Category: Yoga Written by Himanshu Joshi
Yoga for people in their 20s to get better health, mindfulness and better thinking power!
In the 20s, the energy level is quite high among both men and women. It is the best time to channelize this energy into meaningful activities and self-development.
This is also the time when people fall in love for the first time and it leaves a lasting impression on them depending on the success or failure of their relationship. While adulthood requires them to take some important decisions in life, there is always a chance of taking wrong decisions or being carried away by external situations or peer pressure.
Love, heartbreak, insecurity about future, aspirations about career – all these factors can affect a person’s mental health and if not tackled well, can continue to haunt him/her for the entire life. The emotional upheaval at times is so strong that it is very hard to navigate and make right choices. During this phase of life, the body is also subject to a very high level of abuse — eating highly-processed unhealthy food and following very irregular schedule. Late night partying and experimenting with smoking and drinking are also quite common. Many of the youth fall prey to drugs and other addictive substances which they are unable to get rid of in later part of the life and develop various associated diseases.
As a result of bad habits, many youngsters develop hormonal imbalance which multiplies the problems. In some cases, life is totally dark and ruined and all hopes for the future are dashed. On the other hand, life is bright, full of hope and optimism, and meteoric rise in career in case of youngsters who take right decisions. It is that part of the life when foundation for the remaining part is laid. All in all, your 20s play a very crucial part in your entire life.
Yoga can be your friend-for-life to help you lead a happy and wholesome life. Its early embrace means solid foundation for an amazing physical and mental health. As regular practice of yoga postures and meditation enables the practitioner to find his/her true personality, strength and weakness, and limitations and capabilities, adding it in daily routine goes a long way in making life journey steady and smooth. It is very important to read your own pattern and anticipate the outcomes. In case, you are going in wrong direction and you learn about this you can always course-correct. Yoga helps you in building this capability –foreseeing the danger and taking the decision to avert it.
Adoption of a yogic routine channelizes the energy in the right directions and boosts immunity unexpectedly. It takes away laziness, lethargy and procrastination, and fills life with positivity. It pushes mental boundaries and brings limitless possibilities, hitherto unvisualized. Yoga works simultaneously at multiple levels. Besides bringing strength and flexibility in the body, it significantly enhances memory and alertness. The various breathing techniques and meditation calm down the mind and thus helps in better decision-making. It quickens the pace of spiritual growth and makes you wiser with growing age. By developing the skill to read the rhythms and vibrations of the body, the practitioner acquires very high level of intelligence.
Adopting yoga early on in life keeps you ahead of the crowd. You always shine with high level of confidence, strong determination, a healthy body and ability to take on challenges. You develop deeper understanding of the connection between body and mind and the fact that the harmony between the two is essential to achieve higher goals.
Purification of body and mind
It is absolutely necessary to detox the body to feel fresh. Yoga has attached a lot of importance to purifying the body and considers it as a prerequisite for practising Asanas (yogic postures) and Pranayamas (breathing exercises). Purification of the body is one of the eight key principles in Patanjali’s Yog Sutras. It is for anyone to experience that impurities in the body severely affect mental and emotional health. It not only causes various diseases but restricts a person’s ability to progress in career and personal life. A disease takes root in the body much before its symptoms appear. As it is in the 20s when most people make unhealthy lifestyle choices, adding yoga in daily routine during this time of the life lays strong foundation for a disease-free and healthy life.
The various movements during yoga poses purify the body by improving blood circulation and oxygen. It removes toxins from the body through sweat as intense practice generates heat. Once the impurities and toxins are out from the body, the blood circulation improves and the various organs function better. The breathing exercises improve the flow of the prana (life force) and the practitioner feels full of energy and more alive. The clutter and confusion in mind substantially go down and clarity replaces them.
