Mandala Art depicting Yoga

7 Reasons Why This Is the Best Time To Adopt Yoga

Mandala Art with person doing Yoga

Why This Is The Best Time To Adopt Yoga?

These days Yoga is the new buzz word. Everyone is into some form of Yoga. For some, it’s a way of living while for others it’s the new “in thing”. But for me, it’s the biggest blessing of this year.

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My Fitness Journey

I have been an ardent gym freak for the last 15 years. Though I joined the gym intending to lose weight after my first daughter was born, it soon became an obsession. My motivation to work out were many with the biggest one being the “ Me time” I used to get for that one hour.  I was a regular except the weekends and days when I was out on vacation.

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After a few years of working out myself, I got a personal trainer and had been working out under his guidance since last 4 years. My workouts moved from being simple exercise sessions to focused training sessions. I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed these as I could see the results initially. In between, I tried to shift to Power Yoga but moved back to the gym as I did not find it engaging enough.

But after some years, the monotony set in. While my trainer did try to bring in variations, but there is only as much variation you can do. So, I continued with the same routine and never looked at experimenting with any other form of exercise.

The Big Migration

Well for us it was a big migration last year when we moved to Singapore from Mumbai. Life suddenly changed, and there were new routines to be set.

I continued with my workout routine here. As a matter of fact, it was easier since the gym is in the condominium and I don’t have to go out.

I also tried Zumba sessions for some different form of exercise and enjoyed it too. This was until the time I realised that my knees are probably not liking the jumping around a bit.

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And then the life turning event of the year happened and no prizes for guessing what I am talking about. We were all stuck in our houses, with gyms, swimming pools & and all outdoor group activities closed. Well, in Singapore we at least could go out for our evening walks which have become a routine for me and my husband.

But I was missing out on my morning exercise and not liking it. And then an idea struck me.

My sister back home in India has been doing Yoga for the last 6 years with this amazing Yoga instructor. She has always been appreciative of the benefits of yoga and has seen it working for her mind and body. I always knew about it but never thought it was for me.

My first impression about Yoga was – it’s for people who cannot do vigorous exercises. It is a very slow and boring mode of workout. And It’s not for my kind who thrives on weight training and intensive cardio.

Well, left with no choice, I decided to give Yoga a try that too through Online Classes with my sister’s Yoga instructor in India. The only silver lining was that my husband agreed to join me for these early morning classes. So, it is always good to have company than do alone.

We started our first class on March 25th and completed 7 months as I write this blog.

How has the journey been…well read on to find out.

Lady doing Yoga near beach

Yoga & Me

Before I get into my experience, I wanted to give you meaning of Yoga –

The word ‘Yoga’ is derived from the Sanskrit root ‘Yuj’, meaning ‘to join’ or ‘to yoke’ or ‘to unite’. As per Yogic scriptures, the practice of Yoga leads to the union of individual consciousness with that of the Universal Consciousness, indicating a perfect harmony between the mind and body, Man & Nature.

Putting it in simple words, when we practice yoga, we try to align our body & mind with our surroundings, thus creating a perfect harmony. The root cause of any disease is an imbalance between our inner self and nature. And once we achieve that harmony, the diseases stay away.

While there are 13 types of Yoga in the world today, these all are nothing but variations of the traditional Yoga. Since we are doing Yoga at home, we prefer doing traditional Yoga.

My husband and I start our day with 45 min of Yoga 5 days a week and it sets the right tone for the entire day.

Maybe it’s providence that our Yoga journey coincided with this momentous year of change. And me being a strong believer of Everything happens for a purpose, sees my shift to Yoga from the gym as a big step towards a healthier calmer lifestyle.

The Transformation

I am sure you must have read numerous benefits of Yoga so what is unique about my journey. Well, for a person who used to swear by gym, adopting yoga is a complete paradigm shift. Same is the case with my husband. He is into playing racket sports like Squash and Badminton. Yoga for him was probably something that would slow him down.

