Saturday, March 31, 2012

Yoga for life . Blog marathon post 9.



Recently, when I went to  the Delhi International airport, the mesmerizing sculpture (figures sculpted by Nikhil Bhandari)  of the twelve poses in 'Surya namaskar', caught my eye. I stood and stared at it for some time.  It was brilliant!

Yoga and I go back a long way. It was a subject taught in my school and I am now grateful for this treasure of a foundation, laid in my early years. I was in Class seven when I was first chosen to be a part of the team for 'Yoga demonstrations' at various locations and associations, which my 'Yoga sir' was associated with.  I was probably chosen as I was pencil thin as a kid, with an extremely flexible body and could master the poses quite perfectly in no time.

Today 28 years later, my love affair with Yoga still continues. I swear by yoga. It is truly the best gift you can give your body. I am proud that I can still do all the asanas (the yoga poses) which I could do when I was 12! That is the magic of yoga. It is better than any anti-aging cream. It is also better than any magic pill that promises to make you slim or cure all your illnesses.

The thing is it is very important to find a good, qualified instructor first. I see all kinds of exorbitant amounts charged in the name of  various fancy tags attached with the word 'yoga'. Let me tell you, just practising simple yoga will give you the same benefits, provided you do it right. There are a few yoga institutes in India where accommodation is very basic and the ashrams follow certain patterns and rules. There is no 'luxury' and meals are simple sattvic food. If you are keen to do a proper course in yoga, I would highly recommend learning in one of these institutes. (Svyasa in Bangalore, Kaivalyadham near Pune and Swami sivananda's yoga ashram in Kerala are some of the names that come immediately to the mind). In the last one, you can even take a 'yoga vacation' to get a feel of it.

Many people ask me what poses I do when I practise my yoga. I do the surya namaskars (at least a minimum of ten), Paschimottrasana, Halasan, Sarvangasa, Chakrasana, Sethu bandasan, Ushtrasana, Bhujangasana to name a few.(Please forgive the spelling. I am typing from memory)

But the thing is, what works for me might be different from what your body needs. An excellent book I would recommend is Payal Tiwari's 'From XL to XS' which gives you a good idea on what it is all about. I read today that one round of surya-namskar can give same effects as a 30 minute cardio.
I do not know how much the above statement has been verified, but I do know that they burn calories a lot.

"Embrace and love your body. It is the most amazing thing you will ever own." said a quote I found on the net.

I can't agree more!
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6 comments:

  1. Love that sculpture....apart from daily life, I swear by its benefits during pregnancy. I have an excellent prenatal yoga teacher here, and even though I had a very long labor, the pushing for Ruhi was only 20 mins, thanks for my regular practice till the day before I went into labor.

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  2. I saw this sculpture too and loved it ! I went to Swami Sivananda yoga center in Delhi once and I use their books - helped a lot. Yoga is truly like magic !

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  3. I swear by Surya namaskar and yoga too.... It really keeps me active throughout the day..

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  4. Your endorsement of yoga really counts! You make a great advertisement for Yoga, no doubt.

    More than the burning of calories, I think yoga benefits us by balancing our metabolism and our endocrine secretions (hormones). Time magazine had a long cover story on this several years ago.

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  5. Preeti, thanks for posting this. I had asked you for the list of asanas you regularly practice. As soon as I saw this post, I was about to ask you the same question. Well, you answered it already. Thanks. :)

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  6. I really wanna start Yoga....but too lazy to do it!!!
    Thanks for the blog...will definitely practice:-)

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