Yoga focusses on both internal and external purification. While healthy Satvic food and practice of yogic exercises ensure internal purity, a clean and hygienic place adds to the yoga benefits. Meditation helps in attaining higher level of mental purification. It helps the practitioner assess the quality of thoughts and replace the negative ones with the positive set by using the affirmation and other techniques. The regular practice calms the mind and lets the negative emotions go. It brings long-lasting peace thereby improving the decision-making ability.
15 yoga and meditation tips and Asanas for youngsters
Wake up before sun rises
The ancient practice of Yoga is not just about the Asanas but a holistic change in your routine for boosting overall health. Waking up before or as the sun rises can bring your biological clock in sync with nature which will ensure all your body systems work efficiently and towards your well-being. Many youngsters today are dealing with depression, stress, anxiety and other mental health issues. Waking up with the sun can help you sleep better and is a great way to manage the mood swings and disorders.
Empty your bowels first thing in the morning
Many people do not pay attention to this very important aspect of good health and do not follow a regular time to empty their bowels. How you train your mind is also how you train your body. Fixing a regular time to pass motions in the morning can help you stay energetic and relaxed the entire day. This also ensures your body is detoxified and is able to get rid of unwanted substances effectively. This will keep you disease-free in the longer run. One must seek an expert opinion if constipation has become chronic and accordingly make adjustment in food habits.
Drinking lukewarm water
Water is one of the basic constituents of the body. Lack of water in the body may cause a number of ailments. It’s therefore important to keep the body always hydrated by drinking water – warm or cold. While a lot of research is yet to go to determine warm water is more beneficial than cold, people generally have found warm water helpful in throat issues, digestion and problems involving sinuses. It is hence always advisable to start the day with a glass of warm water instead of tea or coffee loaded with caffeine.
Take a bath between 6am to 8am
Bathing is an important part of our routine as per Ayurveda as it helps in removing toxins, sweat and dirt from the body, fights fatigue and fills you up with energy for the new day. Many youngsters take a bath quite late in the morning and at times after breakfast. However, as per our Shastras, taking a bath between 6am to 8am in the morning – which is considered as Manushyasnanam – and right before sunset is the best time and brings the best results for your energy levels and health. One should not take a bath after meals as it dampens the digestive fire and may cause digestive issues.
Taking time to unwind
One must push oneself to achieve higher goals in life. This requires a lot of effort, perseverance and hard work. Many a time, you tend to forget when to take pause. As a result, monotony sets in, energy level plummets, disinterest develops and stress grows.
The cycle continues day in and day out. In order to come out of this situation, one must take pause, break the vicious chain and re-energize oneself. If you have returned home from work and still thinking about work, you may not be able to take proper rest and may feel the mind agitated next morning. If this chain continues, you may be harming yourself in the long run. Addressing this is very important and here comes the role of unwinding. After the day’s work is over you must indulge in relaxing activities such as watching a TV program or reading a book or chit-chatting with your loved ones. This will help you cut yourself from work of the day and rejuvenate for next assignment.
Set fixed time for meditation
Considering the lifestyle changes, it is difficult to find a fixed time for meditation. But experts consider morning as the best time for meditation as mind is fresh during this time. Meditation in the morning helps set the tone of the day. During this time, a 10-minue meditation could prepare you to perform even the most challenging task without much effort. Setting a fixed time and prior planning always helps one work more effectively. As mind is relatively peaceful in the morning and thoughts are generally settled, a slot for meditation during this early part of the day could do wonders.
Deep breathing exercises throughout the day
There are many moments in the day when you feel extremely overwhelmed with work and responsibilities and your brain tends to give up and stop working. Our multiple responsibilities at work make it almost impossible for us to do things in a relaxed way and this results in lowered productivity or quality of work. Yoga can come to your rescue here as even a 5-minute deep breathing sessions can calm you down, clear out your mind and help you take the right decisions. One should do these simple deep breathing sessions at least 3-4 times in a day in order to work optimally.