But what we both experienced and continue to do so is completely contrary. And Here’s why.

1. The Workout for the Mind & the Body

Lady doing Yoga facing the sky

Let me give you a glimpse of our daily Yoga schedule.

We start with stretching & warm-up, then we go to breathing exercises.  After this, we go targeted exercises for different parts of the body. I will cover this in the next point. After completing the targeted exercise, we do the cooldown and breathing exercises (Kapal Bhati ~ breath of fire) again.

Therefore in 45 minutes, we cover the basic exercises required to calm our mind along with targeted exercises. This is not all, read on for more.

2. The Complete Body Workout

Lady doing yoga on a yoga mat

I always thought yoga was slow and did not have rigorous exercises unless you opt for Power Yoga. I soon realised how wrong I was.

Here’s our weekly Yoga Exercises schedule-

After doing the daily routine of stretching & breathing exercises, we go to a targeted workout. Every day of the week we focus on different things

  • Monday – Rigorous Cardio
  • Tuesday – Surya Namaskar ( Sun Salutations)
  • Wednesday – Stomach & Sides
  • Thursday – 31 Yoga Poses for the whole body
  • Friday – Stretching & Meditation

Of course, this schedule is not carved in stone and we do alter it depending upon our energy levels some days ( Our Yoga guru is quite patient with us )

Well, what's the point I am trying to make? I used to dedicate different days to different parts of the body in the gym also, but I always felt If I was doing legs, the focus was just legs.

But in Yoga, I can feel every posture integrates so many parts of my body, and the focus on breathing makes the entire experience complete.

I used to be completely exhausted after my 30 minutes of a gym session. After 45 minutes of Yoga, I have this sweet pain which you get after every part of your body is stretched. And that goes away without me even realizing it.

3. Kills the Monotony

Yoga poses hanging

I am completely amazed at the limitlessness of yoga asanas or postures. Every time I tell my Yoga Guru that I want some change, he comes up with a totally different set of postures for us to try.

Here’s an interesting theory. It is believed that there are 8.4 million “Yonis” or different forms of life-based on their birth location. And there is the same amount of postures available in Yoga. Can you beat that? You can do a different posture every day of your life, and it will take you multiple lives to go through all the postures.

With so much of variation available, there is no scope of anyone getting bored of the repetition. In Yoga the only limiting factor is YOU.

4. Yoga is Right for any Age

Chid in yoga pose

In India, a child is introduced to Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) & breathing exercise at the age of 8. As people age, they may not be able to do the difficult asanas, but they definitely can do breathing exercises.

My both parents started doing Pranayama after the age of 80 and continue to do so.

Today we so many young people adopting the Yoga way of life because they are seeing the results which are beyond physical transformation and I will tell you why.

5. Any Where Any Place

Lady doing yoga in mountain

You can do Yoga anywhere. You don’t need fancy gym equipment or weights. If you have them, then Yoga can utilize them, if not, start with a yoga mat. Its exercise where the only investment you need to do is your time. If you want, you can get a trainer or start with numerous YouTube videos available.

Once the decision was taken, it hardly took us a day to put it into practice. I had a room in my house where I could start, a highly recommended Yoga teacher and technology to get going. So simple, isn’t it.

6. Breathing exercises & Meditation

Yoga pose depicting breathing

We dedicate one session in the week to an elongated breathing exercise (Pranayama) & Meditation. This is one thing that was missing in my gym schedule earlier. For those who are into yoga and have been practising, Pranayama will understand what I am saying next. Pranayama promotes relaxation and mindfulness as it strengthens the connection between our mind and the body.

For both my husband and me, this session has been a great source of inner peace and mental strength, especially during trying times. There is a sense of calm and acceptance of reality and also the realization of living in the present.

7. Yoga is Therapeutic

Healing power of yoga being depicted

There is no doubt that Yoga has healing powers. But it is not like popping a pill and getting the result in 30 mins. It’s a slow but steady process which gives long-term relief from pain. There have been numerous instances where I have used various Yoga postures for my everyday aches and pains.

