The Gleaner recently introduced it’s #EveryMickleMekAMuscle challenge on social media, encouraging Jamaicans to complete 31 asanas (yoga poses), one for each day of July, in order to “build muscles while enhancing flexibility for a better, healthier you.” Yoga has become quite popular amongst fitness enthusiasts in the Western world, starting in the 1980s. It combines multiple aspects – yoga postures, breathing techniques, relaxation and meditation. The word ‘yoga’ means union – union of breath, body and mind. When they co-exist in harmony, one experiences multiple benefits, including:
- All-over fitness. Through regular practise of yoga asanas (postures) one’s body becomes more toned, flexible and fit. Moreover, one can improve their posture, and become more balanced mentally and emotionally.
- Yoga helps you to de-stress. Stress is inevitable in life. We hear about it from media channels, our family and friends, and we use this word ourselves. Yoga is a very good in enhancing our energy level. Just a few minutes of simple yogic breathing techniques, yoga postures and meditation, will leave you refreshed and recharged after the most hectic day.
- Yoga is an easy way to enhance your inner peace. We all enjoy visiting peaceful and serene places. Yet the shortest way to peace is right within us. Meditation brings the brain’s wave patterns into an alpha state that promotes healing. The mind becomes fresh, delicate and beautiful. With regular practice of meditation: anxiety decreases, emotional stability improves, one gains a clear and sharp mind.
- Yoga helps one to increase awareness. In yoga you are taught to pay attention to your breath and movements when performing asanas (postures). Awareness in the class expands to everyday life as well, and practitioners become more conscious in their life. This can help in weight loss as well, simply because paying more attention to oneself, means paying more attention to what we eat.
- Yoga can help one to improve relationships. How? According to Dushyant Savadia, “All communication problems are because we don’t listen to understand, but we listen to reply. Yet, when practising yoga we become more sensitive and sensible at the same time, because our mind becomes more relaxed and happy.”