Yoga: A complete, wholesome and holistic form of exercise

In the words of our PM Narendra Modi "Yoga is a priceless gift from the ancient history of India". On International Day of Yoga which is celebrated on 21 June every year, Dr Sachin Sarin- a physiotherapist and yoga therapist at Healthway Hospital explains how yoga offers a path to sustainable living and its invaluable benefits

Dr Sachin Sarin | JUNE 20, 2022, 07:49 PM IST
Yoga: A complete, wholesome and holistic form of exercise

‘Yoga’ in its many forms is a marvellous exercise that helps us to achieve optimal physical, mental and spiritual health. I have been using this technique to help my patients get fit over the years. 

Out of all the forms of exercise available in today’s world, yoga is the most complete, wholesome and holistic exercise and here’s why- a yoga pose includes a two layered meaning - physical and philosophical. Through its practice, people can discover a sense of oneness with themselves, the world and nature. Yoga is far more than a workout on a mat.

Yoga asanas stimulate the release of chemicals called endorphins that act as a pain reliever or a happiness booster. Relaxing asanas such as the shavasana, padmasana and sukhasana, create a calming and effective environment that allows a person to have clear and stress-free thoughts. 

Various studies have shown that practising yoga drastically optimises body functions such as breathing pattern and rate, lowers heart rate, lowers blood pressure and keeps cardiovascular problems at bay. Unlike other activities that focus on a specific muscle group, yoga covers the entire body, from head to toe. It is a form of therapy that enhances the quality of life. The reason behind the popularity of yoga is pretty easy to understand. It's not the poses or the meditation.  It’s the belief of feeling healthier, happier and connecting with yourself. 

During childhood individuals have tons of energy, flexibility and agility but as we grow older, we start getting into a monotonous routine which reduces these factors. But irrespective of one’s age or gender, if strictly followed, yoga can build the best version of one-self. 

Humans constantly undergo positive and negative phases in life which is why it is important to keep a track of the body- physically, mentally and spiritually. When one leans towards living an unhealthy lifestyle, it can cause health issues. But the body is a unique creation and is designed to send us reminders or signs that pushes an individual to start investing in themselves through any sort of activity that can help them and in such cases it is much preferred to begin with an exercise that can create an optimistic impact. This is where yoga comes in. Performing any sort of yoga whether it's assisted, with props, hatha yoga, aerial yoga or just meditating, can help one to self- heal through embodying the unity of mind and body. 

Some of the questions that come to people's mind are: when can I begin with Yoga? Will I get hurt if I try the asanas? How long does it take to see progress? The answer is simple. Under proper guidance, mindset and consistency, the energy produced from these physical practices will give rise to stability, inner peace and improve the sense of well-being. 

As Indians, it is a matter of honour and pride to be born in the land which has given the world this simple yet amazing discovery that provides a sense of self-acceptance, healing and balance. On this International day of Yoga, let’s build a body that is strong yet flexible and a mind that is sharp yet calm.

Physical benefits of yoga

  • Improves flexibility in all muscle groups

  • Helps in toning and strengthening 

  • Improves body posture

  • Boosts blood circulation

  • Enhances oxygenation 

Mental benefits of yoga

  • Increases concentration

  • Relieves symptoms of issues such as anxiety and stress

  • Brings out mental clarity and calmness

Spiritual benefits of yoga

  • Self-awareness and of surroundings

  • Builds connection with inner-self

  • Helps with divine essence 

  • Promotes self- growth

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