The first wealth is health – Ralph Waldo Emerson
In one way or another, the pandemic (origin, vaccine, information overload, misinformation and lockdown) has significantly impacted our day to day lives over the past two years affecting our physical health and mental wellbeing. One common thing for a lot of households is the worry, caused by uncertainty, and rightfully so. Will they be able to pay their rent? Will there be another lockdown? How are their loved ones doing? Will they be laid off? Many such questions are asked every day, and the people in charge, the Government and NHS sometimes are unable to answer our questions to address our anxiety and fear. Due to this, there is often the immense pressure of stress, and a trend of declining mental health all across the country. I feel that one way to deal with this stress that is affecting us both physically and mentally, to help keep ourselves fit and healthy both physically and mentally, get to know ourselves better and attain inner peace, is through Yoga.
A bit of context on what yoga is, if you already don’t know. ‘Yoga’ is a practice originating from the Indus-Sarasvati civilisation, one of the world’s oldest civilisations. The word derives from the sanskrit word ‘yug’ (to unite) and is also included in the reference to one of the six Hindu ‘darshans’ or system of philosophy. It is also finds a mention in the Rig Veda, which is considered the oldest religious scripture still in use. Also according to scriptures the Hindu deity Shiva is considered as the Adiyogi (the first Yogi), and considered to be the father/founder of Yoga. That said, Yoga is not about Hindu religion as the practice of Yoga is a physical, mental and spiritual discipline (not religious discipline) that helps us to maintain a state of physical and mental wellbeing.
Yoga appears to be hard but is not as hard as it looks. Little to no equipment is required, although some prefer to use a yoga mat and/or alternate clothes, however neither are necessary. Yoga can be practiced individually or in groups. In the past, despite the somewhat common access to instructions, video tutorials and support, many people found it easier to find an instructor in real life, or join a yoga class. However, due to the events of the past 2 years and the digitalization of most services, you can now find a yoga instructor that you like relatively easily, without having to leave your house and sometimes for free.
What are the benefits of Yoga and why do Yoga?
Not only can it reduce the effects of stress, among other mental health issues, research conducted by various institutes, such as the Mayo Clinic, have shown that it can help with general fitness and can be beneficial in managing chronic diseases / reducing the likelihood of getting certain diseases. On the other hand, not everyone can partake in all types of yoga if they have certain medical conditions, and a medical practitioner should be consulted (same as for other type of exercises). Yoga can also aid in weight loss, keeping our body fit and supple.
So, I would think that Yoga would be beneficial and we should out in some effort to try this out and will help us all in one way or the other.
Looking at new year resolution to stay fit and healthy, give Yoga a go