Thinner, glowing, relaxed, pain free, light, younger, happier
Dear yoga friend and well wisher,
It is not for nothing that people have practiced yoga for thousands of years.
There are benefits.
Starting from the most basic, to the most profound.
When you (begin to) practice yoga regularly.
You start to lose weight (if you are overweight) and start to tone up. This is great because you start getting compliments. And then, with that smug smile you say– “oh I practice yoga”.
Yes, of course.
Yoga makes your metabolic activity change. It helps to increase the absorption of the good stuff, and improves the elimination of the bad stuff.
Surya namaskar improves blood circulation and increases cardio-vascular activity.
Asanas help massage the digestive organs, and stimulate the endocrine glands, particularly the thyroid gland, the master gland that controls metabolism.
Pranayama helps to improve your overall energy and vitality, thereby reducing the craving for high quantities of unnecessary food, or stimulants like tea, coffee, chocolates, cigarettes, and even alcohol.
Of course, you lose weight.
And people start to notice.
Then, your skin becomes softer, it becomes radiant. and people want to know which new treatments you have been taking.
The dark circles reduce, the acne disappears, the roughness is replaced by smoothness and an ever present freshness.
Yoga helps to clear the head. It helps you to think better, make better decisions and choose the right things. You sleep better (the wonder skin treatment as all skin doctors will tell you), eat and drink more sensibly, and the worry lines disappear.
Yoga helps to reduce inflammation and promote immunity and strength. Catabolic activity (the degenerative processes in the human body) stabilizes, the anabolic activity (the building process) increases. Endorphins are released and natural pain killers fight pain, and swelling. You feel happier, more relaxed, and active.
Asanas (or static postures) are the most wonderful form of resistance training or isometric exercises, where postures are held for short periods of time. This helps to strengthen muscles all over the body, some of them hidden deep inside, without the serious risk of injury that is inherent in some other forms of resistance training.
The benefit is a lean, strong, light and capable body, which you feel great to own, and use!
Then asanas also improve flexibility using gentle, stretching movements to increase the length of your muscles and the effective range of motion in your joints. Regular stretching (several times a week) can be an important way to maintain your body's mobility and freedom of movement, particularly as you get older.
Stretching exercises can also improve your posture and are an essential part of effective long-term treatment for strained or chronically sore backs. As someone said, you are as old as the flexibility of your the joints, particularly the spine.
Yes, yoga definitely improves posture, brings about a spring in your step (once again, should I add), and promotes lightness of being, all qualities of a person who has youth on his or her side.
And when things are going your way, when you feel well, when sickness does not stalk you, when you want to work and can perform your duties with purpose and efficiency, when you don’t feel tired, when you feel a youthful enthusiasm and are full of laughter, then, of course you are experiencing happiness.
There is magic in a weekly dose of yoga nourishment. But like all activity that involves cultivation, (growing your garden or bringing up children are examples), the magic occurs only if there is persistence, patience, commitment, daily attendance, understanding, good sense, a desire for good health, and practice.
Flirting with yoga is not enough. One week, or one month is not adequate. One year is not the end, but a beginning, and many years, all through life is really the requirement.
Swami Vishnudevananda said “Health is wealth. Peace of mind is happiness. Yoga shows the way.”
I should add, 90 minutes a day.
To a thinner, more glowing, relaxed, pain free, lighter, younger and happier you.
We are missing you at the Centre in Gurgaon, even if you have been gone for just a couple of days. And if you haven’t seen us for a long time, we are certainly looking out for you!
Please make us happy. Grace us with your presence, this month, and this wonderful year end.
May the blessings of the gurus be on us always, and let yoga show us the way.
With all good wishes,
Yogacharyas Arun Pandala and Deeksha Jain
Sivananda Yoga Centre, Gurgaon
First written on 7 January 2011
Visit us for more information on our daily schedule of classes and upcoming courses at www.yogashowstheway.com