Every year, International Yoga Day is celebrated on June 21. Image for representational purpose only. Photo Courtesy: istock
Many of us have succumbed to the fast-paced life in Mumbai over the years. With most of our time spent in the local trains or simply fitness anymore. This coupled with the long working hours, means that many of us are not only left tired and stressed and looking to take a break to regain our energy and composure.
Since most of us commute from different parts of the city either by train, autorickshaws, buses, cars or bikes, we also end up spending most of our time with these modes of transports.
Every year, International Yoga Day is celebrated on June 21. Mid-day Online spoke to Joanna Michelle, city-based yoga and flexibility coach to understand how one can make the most of this time we spend travelling to help improve our overall mood and fitness in the process. While busting myths about yoga, she suggests five exercises that can be easily done by people in these vehicles or simply while waiting at a signal in the city. Joanna also highlights why these yoga practices can help us.
Can people do yoga while travelling?
Yes, absolutely! Yoga asanas can be performed anywhere. It can be done when you get a ten-minute break in between work or while you are travelling. Your commute time to work is also great to practice breathwork and meditation that are all a part of a yoga practice.
Do people need to have a yoga mat to do the asanas?
Not necessarily. I sometimes love practicing on the sand or on grass. The cushioning of the mat helps protect your wrists, knees and spine against the floor. So, depending on your body you may need some form of a mat. Even a folded towel works to kneel or lie on.
Please suggest yoga asanas that people can do in different places. (For example: car, bike, autorickshaw, bus, train)
Some simple movements that one can practice anywhere are neck rotations and neck stretches to the side. People can practice Parsva Sukhasana (seated side stretch), Marjariasana (cat and cow), Kundalini Circles (making circles with your chest to the left and right), Parivrtta Sukhasana (spinal twists), Gomukhasana for a good shoulder stretch that helps with posture, and sitting crossed legs or in Lotus Pose if possible is a good practice to maintain hip mobility.
What are the common misconceptions that people have about practicing yoga?
A common misconception is that you need to have rigorous practice for it to be effective but that is not true. The aim of a yoga practice is to find peace in your body and in your mind. On some days that might be a slow restorative practice and on others it may be a more challenging flow. You can also practice for 10 minutes or an hour - time is not a constraint. Even a 10-to-15-minute practice will benefit your physical and mental wellbeing.
How long have you been practicing yoga and why should one do yoga? How does it help daily (in traffic)?
I have been practicing yoga along with other forms of movement since 2017. My yoga asana practice has helped me learn to coordinate my movement with my breath allowing for better fluidity and ease of movement even in my daily life. Breathwork, meditation and asana practice all help me release tension and stress from both my body and mind which makes me calmer and more productive. I think one should practice yoga because it helps to keep your mind at peace and movement is a great mood booster while keeping you physically healthy too.
Also Read: Start them young: How to introduce yoga to your kids
(Disclaimer: This article is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Mid-day Online does not in any way endorse the accuracy, completeness, efficacy or timeliness of any advice or line of treatment mentioned in this article. Readers must always seek the advice of a certified medical practitioner and/or a mental health professional before deciding on or starting any course of treatment.)