Morning pranayama routine
Morning is the perfect time to set intention for the day and work on your goals. To bring your mind in the right state of mind, it is important to bring it in the right rhythm. Pranayama and breathing exercises can reduce your heart rate and blood pressure, help you focus and approach things from a new perspective. Following a pranayama routine can also help you achieve maximum productivity with minimum stress.
Be mindful during the day
The body and mind function based on the inputs they get in the form of food, thoughts, the people you meet, the surroundings you live and the routine you follow apart from many other factors. Emotions that arise in the mind also tell a lot about our personality. You can self-discover by being mindful of your actions and responses during the day. So, watch out your activities and see what impression they leave. By doing so you are most likely to take good decisions in your life.
Just like giving a peaceful start to the day, it is important to unwind your day effectively in order to wake up with fresh energy the next day. To achieve, this one must keep aside all the electronic gadgets at least two hours before bedtime. Taking a shower, reading a book and writing in your journal are other activities that can bring your body in the perfect state to relax and fall asleep. Before hitting the bed, one can sit down briefly for a short meditation session that involves observing the breath and releasing the accumulated stress of the day. A good night’s sleep can do wonders for your health and keep many diseases away.
Yoga postures for strength and flexibility
Vir Bhadrasana or Warrior pose is one of the most common Hatha Yoga Asanas (postures) aimed at building strength and flexibility. It develops focus and concentration of mind. Regular practice of warrior pose increase flexibility in shoulder, thigh and hips. It tones the legs and feet. Warrior pose challenges one’s physical and mental strength and readies him to take on the bigger challenge. It brings confidence and helps the practitioner understand the deeper connection between body and mind. As it comprises of a lot of alignments, one perfects Warrior pose after intense practice. Those doing long sitting hours can immensely benefit from this Asana. It boosts energy and keeps laziness away.
Setu Bandhasana (Bridge pose)
Setu Bandhasana is a Sanskrit word comprising of Setu which means bridge, Bandha which means lock or bind, and Asana which means posture. As the name suggests, the body looks like a bridge while performing this Asana. An intermediate level posture, Sethu Bandhasana brings multiple benefits for the practitioner. As the body is generally flexible in 20s, practicing this posture is not difficult. It strengthens back muscles and gives good stretch to chest, spine and neck. Bridge pose improves blood circulation and relieves one from stress and anxiety. A few rounds of the Asana stimulates the endocrine and nervous system thus rejuvenating body and mind.
Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation is one of the very popular Yoga poses. It is composed of 12 powerful Yoga poses and is a complete package in itself. In this posture, the practitioner gives salute to the Sun which symbolises energy, vitality and life. As each part of the body is involved in Surya Namaskar, it’s a wholesome exercise. Surya Namaskar is also an excellent Asana for shedding weight especially belly fat. It stimulates the nervous system and improves immunity. Making Surya Namaskar part of the daily routine keeps body and mind healthy. The Asana is widely recommended to people of all age groups. For youngsters it is especially beneficial as regular practice improves cognitive functions.
Vajrasana is one of the simple Asanas and any beginner can do it. The Asana has been found very beneficial in case of digestive issues as it improves bowel movement. It relieves from acidity and helps body absorb the nutrients from the food. Vajrasana helps improve blood circulation, relieves from back pain and strengthens pelvic muscles. It considerably enhances the flexibility of thigh and various muscles around hip, leg, knee and ankle. Vajrasana is highly recommended for those susceptible to diabetes as it stimulates the abdominal organs and helps the body produce insulin. It also calms the mind and enhances focus.
Shavasana is made up of two words Shava which means a corpse and Asana (posture). As the name suggests, it is the posture of being in complete relaxation. This asana is performed at the end of the Yoga session. Though it initially appears to be quite easy but one comes to know about its profoundness only after a while. Shavasana calms the nervous system and improves immunity. It calms the mind and brings the feeling of equanimity. It helps the practitioner become self-aware and understand his/her real personality. The asana relieves from stress, anxiety and depression.
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