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International Yoga Day

Uplift Your Holistic Well-Being This International Yoga Day

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in September 2014, during his speech at the UN General Assembly, put forth his proposal for the occasion of a ‘Yoga Day’. The draft resolution submitted by India was then endorsed by a record 177 member states and the first International Day of Yoga was celebrated around the world on June 21, 2015.

During his speech at the United Nations General Assembly, Prime Minister Modi said, "Yoga is a priceless gift of India's ancient tradition. It symbolizes the unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between humans and nature; a holistic direction to health and well-being. It's not about exercise but to discover a sense of oneness with yourself, the world, and nature. Let us work towards embracing an International Yoga Day." The theme of celebration for this year's International Day of Yoga across the globe is “Yoga for Humanity”, as announced by PM Modi in his 'Mann ki Baat' address.

Importance of Yoga

Practiced in India since the 5th century, Yoga has provided several benefits to keep the body and mind in sound health. It is a holistic approach that targets all the systems of the body and mind. It is believed that the asanas support the body in making it strong and flexible, as health enhances; the mind too is revitalized with confidence. The practice of Pranayama controls the purification of the internal system and the organs, acting as a special and able supplement to asanas. The energy that is generated in the body through these physical practices is then channeled into meditation for peace, calm, and stability.

Benefits of Yoga

1. Yoga improves flexibility

A leading Yoga organization conducted a worldwide survey looking at a combination of statistics about yoga in an attempt to quantify its significance amid its ever-increasing popularity. The most preferred reason for people to opt for Yoga was to “increase flexibility”. Flexibility is an essential component of physical health. Yoga offers numerous styles to choose from high to moderate to mild. Even if you opt for a lower-intensity style, it will also enhance your flexibility.

2. Yoga supports in relieving stress

According to research conducted in the US, over 80% of adults feel the impact of prolonged stress. So, it becomes obvious that the second most cited reason people selected Yoga exercise is to relieve stress. The science endorses that yoga, and especially asana, is fantastic at reducing stress. Apart from Yoga, the other aspects like chanting, auditory rituals, breath work, and meditation have also shown great results in reducing stress.

3. Yoga enhances mental health

MDD or Major depressive disorder is thought to be one of the most typical mental health disorders around the globe. According to research, yoga-based treatments for depressive symptoms concluded that it can now be considered an adequate alternative treatment for major depressive disorder. Both movement-based yoga therapies and breathing-based practices have been shown to remarkably enhance depressive symptoms.

4. Yoga may reduce inflammation

Most of the time the reason for the illness is chronic inflammation. Be it diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and various other conditions are linked to prolonged inflammation. A review analyzed over 10 research studies and found a standard result that Yoga can reduce the biochemical markers of inflammation across several chronic conditions.

5. Yoga can boost your strength

Most of the time people associate yoga with stretching and flexibility, albeit a few types of yoga exercises can also be considered strength-building. It just relies on the level of exercise and approach. This way Yoga becomes a multimodel form of exercise. In various studies, Yoga has been considered a highly effective strength-building form to raise the bar of fitness. In various countries, Yoga is included in the exercise routine of their army for enhancing strength and maintaining good health.

6. Yoga reduces anxiety

According to various international researches, anxiety disorders are the most common mental health disorders around the globe. There are several different anxiety disorders, such as social anxiety, generalized anxiety disorder, and specific phobias. Even chronic stress can occasionally be classified as an anxiety disorder. Multiple studies suggest that yoga asana can be adequate as an alternative treatment for anxiety disorders. Yoga nidra, which is a form of body scan/guided meditation, has been shown to conclusively relieve symptoms of anxiety.

To make your life completely free of stress, you can also include the Ashwagandha supplement in your daily diet. It is a natural herb and the use of ashwagandha has been found beneficial for managing stress, anxiety, and depression. It also enhances calmness and ensures sound sleep.

7. Yoga can enhance immunity

Chronic stress negatively affects our immune system. When our immunity is compromised, we’re more exposed to illness. Yoga is believed to be a scientifically-backed alternative treatment for anxiety & stress. Some studies have discovered a distinct link between practicing yoga and better immune system functioning. This can happen due to Yoga's proven ability to fight inflammation and it plays a key role in the enhancement of cell-mediated immunity.

8. Yoga improves cardiovascular functioning

The popular Yoga exercise Pranayama, frequently referred to as “yogic breathing,” is an essential and valuable aspect of yoga. According to various studies, there are multiple advantages of pranayama. One fundamental takeaway was that yogic breathing can enhance the functioning of several systems in our body. A popular research summarized in the review that the cardiovascular system aided significantly in maintaining the pace of breathing, as evidenced by promising changes in heart rate, stroke capacity, contractility of the heart, and arterial pressure. Yogic breathing can influence the brain’s cardiorespiratory center to improve functioning.

Best yoga poses to practice every day

1. Malasana (Garland Pose)

This stunning squat is one of the favorite poses of yoga practitioners. Malasana charges the lower back and turns the practitioner into an adorable little nugget. There are multiple variations and tips on how to make this pose more comfortable or how to go deeper.

2. Chaturanga Dandasana (Four-Limbed Staff Pose)

Chaturanga is considered one of the most typical postures in Vinyasa yoga. Many people don’t have the potency and body awareness to perform this posture with the right alignment. Our recommendation is to learn this pose with the knees down. Concentrate on drawing the lower belly up to control dumping in the lower back. Keep your elbows tight to your ribcage and stacked above your wrists.

3. Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)

Trikonasana is considered a classic standing pose! A large number of people ignore standing poses but it should be a regular practice for every individual. It is a magnificent way to strengthen your lower back, maintain your core, and develop your body (and mind).

4. Ustrasana (Camel Pose)

Camel pose is a loved one for everyone. The key is to activate all of the proper alignment in the body to keep the lower back supported and the neck happy. What we love about the camel pose is that, when executed perfectly, nearly all the significant muscles of our bodies are being stretched. In addition, it encourages and tones many of our limbs, including the chest, thighs, and abdomen. In short, the front side of our bodies is getting completely involved.

5. Janu Sirsasana (Head-to-Knee Forward Bend)

This incredible head-to-knee forward bend pose stretches the hamstrings, strengthens the back muscles, lengthens the spine, and massages the abdominal organs. Janu Sirsasana pose calms the central nervous system, reduces stress, anxiety, and mild depression.

Yoga offers physical and mental health miracles for people of all ages and if someone is going through an illness, recovering from surgery, or living with a chronic condition, Yoga can become an essential part of their treatment and potentially hasten the healing process.