By Vaibhav Somani, Director, Gravolite
Yoga has been both a stream of science and art form having a multitude of benefits. More than 11.8% of Indians practice yoga, according to the survey conducted by Telles et al in Feb 2020. So, if you are thinking about trying yoga, you are not alone. Starting yoga can be overwhelming as it is more than the fancy way of doing exercise. Images on social media of people doing different asanas can intimidate anyone, especially a beginner because you may think that you are not flexible enough to do such poses. But in reality, there are many misconceptions about yoga which is keeping you away from practicing it.
Here are a few things that you should know before unfurling your yoga mat for the first time that can help you honor its origins and make the most of your experience.
Flexibility is not a big criteria
Many people say that ‘I cannot do yoga because I’m not flexible enough to be doing the complex asanas. But it’s a myth, you don’t have to be flexible to start Yoga instead yoga will make you more flexible over a period of time. Yoga helps you gain more strength and flexibility, and that is the point of doing yoga on a daily basis.
Start with basics
Every beginner will have to learn some basic poses which may not be complex poses to start getting hang of Yoga. Also one needs to let go of the ego which can set unrealistic goals. Since there is so much of material available on Yoga, one can always go a quick brush up before hitting the Yoga center or starting at home.
Getting the right gear
Investment in a good quality yoga mat like Gravolite can be a good investment to create stability and proper alignment. Breathable and flexible bottoms and form fitting tops are ideal wear. If you are an elderly person then any breathable or comfortables fabric should work well.
Yoga is not for men
Some men perceive yoga as a ladies’ exercise. Many men speculate that girls are more into flexibility than guys and they are not flexible enough to do yoga. Rather they would prefer to lift weights and work on building muscle and strength. But the truth is farther away from this as Yoga enhances the mind, soul, and body, and the benefits of yoga is not only physical but help in creating overall mental wellness too.
Helps you sleep deeper
If you are someone who is always struggling to get a night of sound sleep, then you should surely practice yoga. Yoga provides numerous health and sleeps benefits that help most individuals from adults to children which means you will be less tired and stressed. Certain studies have demonstrated that yoga can be beneficial in managing sleep issues like insomnia.
Makes you happier
Yoga is considered to be a calling for getting in touch with the true essence of ourselves. It has been stated that consistent yoga practice improves moods which in turn manages symptoms of depression, leads to a significant increase in serotonin levels and decreases the levels of monoamine oxidase (an enzyme that breaks down neurotransmitters) and cortisol. By practicing any form of yoga, you listen to your body and honor it, and this, in turn, affects with happiness quotient.
Prevents IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and other digestive problems
Irritable bowel syndrome, constipation is a common disorder that includes cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, and diarrhea or constipation. We often see these issues in all age groups including children. All of these can be exacerbated by stress.
The equation is simple, if you take less stress, you suffer less. And Yoga, like all workouts, can ease constipation and other stomach-related ailments.
The pandemic has given a boost to Yoga practice all over the world. No doubt, we all live in a stressful world but it is never too late to take care of yourself and start practicing Yoga. Like the way they say, “the journey of a thousand miles, starts with one single step”. If you are a beginner, you must take that single step towards practicing yoga and building a healthier internal and external ecosystem for yourself.