Columnists,Shehara Ratnasinghe,Main Slider l by Shehara Ratnasinghe l 10 Nov 2020     - 138

Life on the Mat


Yoga is a physical and spiritual discipline, which predominantly includes breath control, meditation and balancing of specific bodily postures. It has become increasingly popular among today’s society due to its mental and physical health benefits, through a mindful practice of moving your body. 

Yoga is a word derived from the Sanskrit language where, “yuji”,  means “yoke or union". It is a dynamic movement which involves many forms of body postures or “asanas” and this ancient practice is over 5000 years old!

Why should you return to your mat after a long day?

Here’s why.

It enhances your fitness

It is found in many studies that yoga gives you greater muscle strength and higher endurance, along with flexibility due to stretching. Power yoga is said to increase the rate of sweating and heart beat and it reduces ageing as well, while building up a solid foundation through repetition. This, as a result, increases cardio and circulatory health consequently. It also aids the yogis maintain their body weight and metabolism. Similar studies have revealed that yoga can reduce depression and arthritis, and that it also improves survival from cancer. However, if you are on medication for these medical conditions, make sure to seek advice from your doctor, before you go ahead with a new exercise program. 

An excellent stress reliever

Yoga contains various stress relieving techniques such as relaxing the body and clearing up the mind via breath control. Pranayama or breath control is a technique that focuses on regulating the breathing pattern even though it is an involuntary biological process. It drops you into the present moment, which is quite similar to meditation. 

Improves the quality of sleep

Many studies and surveys show that yoga improves the quality of the sleep schedule of yogis. It helps you fall asleep faster, which is especially beneficial if you are suffering from insomnia. There are specific yoga poses which prepare your body to fall asleep quickly. Lying butterfly and corpse pose (Savasana) are two of them and they will fit right into your bedtime routine!

Strengthening of your bones

There are numerous yoga positions that make you lift up your own body weight and makes your bones grow stronger by lengthening the muscles due to thoroughly holding, during the process. Most of the positions train the body to balance your own weight, in various occasions.

A definite secret to happiness

Oftentimes, people who hit the yoga mat frequently, tend to be happier as the practice creates a long term impact in their day to day lives. Were you aware of the fact that your posture does affect your mood instantly? According to many yogis, your mood can be fixed by changing your posture. Moreover, yoga can always act as an antidepressant.

Surveys show that 72% of the yoga practitioners are women. Oh, the ladies do know how to love their yoga! There are over 100 poses currently being practiced. Yoga is considered to be one of the most significant aspects of globalization, where it connects hearts and souls of thousands of individuals across the world simultaneously.  

Undoubtedly, we could all use a little stress relief to explore the magic in our bodies, especially during these trying times. Hope this helps you find your yoga!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shehara Ratnasinghe

Shehara Ratnasinghe is a post-grad and a freelance writer for Daily Mirror features and Daily Mirror Life, with a particular enthusiasm on writing about society, lifestyle and current affairs. She is a sucker for good books and poetry. When she is not writing, you can find her doing yoga or trying out new things. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram at Shehara Ratnasinghe.

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