Is being overweight bothering you? Try living in the mountains if you wish for a toned physique. Hailing from one, I stand true to this fact, so I never felt like working out in my routine until I came to Hyderabad. It was my first time in the city Just like everyone else, I thought to myself that it will be easy to maintain a work-life balance. Although, within a year I realized the toll corporate life had taken over my mental and physical health.
So just like any other 9-6 employee, I decided to do some workout. As the gym has never been my thing, I decided to do something which was soothing and suited my personality much better, Yoga.
The primary reason for my lethargy was my inability to get up early in the morning, so I took the very first-morning session of the Yoga school I joined just to keep me off the toes. And after being consistent for almost 4-5 months, I was enjoying it more than any other aspect of my life. It did not just increase my energy but made me sit on the driver’s seat. Meditation and pranayama have dyed-in-the-wool to be a powerful stress reliever. And that’s how yoga proved to be a much-needed rejuvenation for which I was craving for long.
My one-hour session of yoga starts with Suksham vyayam (warm-ups) for 10-15 minutes, followed by 3-4 standing asanas (postures) to increase concentration. Then 24 Surya namaskaras (sun-salutations) followed by 3-4 seated asanas. At the end of the session, I do pranayama (breathing exercise) and then Dhyana (meditation), which allows me to have a balance amongst my body, mind, and soul.
I started reading about this wonderful school of Indian philosophy (Yoga) [read in detail in the book “The Six Systems of Indian Philosophy by Max Muller”] and as I went deep into literature and learned about the science behind the ancient technique, I decided to pursue it further. That’s when it struck me to become a yoga instructor so that I can share this treasure of knowledge with other people of my community as well.
My favorite part of the whole yoga regime is pranayama and meditation. The science behind it says that pranayama is extremely helpful in the repair of tissues and increases our lung capacity at the same time (as most of the exercises follow deep inhalation and exhalation allowing more oxygen into our cells). Also, just 10 minutes of everyday meditation helps me in keeping absolute control over my mind, emotions, and state. As a result, I can say stress is not a part of life anymore.
To suggest a few asanas, I’d recommend vrikshasana (tree pose) to increase concentration, majaryasana (cat pose type 1 & 2) to improve lower back pain issues, vajrasana (after having a meal to increase digestion), Ardha Matsyendrasana (to relieve backache & fatigue) & Shavasana (to reduce blood pressure). The best time to do yoga is early morning before sunrise. And if someone wants to do it in the evening, make sure to keep a gap of approximately 3-4 hours from your last meal. One yoga posture properly done for 20-30 seconds helps one lose 30 pounds. It is 2-3 times more effective if done along with a combination of proper breathing (inhalation and exhalation).
As far as my diet is concerned, I try to stick with the yogic diet which consists of Saatvik aahar (strict vegetarian diet) and avoid processed and packaged food. The snacks intake between the meals must be rich in fiber (seasonal fruits, dry fruits, etc). Most of the time when we crave binging due to stress or long working schedules, we do not feel hungry rather it is an indication of loss of water in the body, which is a common misinterpretation amongst people. They are unable to recognize if the body is actually demanding more solid food or it’s just an initial phase of dehydration. One can easily avoid the craving of junk or extra food between the meals by simply consuming a glass of water.
My water consumption was considerably very low earlier compared to the amount of water I consume now. It comprises a combination of 1 liter of water kept overnight in a copper container along with 1-2 liter of plain water at room temperature.
All in all, “The idea is to re-enter society as a new person, with a sense of purpose, and without being controlled by social or emotional pressure.” That’s the ikigai I follow.
Story contributed by Ms Divya Thakur.