For the rush of calm
Yoga trainer Yashmitha Thingalaya says yoga is more than just a mental and physical exercise; it’s a value system. How? We find out.
Yoga is known to help the body and mind. In the last few years, it has gained a worldwide recognition and most of us are practicing yoga. However, stress, anger, agitation, and worry are still something people are always complaining of. Why do we not see a change?
There is a gap in how people practice their yoga. Yoga postures have become a fad. People practice yoga any which way. It is imperative to follow the right practice in its authentic way. Say, I see a lot of people who do not end the session with ‘savasana’ (corpse pose). If one does not end the session with it, it could create a lot of imbalance of energy in the body. During the yoga session, the body and mind are in a highly elated state. If one goes directly to carry on with the chores without calming the body using the ‘savasana’ asana, the body could be harmed.
As a yoga instructor, which age do you think is right to begin the practice?
Can begin after the age of 9–10. Asanas (body postures) could be the point of beginning to keep the physical health strong. Once the student becomes comfortable, he/she will naturally graduate to other limbs of yoga.
Since when have you been practicing yoga?
The first time I practiced yoga was in school. It was a compulsory activity that we had to undertake. The PT teacher taught us some basic asanas. Ever since then I have been a yoga practitioner, with intermittent breaks though. I gained a consistency three-and-a-half years ago.
You said intermittent, which means you kept falling back to the practice. Was it because you missed something during the breaks?
I missed the feeling I gained after the end of every session. I felt mentally and physically amazing after the sessions and that was what brought me back to practicing the tool.
The breaks used to occur because of office timings and other office related activities. Sometimes I was working night shifts, at other times the class timings didn’t help.
You said you felt ‘amazing’. Could you elaborate?
I felt a rush of dopamine release in my system. People who exercise regularly will relate to what I mean. Besides that, the yoga mat taught me resilience. Say, when performing an asana, I had to practice the posture several times to get that right.
That taught me resilience, which translated to my everyday life. Also, during the phases I practiced yoga, I coped with situations better.
Could you mention examples of how you coped with situations better?
If, on days with humungous amount of work and deadlines at office, I sensed I crack under pressure, I took breaks and practiced breathing technique to manage the mind. Without yoga, I was an agitated employee and the agitation continued to the next day as well.
Also, yoga is beyond mental and physical wellness. It is a value system. It teaches ‘vairagya’ and ‘abhyasa’ which translate to ‘detachment’ and ‘practice’ as values to live life with.