– By Aarti Sharma –
Can you bend, fold, and stretch like a 5-year-old?
Well, if that idea appeals to you then roll out a yoga mat to roll in flexibility, fitness, relaxation and much more. With the 7th anniversary of International Yoga Day on June 21st, let us take a peep into what this practice – which is more than 3,000-years-old – has to offer.
Amaze yourself with the real meaning of yoga
Let’s hear from an Indian yoga guru, Ekta Purohit, who has specialized in prenatal and postnatal yoga, along with kids’ yoga, since 2002.
“Yoga poses have names like Butterfly pose, Cobra pose, Cat Camel pose, Lotus pose, Mountain pose, Tree pose, Child’s pose and multiple others. Have you ever thought about why most yoga poses are named after either an animal or a bird or a tree?” asks Purohit.
“Because yoga, sometimes perceived only as a form of exercise, is fundamentally a spiritual discipline that works towards achieving harmony between not only our body and mind, but also with the existence around us”, asserts the yoga expert.
“Hence, through yoga poses we not only derive physical benefits but also try to join and connect ourselves with the nature and other living beings around us. This paves way to achieve the realization of oneness with the creation,” reveals Purohit.
Why breathing is a hero in yoga
Shedding light on a factor that many people don’t contemplate, Purohit says, “Food, water and air are three essentials that go inside our body. When it comes to good health, food and water are given weightage. However, air can sometimes lose the gravity of its importance.”
“A balance of these three elements is very important and hence yoga gives prominence to breathing too. Breathing has immense effects on physical, mental as well as emotional levels. It is a vital energy”, adds the yoga guru.
Certainly, breath affects emotions. That is why it is not uncommon to say ‘Take a few deep breaths’ to someone who is stressed or angry. Purohit has herself used yoga to help kids with anger management. She firmly believes that kids, the future of the world, should learn yoga for self-healing. Improved focus and memory are other benefits that kids experience by practicing yoga.
Yoga has garnered some cute little fans in SJT
Aanya Sharma, a 5-year-old junior kindergarten student at St. James Town’s Rose Avenue Public School, loves to do yoga with her school teacher in virtual classes. She says, “I like doing the Butterfly pose. Also, I really love breathing exercises. Criss Cross Applesauce and then slowly breathe in and breathe out. It’s so relaxing.”
Aadya, beautifully holding the Bridge pose
Aanya strengthening her back muscles with the Butterfly pose.
Well, she is so right. Yoga gurus swear by the calmness their students experience after the breathing exercises. No doubt, yoga is also gaining popularity in combating stress and anxiety.
For Aanya’s 9-year-old sister, Aadya, the ‘best yoga pose’ title is a tie between the Butterfly pose, the Back Bridge pose and the Aeroplane pose. Adhaya chuckles and says, “I can’t choose one. They are all fun.” When asked why she likes doing these yoga poses, Aadhya instantly says, “I like the stretch in all the poses. I like to challenge myself on how long I can hold a pose. It is relaxing and challenging at the same time. After my virtual yoga session, I feel happy, relaxed, calm and ready to work.” Sure, the muscle stretch does release tension.
Undeniably, the benefits of yoga are manifold. So, let’s embrace this idea of our well-being and integrate yoga into our lives.