International Yoga Day 2017: Relevance and Benefits of Yoga

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!!

This travel quote is true for both life and Yoga
This travel quote rings true for both Life and Yoga

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!”

India shines as a bright spot in the Global Tourism scenario

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.

Yoga has ample benefits at the mental, physical and spiritual level. BnBNation
Yoga has ample benefits at the mental, physical and spiritual level.

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.

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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.

It is heartening to see world waking up to the benefits of Yoga. Source: www.indiacelebrating.comIt is heartening to see world waking up to the benefits of Yoga. Source: www.indiacelebrating.com
It is heartening to see world waking up to the benefits of Yoga. Source: www.indiacelebrating.com

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.

Before Travel

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.

During Travel

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!

The best way to explore India is by Roads

Post travel

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
Bhujangasana or cobra pose increases flexibility of the spine. Source: http://food.ndtv
Bhujangasana or cobra pose increases the flexibility of the spine.
Source: http://food.ndtv

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
Sukhasana: It is a comfortable position for pranayama and meditation Source: http://food.ndtv.com
Sukhasana: It is a comfortable position for pranayama and meditation
Source: http://food.ndtv.com

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
Child pose or Balasana is a simple but highly beneficial yoga pose. Source: http://food.ndtv.com
Child pose or Balasana is a simple but highly beneficial yoga pose.
Source: http://food.ndtv.com

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!

38 thoughts on “International Yoga Day 2017: Relevance and Benefits of Yoga”

  1. Yoga is such a good way to stay fit and also relax the mind. I really love the way my stress instantly reduces when I meditate. Thanks for sharing some of these poses!

    1. Isn’t meditation absolutely amazing. It takes a bit of time to do it but once you are in the mode you can think what you want and focus on the most essential things in life.
      Great to have your comment here!

  2. I am currently doing a set of workout, which includes weight training, cardio, and yoga. Yoga is my favorite part, whenever it’s yoga day, I’m more than happy to get started right away. I do believe in its health benefits and it does with flexibility. I’m not saying that my body is very flexible now, but at least, it’s gotten a little bit better compared to the time when I wasn’t doing any yoga.

    I haven’t done yoga while traveling so thanks for the tips. I think the 3 poses, I can easily do.

    1. I’m glad you like doing yoga. The best thing I like about yoga is that you don’t have to lift weights you just have to lift your body from fit to fitter! It’s great to have your comment here!

    1. Hi yoga is immensely beneficial for those who have a background problem. There are various asanas that vary in the postures that affect various parts of your back. I have a bit back problem too and I used to practice Dhanurasana,bridge pose (chakrasana) ardha matseyandrasana, sarvangasana etc. However I would recommend that you do these asanas under a coach’s guidance.

  3. The travel quote at the beginning of the article really caught my attention, maybe because as much as sometimes we feel uneasy to step out of our comfort zone, it’s what truly teaches us a lesson. I’m learning that myself little by little! I loved reading your article because it gives a lot of interesting information and great tips!

  4. Being an Indian, feel a sense of great pride that Yoga is accepted all over the world. Your article is very informative and it definitely gives me lot of tips around the exercises that I need to practice during my travelling.

  5. I cannot wait to do some yoga in India the home of yoga! I think practicing yoga on the road would be really beneficial especially as there are so many days crammed into one position on a bus or in a car!

  6. Yoga is one form of exercise that can be done anywhere. I have tried this form quite a few times and have benefited from it. However, one needs to be careful to do it the right way else they can really injure themselves. These days a lot of people claim to be qualified as coaches for yoga but are unaware of the body injuries themselves. The important thing is to learn it well and learn it right.

    1. Hi Ami, Couldn’t agree more with you! I can see people carelessly doing exercises be it in the gym or yoga classes. And sometimes the coaches/instructors also do not bother about the right technique. This has led to an increase in the number of spine/muscle injuries especially in urban areas.

  7. Yoga is so beneficial for health. I have been planning to join a full course now. Great that you are spreading awareness about it on International Yoga day.

  8. This is lovely article! I can totally identify, if I let my yoga practice slip then I really notice the difference- especially while travelling. Love the poses you demonstrate, it’s a very useful introduction or reminder.

  9. Thanks for sharing this post, yoga is something that I have been trying to do more of, thanks for sharing this post and giving me the motivation to carry one practising.

  10. Yoga is amazing. It’s one of my most favourite things to do (actually when I’m not feeling lazy! haha) this similar article I have also discussed with some of my students from Japan. In Japan, many women as into this. And I believe it’s originated in India. Amazing. It has a lot of benefits. Stay healthy and calm!

  11. I shall do those 3 yoga poses you posted here! xD I was actually invited for a Yoga Session once but the date was a conflict, so never got the chance to do it yet. Hopefully, soon!

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