heart diseases, cancer, diabetes, that too predominantly in the middle-aged population (30-45yrs). What are we heading up to? Today, what we Indians face is a routine of hectic schedules, deadlines, pressures, fast food, untimely eating habits, lack of physical activities, and lack of mental peace. The result is but obvious. High BP, diabetes, obesity, other physical illnesses, sometimes depression and even extreme stress levels, leading to haunting diseases like cancer. But what is making us ignore our health? Time constraints? Laziness? Ignorance? The answer is all three.
Until our doctor tells us to buck-up, we never care about our fitness and health. It isn’t good to take your body for granted. So you join gyms, indulge in heavy work out sessions, spend thousands on fitness products, order imported treadmill at home, and everything but Yoga. Honestly, there’s nothing awkward about yoga at all. Yoga is not only for a good physique, but it also helps solve and prevent many health issues like Diabetes, Arthritis and Rheumatism, Cervical Spondylosis, liver malfunctions, kidney malfunctions etc. Not just physical, Yoga helps attain a mental and psychological balance too. In fact, those who practice yoga are supposedly 10 times more flexible, healthier and happier than the those who go to gym. And the secret lies in the very practice of yoga itself.
Yoga isn’t only purely Asanas. Yoga also includes breathing exercises called the “Pranayam” and also includes meditation. It facilitates stress management and anger management to keep you ready for your jam-packed days, something that gym workouts cannot do. Proper diet is also a part of Yoga. A well-trained yoga teacher also prescribes the correct food type that would suit one’s body and if followed regularly, yoga prevents and cures every health issue and keeps one happy and peaceful. Ultimately, a healthy person works more efficiently and if one can take out an hour for their health, they will succeed in achieving a much happier lifestyle.
It’s high time we realized that we are drifting towards a rather hollow end. We have everything in hand yet, in the name of westernization, modernization and busy schedules, we are letting it go. We need to come back to where we originated from, back to what would suit us the best, back to what will make us happier in all ways; It’s high time we came back to yoga.