International Day of Yoga is celebrated every year on June 21. This day has been observed since 2015 to highlight the benefits of yoga and encourage people to stay fit and active. For the sixth edition of International Yoga Day, which will be observed amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the theme has been decided as "Yoga at Home and Yoga with Family." The theme is in keeping with current advisories to stay indoors as much as possible, to reduce the risk of contracting the highly infectious coronavirus. "Due to the contagious nature of COVID-19, no mass gathering would be advisable this year. Hence, this year the ministry is encouraging people to practice yoga at their homes, with participation from the entire family," the AYUSH Ministry said in a statement.
The benefits of doing yoga are multifold and extend beyond the physical. If you are keen to adopt a healthier lifestyle, yoga is a great way to begin. Here are five benefits of doing yoga for health and mind:
Yoga has been shown to have a calming effect and is widely practiced as a way to relieve the stress of everyday life. Research has shown that doing yoga can help in alleviating depression and anxiety disorders. Yoga also teaches us to focus on better breathing techniques, which calm the nervous system and aid in mental wellbeing. Sukhasana, uttanasana and rabbit pose are just some of the yoga poses that can help with stress management.
There are many different styles of yoga. Some that are focused on the physical, like power yoga, work to improve muscle tone and body strength. According to WebMD, even less vigorous styles of yoga like hatha yoga can help build endurance and improve flexibility. Some poses that can help build your body's strenth include anjaneyasana, side plank and boat pose.
Helps with back pain
Back pain is a problem that plagues many, thanks to hectic lifestyles, sitting for long periods of time and lack of exercise, among other reasons. Luckily, practicing yoga regularly has been shown to help with back pain as well. If you are living with back pain or just want to strengthen your back and work towards better posture, spinal twist, downward dog, child's pose and eagle pose are some yoga postures that can help.
The focus that yoga places on moving and stretching has far-reaching benefits for your body's flexibility. Besides providing all the benefits of other forms of exercise, yoga also helps stretch and lengthen muscles in a safe manner.
According to Penn Medicine, various studies have shown that yoga has cardiovascular benefits and improves heart health. "Yoga, like other forms of exercise, can improve your cholesterol and blood sugar levels by improving metabolism, and can lower blood pressure by improving artery relaxation," says Dr Helene Glassberg, cardiologist at the Penn Heart and Vascular Center.