Coronavirus! Lockdown! Death cases! Depression! Anxiety! Health related issues!
Arrgghhh- the list of such depressing words and news these days is never ending.
Coronavirus and lockdown have taken a toll on our mental as well as physical health. Hence, it is extremely important that we keep ourselves positive by doing things which maintains our calm and keeps us at peace.
My peace came from none other than- YOGA.
Yoga- the hype has always been there. However, I had been happily ignoring the hype for a long time, but lockdown gave me the push I needed to finally try it for myself.
For many years, yoga has been on my list that would probably make me feel better, but I was doubtful to ever commit to it, and haha, I was always quite content with that.
Before I start- I would like to share a glimpse of some stretches which I do on regular basis:
I always thought- I never had that time and I used to do plenty of other exercises (which I still do now). I obviously never thought that lockdown would become my journey to yoga, but it somehow did. I am still trying to get through, not aiming for major goals but only some self- improvement. But as it turns out, it has been one of the things that has helped me get through the most.
Over my very small journey of trying my hands-on yoga, I have realized that with our changing lifestyles owing to the coronavirus pandemic, yoga- our age-old exercise has benefits that are far-reaching.
Lockdown has made us all depressed and anxious. The controlled travel, fear of the risk of infection, continuous flow of negative news and limited availability of day-to-day material and resources due to this corona pandemic are all adding to the already set-up anxiety in our minds. Being completely confined to our homes is mentally challenging. And I have myself seen a lot of people getting angry, frustrated and irritated over smalls issues which is affecting their state of mind. Besides staying connected to family and friends and trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle (guys- this is a must- you cannot afford to just eat junk and unhealthy owing to such situations), there is another magnificent thing that can help keep anxiety and mental health in check- YOGA. Trust me- it really works.
Yoga has known to be beneficial since ages, and not just for weight loss (which is incredible by the way and I will be talking about it in my upcoming blogs in detail), but also to keep the mind calm.
But your question would be- why YOGA?
I am not here to share the psychological benefits of doing yoga (you will find those all over the internet), I am here to just say- that a lot of people around you are doing it- in their own small ways and I am sure they all understand the importance of staying fit especially in this difficult situation. So if they can and we all can- why cannot you?
Saying that- “ I have a lazy bum”, “I don’t have time”, “ I am not flexible as others are”, “I don’t know what to do and where to start with”, “ I am not sure if I can do it”, “I am not a yoga person”, “ I don't believe in working out”, “ I don’t need it, I think I am already fit” etc etc are all excuses and nothing is going to help you at all.
Even I was like that but once you start- there is no stopping to it. I too started very slowly with simple stretching only.
Once I started enjoying, I moved on to trying different postures which made me feel good about myself and my body. My main motivation was the appreciation from each one of you around which still keeps me going.
I am still very new to it and no matter how hard I try, I still fail to do so many poses which many others do very easily.
I won’t deny- it is disappointing, upsetting and sad to see that I lag so much. But the important thing which keeps me going is that I try. I try everyday- I may have a slow progress but I enjoy whatever I do. I like doing what I do, and every small achievement motivates me to do more.
There are some major points I want to share for you all to know that we are all on the same road:
1. The journey is going to be super slow but that it is what makes it worth it:
As proven by how long it took to do a basic wheel pose (which I still do by taking a little help), I have realised that I won’t be able to do any fancy, Instagram-worthy crow-pose for a very long time (if ever).
When I started, I was able to do some basic forms of stretching (thanks to my other workout practices) which made me believe that I would be able to move past the beginner stage in a few days. Haha- a month in, and I don’t think I will be moving on anytime soon. But I keep trying. I am able to do many poses now and I try to work on them every day but there are plenty of poses I still find very difficult but I enjoy the careful way I try them every single day. I have accepted that this will be a slow process, but I take pride in small achievements, able to do various poses- I am not usually good at.
2. I have discovered new muscles in my body which I never knew ever existed:
I mean it. Like, I am sure if I would ever thought about it, I would have realised there were muscles running down the side of my torso, but not once had I ever been aware of them. Yoga has changed that, allowing me to feel a satisfying stretch down my whole side when I bend.
I felt a lot of new muscles in my body while trying many new poses.
And this feeling is great!
3. Stretching is addictive:
Before my yoga days, I was not one of those people who felt the need to stretch when I got out of a chair, or any other time for that matter. But now that my muscles have been awakened, I find myself stretching all day because I love how it feels now.
You won’t believe it- now I find myself absent- mindly watching TV with my legs straight out in front of me, working through a range of stretches, or frequently reaching my arms up to stretch my back as I sit. As a person, who never used to stretch ever, this is a very uncharacteristic turn of events for me.
4. The benefits for mind and body can be really felt:
Surprise, surprise..!! The yoga hype was not baseless. Not only do I feel more flexible and stronger, but I look forward to yoga everyday as a time to focus only on not falling out of tree pose- not work, not just the pandemic, not anything else. I probably don’t have to mention that this is a welcome relief.
My journey towards being an amateur yogini started a while ago, but International Yoga day came as a catalyst towards achieving more and better. It helped me try more, stretch more, and hence gain more peace.
I am glad I started it and I will try to continue doing it- for my own betterment.
Have you started it yet? How did you start your journey? Who motivated you to start it?
Will you start now? How are you planning to start your fitness journey?
Do share your thoughts and journey in the comment section below.