Here's to a healthier life with yoga

Yesterday, saw a plethora of places mark International Yoga Day. While Delhi, of course, had the massive yoga exercise in full swing, Mumbai too saw huge turnouts at different yoga spots in the city. Practitioners took part with great gusto and it was certainly an eye-catching sight. The first International Yoga Day, mandated by the United Nations (UN), was for all practical purposes, a rip-roaring success and not even the heavy Mumbai monsoon could dampen the enthusiasm of participants.

It was heartening to note that age was no bar for those who were doing yoga. The participants spanned an entire spectrum, pointing to the wide appeal of the discipline. What people must ensure now is that they practice yoga under a trained, qualified professional. They must also pursue yoga in the correct spirit, not simply to be fashionable and with the times, but treat it as a science for mind and body.

Most importantly though, what yesterday should have taught us is that yoga is not a one-off practice or should not be relegated to one day of the year, or the week. It is not an excuse to get a Kodak moment. It should be incorporated into one’s lifestyle and become a part of regular, everyday living for full benefits. Let it not be a sporadic, exercise in publicity or simply something one does for on a single day when carried away by all the hype.

Yoga has tremendous benefits for the mind too, not just the body. In a city where stressful living is par for the course and hectic whirlwind lifestyles take a toll on both body and mind, yoga can be an antidote, escape or stress buster. Taking just an hour or so, it is a way to connect with oneself and survive the mad rat race that we get caught up in.

Like PM Narendra Modi’s Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan, where he is trying to inculcate a culture of cleanliness rather than just sporadic adherence to swachhata, the UN International Yoga Day should be a springboard for lifestyle change. Let yesterday’s success propel one forward to take up yoga with consistency.

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