In today’s 24/7 world with distressing news bombarding us, electronic devices demanding our attention, and an inbox full of emails that seem to need an immediate reply, it’s no wonder stress levels are at an all-time high. In fact, research shows 90% of all doctor visits are linked to stress-related problems.
Yoga can be that perfect remedy allowing moments of “intentional disconnect”. It is one form of exercise that helps relieve stress while improving strength, balance, flexibility, and overall health. 2022 International Day of Yoga, recognizes the importance of the role of yoga in developing capacity, themed “Yoga for Humanity”.
If you can breathe,
you can do yoga
Patanjali, a renowned sage, shared “If you can breathe, you can do yoga.” This ancient science that originated in India is universal in its practice, regardless of religious beliefs, age, gender or fitness level. A science of 1,000-plus years that offers immeasurable benefits to one’s individual health and wellbeing.
Yoga is considered by many as a holistic fitness system, first and foremost bringing a greater awareness of self. It goes beyond the basic mechanics of exercise and focusing on the union of the individual consciousness (soul) with the Universal consciousness (spirit). It is a system of raising your ability to perceive, to be present and ultimately reach self-actualization.
Yoga adopted by
UN in 2015
When yoga first “arrived” into the western world, it was received with critique and surrounded by myths, but now has successfully entered mainstream, being heavily endorsed by celebrities, sports personalities and recommended by medical fraternities.
The concept of International Day of Yoga was proposed by Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi to the United Nations General Assembly and 177 countries positively adopted its formal recognition by United Nations, declaring 21st June 2015, the first commemorative International Day of Yoga. The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is included in the 177 countries that marked this historic moment. During his speech, PM Modi shared, “Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition. It 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. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world, and nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help in well being.”
Yoga can improve
Yoga comprises different asanas targeted towards the healing of particular health issues. Yoga poses function by stretching the muscles. The yoga asanas help you move better while relieving tiredness or laziness. It has long been known to lower blood pressure and slow the heart rate. A slower heart rate can benefit people with high blood pressure or heart disease, and people who’ve had a stroke. Yoga has also been linked to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and better immune system function.
According to a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School, working across multiple systems in your body at yoga can:
• ↓Dramatically ease chronic back pain and even alleviate arthritic pain
• ↓Rev up your immunity by raising levels of disease-fighting antioxidants in your body
• ↓Reduce anxiety, depression and improve sleep patterns
• ↓Lower the need for medications by as much as 40% in lifestyle diseases
• ↓Enable better emotional control and responses in conflict conditions
• ↓Augment cognitive behavioural therapy for children
• ↓Slow the process of aging on a cellular level
Yoga and Meditation builds Resilience
Yoga not only provides physical and mental relaxation but also develops strength and resilience. “Infact, practicing yoga and meditating regularly causes actual changes in our brains. Researchers studied the brain scans of people before and after an eight-week “mindfulness-based stress-reduction program” (they took a weekly class and were told to meditate for 40 minutes every day). Incredibly, the “after” brain scans showed significant differences in parts of the brain associated with focus, attention, learning, memory, cognition, empathy, compassion and the stress (fight or flight) response.”
Improving Awareness and Compassion
In this evolving chaotic world, a system that can dial back both physical and mental challenges is reason enough to try it. But probably the most convincing reason would be; improving awareness and love of oneself, it simultaneously helps to boost compassion and gratitude, all of which contributes to greater happiness, a contented feeling of wholeness, and can be a path to positively changing the dynamics of this world.