International Yoga Day 2021

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What is Yoga ?

Woman doing Yoga

If you always thought that yoga is all about bending and twisting your body in odd shapes, it’s time to rethink.

Yoga is all about harmonizing the body with the mind and breath through the means of various breathing exercises, yoga poses (asanas) and meditation.

It is a spiritual discipline  based on an extremely subtle science, which focuses on bringing harmony between mind and body. The holistic approach of Yoga is well established and it brings harmony in all walks of life and thus, known for disease prevention, promotion of health and management of many lifestyle –related disorders. Today, Yoga is popular across the globe, not just because of its efficacy in the management of some diseases, but also of its strength in providing relief to the practitioner, from mental and emotional distress and  providing a feeling of well-being. Hence, now-a-days Yoga is being practiced as part of healthy life style across the globe.

History of Yoga

The term 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. The aim of Yoga is Self-Realization, to overcome all kinds of sufferings leading to ‘the state of liberation’. This is one of the oldest sciences of the world, which originated in India. Yoga is very useful for preserving and maintaining one’s physical and mental health and also for  ‘spiritual evolution’. The practice of Yoga is believed to have started with the very dawn of civilization.

Who Can Do Yoga ?

Is yoga for everyone? It is one of the most common question asked. Sure, it is. The practice of yoga is excellent for the human body and mind. However, not all asanas are suitable for everyone. It’s important to keep in mind your age, health condition, and fitness level before embarking on your yoga journey. Every asana or pranayama comes with its own set of contraindications. 

Some of the contraindications includes:

Pregnancy

Pregnant women should not practice rigorous asanas. Advanced core-strengthening exercises, inversions, asanas in supine positions, intensive backbends, poses that compress the abdomen, or extreme twisting postures are generally contraindicated during pregnancy.

Sciatica

Yoga can help relieve pain caused by compression of the sciatic nerve or the piriformis muscle — a small muscle under the glutes. But certain asanas can work the other way round ie, increase your pain, and must be avoided at all costs. Do not practice forward bends or extreme backbends. If you have severe pain radiating down from hip to feet, Please do consult your physiotherapist before starting yoga or book an appointment with us.

Knee pain

Knee pain is a common condition, especially among the elderly. It can be easily managed by yoga done with the help of props and some modifications. However, poses like Trikonasana, Virabhadrasana, Utkatasana, or Padmasana are contraindicated for those suffering from knee pain. These exert unwanted pressure on the knee or push the knee beyond its range of motion. Avoid all poses on hands and knees. If you have severe pain in your knee(s), Please do consult your physiotherapist before starting yoga or book an appointment with us.

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Hernia and ulcers

Restorative and slow-paced forms of yoga are helpful for those suffering from peptic ulcers or hernias. However, practicing rigorous core-strengthening asanas will worsen your condition. Core strengthening is a major aspect of yoga, but it is best to avoid it when you are suffering from a hernia or ulcer. Do not practice poses that involve abdominal compression and intensive twists. 

Hypertension/ Heart Problems

If you are suffering from hypertension, practice asanas that allow you to consciously relax. Avoid inversion poses, which put additional pressure on the heart such as Downward Dog, Sarvangasana, Handstand, or Setu Bandhasana. Meditation and yogic practices are said to reduce stress-induced hypertension and have several therapeutic benefits. Diaphragmatic Breathing and Yoga Nidra can also be very beneficial.

Frozen shoulder or injury

In case of shoulder joint dislocation or exacerbation, it is advisable to avoid poses that stretch the shoulder area and put weight on the joint. Shoulder openers such as Puppy Pose, Gomukhasana, or Downward Dog should not be practiced. Instead visit your physiotherapist before starting yoga or book an appointment with us. to improve shoulder range with advanced painfree physiotherapy techniques.

Lower back pain

Depending on your condition, try to avoid advanced forward or backward bending positions as it may lead to overextension of vertebral joints and acute inflammation. Though most of the pain in the lower back is a result of poor posture, weak back muscles and spinal immobility, it is imperative to understand your own limitations. Severe Low back pain requires proper physiotherapy treatment before starting yoga. Book an appointment with us and get back to your normal daily routine faster.

Surgery

Anyone who has undergone surgery or met with an accident should avoid yoga for at least three months. Before beginning or resuming practice, it is advisable to consult your doctor to understand how it can affect the surgical procedure or the injury. Get the Proper post Surgical Rehabilitation done before starting Yoga. To know more book an appointment with us.

Hip, wrist and ankle injury/ pain

In case of severe pain in any body joint, avoid asanas that can add strain, stretch, or flex that joint aggressively. You may want to even lay off for a while till the pain is relieved. But it may take a long time and all your progress achieved during yoga may be lost. The Physiotherapist can help you in decreasing pain and promoting healing. So why don’t you visit your physiotherapist or book an appointment with us.

FAQs and Myth Buster

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Can I do yoga if I’m not flexible?

Yes. Yoga has been widely shown to increase flexibility, so a lack of flexibility only gives you more reason to practice. If you have limited range of motion (ROM) in a pose because your muscles are tight or you are recovering from an injury, it can be helpful to visualize your body moving deeper into the pose.

Why do my joints “pop”?

Most joints have synovial fluid between the bones, which contains dissolved gas molecules. Creating more space in the joint—for example, by pulling your thumb—pulls gases out of the fluid, similar to how CO2 bubbles fizz out of carbonated drinks when you open the bottle. The gases redissolve into the fluid, and can be “popped” again after 20–30 minutes.

Is it possible to stretch too much?

Yes. There is a correlation between hypermobility—the ability to stretch beyond the normal range, or being “double jointed”—and chronic joint pain. When you stretch, you should feel the stretching sensation in the middle of the muscle, not near the joints, and you want to be able to breathe smoothly through the stretch.

Hot yoga makes me
more flexible.

It does, but only in the moment; it doesn’t necessarily affect how flexible you are afterward. Higher temperatures raise your metabolic rate, warming your tissue quicker so you can stretch deeper.

I suffer from neck pain from texting and typing. Can yoga help?

Yes. While typing or texting, many of us allow our heads to fall forward. This increases the load on the neck and upper back muscles. With sustained strain, these muscles become inflamed and excessively tight, which can lead to pain. Yoga improves your awareness of how you hold your head throughout the day, which can prevent tech
neck. Along with that Physiotherapy sessions will increase recovery rate a lot.

I have back problems, so I can’t do yoga.

Research suggests that yoga is safe and effective for relieving chronic back pain. However, you may need to make adjustments to certain asanas or avoid some poses completely if you are managing a specific back condition. You Physiotherapist can help you with healing and pain concern and you will be able to all asanas later on.

Does yoga benefit children?

A focus on academic performance can result in children sitting for long periods of time and can lead to other vital life skills being overlooked. As a holistic practice, yoga emphasizes the whole child, so it fulfills an important need for social and emotional learning (SEL).

Make A Pledge Now

If you want to remain healthy and prevent yourself from side effects of sedentary lifestyles make a pledge Now. Please Make YOGA an Integral Part of your daily life. To know more about Yoga visit here.