As soon as I got up from my slumber in the flight, I realized I couldn’t feel my legs. Not just that, even my neck was aching because of the wrong posture while sleeping. Somehow, I managed to get out of the airport and checked in to my Bed and Breakfast room in Chandigarh. By this time, even my lower back had gone sore and I was feeling dead tired. It was unusual for me considering that I have been traveling frequently, of late and pains and aches were a part of the game. However, today was different!!
While I tried to figure out when I had worked out last, I realized it had been almost 15 days! “Ambuj really?!” My mind and heart were at loggerheads now! I remembered my sessions in Yoga ashram when my brother and I would wake up in the morning and head to the ashram. We would perform Chakra-asana, Dhanurasana, Ardha Matsyendrasana, Halasana, etc. Towards the end, we would perform Pranayama, Kapal bhaati, Anilom Vilom, Surya Namaskar and finally be instructed to go in meditation to bring peace and stability to the mind, body and heart. I used to feel fit and happy.
The words of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar rang in my ears “Health is not a mere absence of disease. It is a dynamic expression of life- in terms of how joyful, loving and enthusiastic you are!”
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In those years when I practiced Yoga, I could feel a positive change in my body. (My height increased too! Though it is still not too much!) I could feel a bit of calmness in my body. I was thinking through a lot of things and was able to analyze things better! So if you wish to feel a positive change in your body and mind, read on.
Today is International Yoga Day and it gives me immense pride that India’s intangible heritage in the form of Yoga is being adopted the world over. Travelers from around the world are flocking to India’s exotic destinations like Rishikesh to attend yoga seminars and workshops. However, it would do us no harm to delve into the history of Yoga.
History of Yoga
The Indian sage Patanjali was one of the earliest expositions of Yoga. Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras defined the word Yoga as “to join”. The union referred to is that of the individual self-uniting with Cosmic Consciousness or the Universal Spirit. (Yeah, the definition sounds totally abstract but it feels like it when one practices the asanas!)
Though Yoga is like ages old but its benefits are manifold. Yoga has something to offer to everyone! Whether you are a kid or an octogenarian, yoga shall benefit you!
For young ones, asanas like Dhanurasana, Chakrasana, would do good while for the older citizens, Pranayama, Surya Namaskar etc would be beneficial.
International Yoga Day
United Nations General Assembly has declared 21st of June as an International Yoga Day on 11th of December in 2014. International Yoga day is supported by almost all global leaders. There are various training campuses, competitions conducted on this day to celebrate the mental and physical well-being of all.
Since I travel a bit on various projects and suffer frequent aches and sore muscles, I would bring to light the various asana’s that you can practice before packing your bags this season.
Exercise a bit on the day as well as a day before when you are scheduled to travel: A little of bit of stretching yoga asanas like Chakrasana, Dhanurasana etc could go a long way in keeping the aches at bay.
If you are exercising after a long time (ie after a gap of 5 days), a few light yoga asanas coupled with a 30 minute brisk walk would do.
Generally, during travel we eat whatever that’s on offer and tend to sleep in a wrong posture, so, it is important to get up from the seat and stretch a bit. If you are on a road trip, stop the car at a road side dhaba (road side restaurant) and let your legs breathe while you munch!
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Once you have checked into your room and caught up on sleep, you can do a few asanas. I shall share with you a list of 3-easily doable asanas that would neither take too much time nor too much effort but would definitely freshen you up.
Cobra pose- Bhujangasana
How to do it: Keep raising as far as you can without breaking contact between your pubis and the floor. Feel the bend evenly across your entire spine, without hardening your lower back. Slowly push your sternum towards the ceiling, without pushing your ribs forward. (As given on www.livestrong.com)
Benefits: It is best for someone who has a backache!
- Sukhasana- Yoga pose
How to do it: Sit comfortably on the mat with crossed legs (left leg tugged inside the right thigh and right leg tugged inside the left thigh) and a straight back. Place your hands on your knees and concentrate on your breathing cycle.
Benefits: Get in touch with your spiritual side as you ready your mind and body for meditation.
Child pose- Balasana
How to do it: Bend your knees and sit on your heels while keeping your hips on your heels. Lower your head on the mat and keep your hands by your side. Breathe lightly.
Benefits: This pose will help restore the vitality of the mind and the body.
Happy Bending on this International Yoga day!