International Yoga Day is just around the corner, and it has everyone excited! The theme for this year is “Yoga for Humanity.” This year’s edition focuses on COVID-19 and how yoga has helped people both physically and mentally throughout the pandemic. This year’s event will be organized in Mysuru, India.
So, are you excited about this year’s event? Are you finally ready to unlock your “Inner Yogi”? If you said yes to the above questions, keep reading to find out more!
What Are the Benefits?
If you are a regular yogi, you’re probably very well aware of the numerous benefits it offers. The term “Yoga” means “Union with God”. It symbolizes the merging of individual consciousness with Supreme Consciousness. It aims to bring harmony at all three levels – mind, body, and soul.
Along with its many physical health benefits, it also offers numerous mental health benefits. Here are five ways it can help improve your mental health:
- Helps in stress reduction – Managing and reducing stress is vital for your mental health. But how can that be achieved? You don’t need to do anything fancy! Practicing yoga daily can help immensely in reducing stress. During the process of this exercise, your muscles are tightened and relaxed which reduces muscle tension. In addition, practicing meditation with a peaceful mantra or zen music can greatly reduce your stress levels and uplift your mood.
- Helps ease anxiety – Anxiety is excessive and constant worry or fear about everyday events. This exercise can help combat these feelings. All you need to do is ground yourself in the present moment with an “anchor” like your breathing. Various breathing techniques like Anulom Vilom, Ujjayi, Bhramari, etc., can help reduce anxiety levels and calm your nerves.
- Helps in improving sleep quality – There is plenty of research that suggests it has a favorable impact on improving sleep quality and cycles. Mindfulness, deep breathing, and relaxation techniques used in this practice can help you rest easy.
- Helps relieve depression – Many people have cited this practice as a great way to alleviate some of their symptoms associated with depression. The stability and calmness that comes with this exercise can help you cope with your condition.
With its many benefits, you might be wondering how you can start practicing and participating in International Yoga Day! Here are six ways you can celebrate in style:
1. Set Intentions and Goals
There are two ways to live life – intentionally or unintentionally. Without an intention, we get caught up in our habits and routines. We lose sight of what we truly want from our life. We unconsciously indulge in patterns and habits that make us drift away from the life we truly want to live. So, what’s the solution?
The answer is to live your life consciously. You can do this by setting intentions. Yoga can teach us the power and benefits of setting intentions. With every breath and every movement, we set an intention. So, each movement has a specific meaning and purpose to it.
Try kick-starting this intention-setting ritual on International Yoga Day! What better way to celebrate it than by setting a powerful intention for different aspects of your life? You can set intentions separately for health, wealth, or relationships. You can even set intentions for each day every morning.
Once you are done with that, make sure to list the steps you will take to follow your intentions. This will ensure you are living a life that’s truly aligned with purpose.
2. Put Your Phone Down and Explore Nature
When was the last time you gazed at the night sky, planted a tree, or heard the melodious sounds of birds chirping? If you’re like most people, it’s probably been a while! This might be a sign that it’s time to put your phone down and explore nature.
You probably spend most of your time being so fixated on the outer world that you forget to pay attention to your inner world. It’s easy to get caught up in minor issues and ignore the bigger picture. A good way to combat this is to put your tech away and go on a walk through nature to ground yourself.
You can even spend your day bettering the environment! You can set monthly goals like going vegan or committing to zero plastic waste for a month. You can even learn composting or vow to plant 50 plants on a monthly basis in your local park. These small things can go a long way in making the environment cleaner and greener.
3. Journal Everything You’re Grateful For
It’s easy to focus on all the things we don’t have instead of being grateful for the many things we do have. Many people get bogged down and compare their lives to others. It makes us envious, bitter, anxious, jealous, insecure, and unhappy. So, what’s the solution?
All you need is a shift in perspective! A shift from “what you don’t have” to “what you do have” can change your entire mindset! Practice the attitude of gratitude. Take your journal out and start penning down everything you are grateful for.
From the air you breathe to the food you eat, you’ll start realizing the numerous things you can be grateful for. Do this exercise each day before going to bed. Be grateful for the day you had, the people in your life, and for life in general. This will ensure you stay joyous. It will also help you attract better things into your life.
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4. Try All the Different Styles
Yoga is a holistic practice that is meant for everyone. No matter who you are, how old you are, what ideology you hold, or what religion you belong to, it has something to offer you. It encompasses stretching, breathing exercises, meditation, techniques to center the mind, and more.
Unlike hitting the gym or other forms of exercise, this practice doesn’t involve pushing oneself to the limit of exhaustion. Rather, it’s more about knowing your body, mind, and soul and choosing the right form for yourself.
It’s important to choose a form that’s best suited for you. There are many different kinds to choose from Vinyasa, Hatha, Ashtanga, Yin, Iyengar, Power, Bikram, Restorative, Prenatal, Acro, Sivananda, or Kundalini. Depending on your needs and requirements, you can go for either the traditional or non-traditional forms.
5. Take Time to Meditate
In this fast-paced world, we are so used to “doing” all the time that we have forgotten the art of “being.” We have forgotten how to be in the moment. We can be so fixated on chasing our dreams that we have forgotten to actually live our life as it’s happening. All this can take a toll on our mental health and lead to anxious or depressive feelings.
So what’s the solution? An option is to use techniques and “anchors” to ground yourself in the present moment. Meditation is a great way to achieve this!
What better day to kick off the practice of meditation than on International Yoga Day? You can pick and choose from various forms of meditation. There are many different kinds you can try: mantra, mindfulness, spiritual, focussed, movement, transcendental, progressive, loving-kindness, or visualization.
6. Learn How Exercise Can Improve Your Mental Health with a Therapist From Docvita
By now, you might be motivated to finally get on your mat and start practicing and reaping the benefits! If you need a little additional support, Docvita has various therapists from many different specialties that can help better your mental and physical health. Simply hop on to DocVita and book your first session today!