June 21 is celebrated as International Yoga Day. Yoga is a collection practices allowing one to rejuvenate spiritually, mentally and physically. Yoga is the perfect workout to engage your body and mind, and de-stress yourself, especially during the pandemic.
With Covid preoccupying our lives, a common problem to deal with is stress and lethargy. And yoga might be the saviour we all need.
“I was stressed about college and graduation, especially because the pandemic has drastically affected so many future prospects of mine. I had no motivation, and I was constantly on my bed doing nothing as I couldn’t go out either. My mom suggested that I do yoga, and honestly, it changed my life. I’ve been doing it daily for eight months now, and I’m sleeping better. I have lost weight healthily, but mostly it helps me stay at peace and keep my mental balance,” Aarti Gupta, a college student from Delhi University, told Deccan Chronicle.
Holding yoga poses warms up the muscles and acts as a full-body workout, allowing you to build strength. Research has also shown that yoga helps your body to prepare for sleep and stay asleep (Source: John Hopkins Medicine). According to the National Institutes of Health, scientific evidence shows that yoga supports stress management, mental health, mindfulness, healthy eating, weight loss and quality sleep.
“I have been doing yoga for a few years. I first started when I was diagnosed with diabetes and high blood pressure and was recommended by my doctor to do morning and evening exercises, and I chose yoga as my morning exercise. It helped curb my weight at home and helped tackle my diabetes and blood pressure as well,” said Vaidehi Alankaran, mother of two.
According to John Hopkins Medicine, yoga also helps reduce levels of stress and body-wide inflammation, contributing to healthier hearts. Several of the factors contributing to heart disease, including high blood pressure and excess weight, can be addressed through yoga. It also helps ease the discomfort of swollen joints in people with arthritis. Studies also show yoga’s benefits in arthritis, osteopenia, balance issues, oncology, women’s health, chronic pain, diabetes, etc.
“I joined a yoga class in my locality after moving. It helped me make new friends, and it helped me get into a set routine. I continued doing yoga at home once the pandemic hit, and even now, I have online meets with my yoga friends twice every week where we do yoga together on video and chat. It helped me endure the pandemic’s loneliness,” said Bhavya Iyer, a housewife with two kids.
Yoga helps build a community and helps deal with loneliness, allowing you to heal with support. It urges you to involve yourself in your personal self-care and take care of yourself. It helps you deal with stress and isolation, especially in times like now.
Multiple studies have confirmed the mental and physical benefits of yoga, and finding time for it in your life can prove to be a game-changer.