It all started with the world moving online and work from home becoming a norm. We are spending more time on the laptops than ever, and unfortunately, there are no coffee breaks or a quick stroll after lunch with colleagues. The zoom meetings are happening while having lunch, and the workload has increased.

The result was a pain in the neck and shoulders because of our posture. And that’s where Yoga came to my rescue after popping in many pain killers

I have utilized Yoga principles for headaches and lack of sleep and they really help. Only thing is that we must have the patience to let the body adapt to the right way of handling it which we ignore most of the time.

I have also seen yoga work magically for rehabilitation. My sister, who is a cancer survivor started her road to recovery with Yoga. As she was already practising Yoga before her illness, her body reacted positively, and today she is back doing the headstands and planks with the same fervour as before. I must also give due credit to her Guru, who patiently encouraged her and helped her in the road to recovery.

So, what’s the final verdict for me? I have completely switched to Yoga for now at least and am enjoying it. I don’t feel like going back to the gym. Again this blog is not a Yoga Vs Gym debate, and that one is better than the other. The objective of this blog is to highlight what I found in Yoga which I did not find in Gym.

Lady doing Namaskar

And the best part is that I have inspired quite a few people in my family to start Yoga and they will certainly agree with my thoughts.

Before I end, I have to thank two people who brought Yoga in my life. The first one is my sister, who inspired me to give Yoga a try. She is also my biggest competitor. Our last record is of 10 minutes plank. She is still ahead of me on headstand record. I also want to thank her for the beautiful Yoga inspired Mandala Art header for my blog.

And the second one is my Yoga Guru Mohan Sharma. He has done M.Sc in Yoga and now pursuing his PhD. His knowledge, dedication & patience comes through so strongly even on a video call. His Facebook Page is called Shriyoga International.

You cannot always control what goes on outside, but you can always control what goes on inside. And you can do this with Yoga.

If you like this blog and if it inspires you to adopt Yoga, pl do share with your friends & family. And if you are a Yoga proponent, them I am sure you will.

If you would like to be a part of my tribe, please do subscribe to my Newsletter.

“Yoga is not a work-out, it is a work-in”

This is why Yoga is different from other exercises & there is no better time to adopt Yoga than now.

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Rippy Gauba is a mom of 2 teens who has taken a sabbatical from her 22 years of corporate life & now indulging in her passions which includes spending quality time with her family, painting and blogging. She writes on Mindset, Motivation & Management Tips which impact our lives as an individual, as a parent and as a working professional. She believes that these nuggets can create Ripples of change & that's her intention.

5 thoughts on “7 Reasons Why This Is the Best Time To Adopt Yoga”

  1. Dr Minni Chadha?

    I have been practising yoga since 2014… to be accurate from 12th October 2014….and it’s been an incredible journey ..
    As a result of surgery, chemo & radiotherapy in 2017… I couldn’t move my left arm… slowly with the help of yoga… I regained my strength… it is a very slow process but it happens… if you are looking for quick results…yoga is not for you …
    But the main credit goes to our yoga guru… his patience,his constant encouragement brought me back to normal…. to the extend Iam doing planks & headstand quite easily…
    You have to experience it to believe in it’s effectiveness….
    Good job done Rippy….
    And cover page has also come out almost perfect… even if I say so myself 😉

  2. Welcome to the world of yog, dear Yogini Rippy. Yes, I recollect how you have been so regular and dedicated to the gym. These past few months have given you the time and space for so many new areas of exploration. Happy for you.

  3. Very well expressed. I have been practising yoga for the last 4 years and manage to convince my husband to accompany me. I realised one thing though that yoga does not help in reducing weight like gym but definitely it calms the mind and helps to keep the body parts moving aptly like oiling some machinery. The breathing exercises in particular are highly recommended for corona times!
    Waiting for more from you?

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