10 Take-Aways from International Yoga Day!

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Here are 10 reasons why International Yoga Day is for you!

Every year on the 21st of June, the world celebrates International Yoga Day as a day set aside for awareness, festivals, workshops, and even special retreats. To mark its universal appeal, the United National on 11 December 2014, proclaimed 21 June as the International Yoga Day!

The draft resolution was proposed by India and endorsed by a record 175 member states. Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address during the opening of the 69th session of the General Assembly, mentioned: “Yoga is an invaluable gift from our ancient tradition. Yoga embodies unity of mind and body, thought and action … a holistic approach [that] is valuable to our health and our well-being. Yoga is not just about exercise; it is a way to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature” (source).

While today yoga has taken up many forms and adaptations to suit the active and busy lifestyles on individuals and cultures, the heart of yoga resides in one of its most famous teachers B.K.S Iyengar “It is through the alignment of the body that I discovered the alignment of my mind, self, and intelligence.” This quote illuminates the reasons why yoga, if incorporated in one’s daily routine, has benefits beyond physical wellness but the mind and overall well-being as well. It’s not new for children at young age to join yoga classes run either in schools, their housing communities or even encouraged by parents for self-practice at home with the help of freely available videos on Youtube.

In today’s time especially where students succumb to great stress and pressures, there could be no better cure than a 30-45-mins yoga practices which include asanas (postures) and pranayama (breathing exercises). 

Here are 10 reasons why students must consider incorporating simple yoga practice to support their wellness, fitness, and mental wellbeing:

1. Better Concentration

Regular practice of yoga improves blood circulation from the body to the brain as it incorporates inverted postures and flowing movements. This active cell growth for cognition and learning.

2. Reduced Stress

Yoga is known to have stabilizing effects on the nervous system and mind. As the practice maintains a healthy blood pressure level, one is usually left feeling calm and a sense of peace, especially when the practice is closed with breathing practices

3. Better Sleep 

Students have suffer from sleep deprivation due to long hours of studies and project work. However, with yoga, over time increases the release of melatonin, a hormone that manages sleep. Students will find themselves waking up fresh and alert. 

4. Brighter moods 

As yoga promoted positivity, calmness and overall mental wellness, students will find them feeling less negative, enthusiastic and energetic throughout the day.

5. Healthy weight management

Yoga helps improve flexibility and muscle function. Certain asanas (postures) also help target problem areas. With regular yoga practice, one notices visible improvement in digestion which contributes to fat burning, and helps develop lean muscles. Some practices even work up a sweat- like a mini-cardio workout!

6. Relieve Depression 

Yoga is known to have natural antidepressant effects. With the right poses incorporated, Yoga decreases cortisol, also known as the stress hormone, which eventually helps reduce/manage depression. 

7. Relieves eye strain and headaches

There are several yoga postures and breathing techniques that help relieve pressure on the eyes and head, which is especially helpful for students who tend to look at their laptop and books for long hours. 

8. Improved focus 

As yoga improves alertness it also has a direct impact on the level of concentration and focus. Students will almost immediately see an impact as they learn concepts which are now easily understood and grasped with improved focus developed from regular yoga practice. 

9. Buddy yoga 

Yoga is fun when always done with a friend, sibling or even a parent. There are many postures that involve using the support of your buddy and can elevate the practice to one that promotes bonding and friendship.

10. Perfects your posture 

Students are known to have their postures compromised due to long hours of sitting on a chair. This has resulted in bad postures such as shrugged shoulders, curved spines and unbalanced standing postures. Poor postures an cause back, neck, and other muscle and joint problems. Yoga is perfect for correcting postures through alignment asanas done correctly through regular practice.

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