Why Yoga ?



Yesterday was International Yoga Day, a day to celebrate this way of life called Yoga. There are number of known  benefits and reasons to practice  yoga which is really well known and well documented. There are tons of sources on the Net too. I have experienced some of them and no  I don’t practice it to destress or calm down, which eventually by the end of the class I am from exhaustion. I spend the first half hour constantly telling myself to practice mindfulness and battling my urge to make my to do lists. But the reason I practice Yoga  to keep myself pain free.

I have been practicing Yoga on and off for a while now, I tend to put it on the back burner when the timing of the classes don’t suit my schedule or especially when it clashes with that of my daughter’s. But what it has taught me is to understand my body better, I used to always have an achy back especially back before the birth of my child and I was at a desk job for over 17 years.I woke up every morning with this unexplained ache in my lower back. So much so that it hurt to lie down on my back, I had to sleep on my side. I presumed it was due to the long hours of sitting, bad posture and general weakness. What I dint know until I started yoga was that it was largely due to muscle stiffness, a week of yoga and waking up in the morning with that unexplained lower back ache, stiff calf muscles was history but the moment I took a break it was back again.

So here is my two bits on this. Even if you don’t practice yoga in its full spectrum just doing basic yoga moves will keep those muscles supple and pain free. Even if you’re active otherwise and workout but if you don’t stretch enough you will still have pain from the muscle stiffness. So if you’re not already practicing now is as good a time to start. Luckily with yoga it’s never too late to start but a word of caution start slow and don’t try to overdo it coz you can injure yourself.

I personally practice ashtanga however Hatha yoga seems to be the yoga of choice for a beginner. which is based on the teachings of Guru  Sri K. Pattabhi Jois,  it includes several increasingly difficult series of postures as you go through the Series A,B and C. In the classes I take each student will work individually on a series at their own pace, with the teacher coming for adjustments. In the Led Ashtanga classes, students are guided as a group.  In either practice style, postures are linked together in a fast paced flow or ‘vinyasa’, which helps develop a purifying sweat and even, deep breathing.  A particularly athletic and demanding style, Ashtanga is great if you are looking to challenge your stamina, strength and flexibility.

Here is the Primary series of Ashtanga to give you an idea of what the practice is like.


But I suggest getting an experienced teacher to show you the moves, so you do it right and don’t hurt yourself.You should try a few different Yoga practices and decide what suits your life style the most. If you decide on Ashtanga in Bangalore the best Ashtanga teacher is my guru Prasad Bhatdundi. You can see his profile here on Facebook.

Image via http://www.trueryan.com/