Holistic approach to fitness

By  , Midday
Oct 04, 2010

Yoga is the answer for anyone looking for a holistic approach to fitness. The asanas and breathing techniques strengthen joints, boost muscle flexibility, burn calories, and also induce feelings of wellbeing, which helps alleviate stress


The time has finally come to write those three dreaded words: 'The final article'.


My eight-week epic battle against the "treadmill and bad gym music" comes to an end with this article. And, as is customary, I have saved the best for last: Yoga.


My experience


The first time I seriously tried yoga was when I was around 16. Armed with just my enthusiasm, I headed to an institute in Santa Cruz. But my enthusiasm was short-lived and my teenage restlessness eventually got the better of me.


However, my fascination for yoga continued, which led to my practicing it on and off over the years.


A year ago, I got back seriously into yoga, after meeting my teacher, Pradeesh, who also happens to be my Kalaripayattu teacher.


With regular kriya and breathing exercises I have been able to overcome my bronchitis problem. I also practice the Sudarshan Kriya, which I learnt at the Art of Living course.


Forms of yoga


Yoga is the Sanskrit word for "union". Yoga employs asanas and breathing techniques, and its health benefits may surpass those obtained from any other activity.


There are a different forms of yoga, right from power yoga to hot (hatha) yoga, and different forms work for different people.


While I prefer the ancient system of yoga, which involves doing each asana slowly and holding the pose for a while, it's important to figure out what works best for you.




The benefits of yoga are manifold. Let's take a quick look at how it benefits one physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.


Yoga is an incredible way to strengthen your muscles, tendons, and joints and make them supple and flexible. It can increase bone density, and cure chronic back, neck and joint pains.


Ashtagna yoga, Power yoga, Vinyasa yoga and Bikram yoga require you to keep your body in constant motion between poses, and this makes for a good cardiovascular workout.


The different asanas and breathing exercises in yoga, induce feelings of relaxation and wellbeing. The regular practice of yoga alleviates stress, and yoga has also been used to help treat depression.


Yoga increases the level of oxygen in the body and improves circulation, so it is helpful in reducing the effects of migraine and tension headaches.


It lowers blood pressure and heart rate and benefits those with problems of hypertension and insomnia.


And last, but not the least, yoga is a great way to burn calories, reduce weight and get rid of excess, unwanted inches.


Find out what works best for you and keep that heart ticking. Because at the end of the day "health is wealth". Stay fit. Bye for now.


Source: http://www.mid-day.com/


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