Yoga is such a vast repertoire of Knowledge that includes so many different practices which benefit your Health, Fitness, Self-understanding and much more. While the general use of Yoga is as a 1 hour Exercise regime, there’s a whole lot more that you can incorporate into your Daily routine to improve the Quality of your everyday living. Here are 5 ways in which I use Yoga daily in order to ease and Enrich my everyday experience of living!
Yoga as an exercise form is quite amazing. I use Yoga as my main form of Exercise to stretch, strengthen and tone all my muscles, joints and internal organs! My 1 hour routine would include everything from Surya Namaskaars, specially chosen Asanas, Pranayam, Bandhas and Meditation. Apart from doing Yoga, I Run everyday, but that’s only complimentary to my Yoga practice and if I had to make a choice on any given day due to lack of time, I’ll prioritise my Yoga practice. Yoga helps me stay Healthy, Fit and Energetic – the 3 things you want from any exercise routine!
> Focussing my Mind:
Long before Yoga was cast as an exercise form, it had been created as a means to Focus one’s Mind and explore deeper realms. Even today, the range of Yogic practices devised to Focus, Concentrate and generally stay Present are unparalleled in all of mind-work. This is a testament to the longevity of Yoga’s appeal, that 3 millennia after some of these practices were mastered they are still just as efficient! I use Chanting (‘Sumiran’ in Sanskrit), Deep Breathing and practices like Trathak to focus my Mind either when all hell is breaking loose around me, or even just to get through the mundane, repetitive chores that make up your everyday experience – from Driving to Walking around!
The Clear-mindedness that comes from these practices is described by Sage Patanjali in the Sutra that speaks about why one should do an Asana (sit in a meditative posture): ‘Tatho Dwandad Nabhi Ghatah’ means that by practising an Asana, ‘Dualities of the Mind are overcome’.
I began my career as a Creative Writer and in fact attended my first Yoga class in order to improve my Focus so that I could be Creative! Of course I fell in love with Yoga so much, that I shifted career paths – but even today I’m committed to my initial interest in Yoga. Whenever confronted with a piece of Writing or other Creative pursuits – from Artistic ones to simple Leadership tasks or Problem-solving, I’ll always Sit down and engage in basic ‘Mindfulness’ meditations like Deep rhythmic Breathing, Listening to Sounds, etc for 10-15 minutes before turning my attention to the problem/ task at hand.
We eat for Energy but often just after eating we are at our least energetic self. This is due to a combination of wrong Eating choices, or often Over-eating! Either ways, even if our meal has been just perfect, sitting for 10 minutes in Vajrasana aids digestion. The combination of the Sitting posture which directs the Blood supply to the Digestive organs, as well as the Calming and Focussing of the Mind helps with your Digestion and in making you feel a lot lighter after your meal.
It’s a Myth that Walking eases digestion! – It doesn’t work because you are using your legs and the Blood circulation is concentrated on the legs rather than the digestive organs. It may feel good only because it’s a habit in your body and mind!
Increasingly we come across people finding real difficulty in Sleeping. What should be one of the most relaxing activities in our daily routine is becoming a source of stress and discomfort. So much so, that millions of People are waking up everyday after an ‘unrested’ Night’s Sleep! I use Yoga Nidra each night after a simple sitting Meditation to ease into deep sleep. In fact Scientific studies show us that 1 hour of Yoga Nidra deep sleep is the equivalent of 4 hours of normal sleep! Apart from being deeply restful, Yoga Nidra provides an opportunity to strengthen my Sankalp or Resolution on a nightly basis. And I wake up fresh and energetic, ready for the next day!
As you can see, YOGA is a big part of my life! At 22, I left Home, Family & Friends to learn Yoga & Meditation under my Guru. Over the course of the next 7 years, I learnt that you should be able to use Yoga effectively to ease the simplest malaises that you face everyday and also to dream, envision and create the most glorious Life you can possible live. From the basic Quality of your Life to Enlightenment itself, Yogis have studied life in greater detail than anyone else – what they’ve bequeathed us is a veritable treasure trove of research into what we call ‘Life’. To not use this knowledge would be like having to re-invent the wheel – every single day! Let’s not do that – rather as Isaac Newton used to say, ‘let’s look further into human consciousness by standing on the shoulders of giants!’
- Manish Pole @ManishPole Bio >>
(Yogi, Speaker & Author, Co-founder of the Total Yoga style of Yoga with studios in B’lore, Pune, Delhi, California & leading Meditation retreats in the Himalayas!)