Day before yesterday the whole world celebrated the International yoga day, recently recognized by the UN and thus, celebrating its 4th anniversary on this 21st June’ 2018.
The idea of International day of Yoga was proposed by the current Prime Minister of India, Mr. Narendra Modi during his speech at the UNGA, on 27 September 2014.
He stated, ‘Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help in well being. Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day’. And thus, finally Yoga is now recognized as a worldwide celebration among us.
Being dwelled up in India, I have been fortunate enough to learn yoga as an extracurricular activity back in my school days. However, yoga actually impacted my conscience only after 2011. The benefits of doing yoga is unanimously recognized by most of the people, for sure whether they are doing it or not. Also during the last decade, yoga practice among the masses has gained great popularity worldwide, who are either seeking it for good physical health, well balanced mental health, as a cure for some long prevailing ailment, for attaining flexible body or simply for developing harmony with nature.
Yoga literally means union which implies union of this being with the universe. It is not just about bending and twisting of the body with your breath. However, yoga is making a healthy self by mingling with nature’s attributes (the air, sun, soil, water & space).
Performing yoga in open space in the morning time (preferably during the dawn hours) imparts great health and mental benign. The following breathing techniques are amazing and can be practiced daily for as long time as your schedule allows you :
- Bhastrika – Long breathing with nostrils, holding for few moment and then, exhaling with nostrils.
- Kapalbhati – Short breathing with nostrils and quick exhalation with nostrils with exertion such that the whole gut presses nicely inside with every breath stroke.
- Anulom Vilom – Using your right hand and playing the rhythm of breathing with thumb and middle finger; first use thumb to restrict your right nostril and take a deep breathe from your left nostril, now, restrict your left nostril using middle finger and by removing the thumb, exhale from your right nostril and now subsequently, take another deep breathe from your right nostril and then, close the right nostril using thumb and exhale with your left nostril after removing the middle finger. Repeat this rhythmic breathing by switching over the opening and closing of both the nostrils.
- Bhramari – Use your both hands fingertips; put your thumbs in your ears, place your little fingers on your lower lip, ring fingers on upper lip, middle fingers on closed eyelids and forefingers on your forehead. Now, keeping your mouth closed, align your teeth, such that upper teeth lie exactly above the lower teeth, curl your tongue, such that it does not touch any tooth. After this preparation, take a deep breathe and exhale long relaxing breathe with your nostrils while making a humming sound. Repeat the same.
- OM – Now, continuing with your closed eyes, put your hands facing upwards on your thighs and take a deep breathe and utter OM, as ‘AUM’ for as long as you can make the sound. Repeat uttering the AUM sound.
All these breathing yoga asanas can be preferably done in sitting position; lotus (cross legged) formation position with your hands on your thighs (palms facing upward), back erect and head tilted little backward with closed eyes and keeping mild focus at the centre between your eyes. Each of these breathing technique induces its own unique benefits for the body and the mind and render in purification of the invisible energy channels within our body.
Apart from the breathing yoga asanas, other very vital and simple yoga, I prefer doing is Surya Namaskara, meaning, ‘salutation to Sun’.
Something very personal, but, I wish to share is that I have preferred yoga ( breathing meditation as well as its physical work out forms) in nature over gymnasium with machines and tools in a closed room. Yoga brings peace of mind, relief from anxiety, relief from stress, focussed, brighter and productive mind, builds bonding with nature and of course its creatures, boost body’s immune system, helps in curing many long prevailing diseases, strengthens physical body, makes it supple and agile, moreover, it helps find contentment and poisity with this self which I understand is the ultimate quest of this life.
This is my idea about yoga and I wish if mindfulness can be flourished in every mind by incorporation of Yoga as an integral part of our life.
Thank you and my wishes for happy, healing and healthy life to all.