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Yoga has the potential to elevate your mental and physical state, here’s how you can start

"The internet is brimming with stories of people who found refuge in the calmness of yoga once everything else went into disarray. You may be fortunate enough to not need yoga so badly but the magic it can cast on your life is incomparable"

Yoga practitioner Mitika Bhaisora

Shivam Singh

Yoga has its own international day in these times. It’s the most in vogue thing worldwide and is increasingly being backed by science. But what the western world has adopted now is being practiced in India from thousands of years. The oldest mention of the word ‘yoga’ comes from the Rig Veda. Several stone carvings depicting various postures of yoga have been discovered from Indus valley dating back to 3000 BC. It has always been an integral part of life in India and is fast gaining relevance again. The western world has adopted it with such open arms that if you google ‘yoga’, most search results would show a foreigner engrossed in one of the asanas. There is a reason why yoga is being accepted so widely. The kind of calming impact it has on one's life is unmatchable. Interested much already? Here’s how you can start your journey.

Yoga involves synchronisation of mind, body and breath. All these three elements are critical to any yoga posture. But before you get to the postures you must ensure that your milieu is adequate. Yoga is always practiced in a calm environment. If you can spread your mat amidst nature, it’s even better. There should be abundance of fresh air around you. Your clothing should be loose and comfortable. And your mind should be relaxed and stress-free. It’s best to practice yoga on an empty stomach or a light meal. Once you have arranged yourself the perfect setup it’s time to get started. The first step is to learn the art of proper breathing. Pranayama or control of breath is where we begin.

Pranayama 

It’s crucial in yoga to maintain a calm and stress-free body. Pranayama just helps you in that. Proper and controlled breathing during various postures is integral to yoga. There are various forms of Pranayama. Some of which are Nadi Shodhana, Ujjayi and Kumbhaka. It’s advisable to learn these breathing techniques under an able Guru or through a dedicated program before attempting any asana.

Meditation

As suggested earlier, it’s absolutely important to have a calm and stress-free mind. Meditation helps you in achieving that. Meditation can be done in various sitting postures as advised in yoga but for starters you can take any comfortable position on a mat. You may want to concentrate on your breath to reduce the chaotic flow of thoughts in your mind. Don’t allow your mind to wander around, the lesser the thoughts the better. Maintain the Dhyana until you achieve a sense of calm in your mind.

Get started

Once you have meditated properly, you are ready to try some basic postures of yoga like tadasana, vrikshasana, trikonasana etc. Again, there are various intricacies involved in every yoga posture so it would be best if you train under an able practitioner for a while. For maximum benefits it’s best to end every yoga session with shavasana, which involves a complete relaxation of the body. You shouldn’t eat anything until 30 minutes once you are done.

Regular practitioner Mitika Bhaisora in adhomukhasvanasana posture

Yoga has transformed several lives around the world. The internet is brimming with stories of people who found refuge in the calmness of yoga once everything else went into disarray. You may be fortunate enough to not need yoga so badly but the magic it can cast on your life is incomparable. It’s an experience which can be comprehended only by practice.