Answered by | Mimi Partha Sarathy, Founder & Senior Yoga Teacher
I have been practicing yoga for several decades now. Initially the focus was more on asana practice. Later the asana practice, even if intense was purely a breath based practice which made me enjoy my practice even more and also achieve more advanced levels in my practice. Ending every practice session with pranayama and meditative practices was most important for me to consolidate my practice, calm down my body , breathe and mind, remove any stress at the body and breathe level, and be ready for my day at work, or for a good night’s sleep – depending on the time of my practice. For me, yoga IS my life.
The benefits of practicing yoga and pranayama and meditation every day are immense. Some of these benefits are an increase in flexibility and core strength at the body level; a well-toned, lighter and stable body and of course lesser ailments. Resistance and immunity is also built up over time. All this has contributed towards a physical wellbeing.
Asana and pranayama have also helped in a big way to regulate my breath. The inhalations have become long and exhalations have slowed down resulting in a fuller and even breath.
There have been enormous intangible and more subtle benefits in terms of its impact on the way I think, act, behave and emote.
There is a clarity and steadiness in the thought process. The yoga practice including the asana, pranayama and meditative practices has increased the focus and attention span and enabled one to understand whatever one is focusing on in a more complete and deeper manner. Daily practice has been greatly beneficial in my work life for handling my several businesses as well as many engagements and activities I am involved with.
My interaction with people around me has changed for the better and my interaction with my own self is much gentler and patient. At the emotional level, there is again stability. Yes, there are good days and not so good days – much better when compared to great and horrible days! There is happiness, sadness, anger, disappointment and all other emotions but it’s so much more manageable. There is a definite pause instead of just letting the emotion take over. And there is a great ability to just ‘let go’ and become light.
More and more one seeks to respond to a situation or people instead of just reacting! There is an invisible filter through which one’s thoughts, words and action pass resulting in a refined thought, action and behavior.
So yoga practice has contributed towards emotional, intellectual and mental wellbeing too along with physical wellbeing and of course at a deeper level a spiritual wellbeing is an intrinsic aspect of yoga.
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Last updated on March 4, 2020