Yoga and Resilience

The world recently celebrated International Yoga Day on 21st June. Seven years back, on 11th Dec 2014, United Nations announced to observe International Yoga Day every 21st June, and ever since, the world is celebrating this day.
“Life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving; we get stronger and more resilient.”- Steve Maraboli.
Life is never easy for any of us and a roller coaster ride. Sometimes we don’t have the courage or resilience to keep going in this ride and get bogged down with no roadmap. A few things in life are not in our control; we have to accept how it comes to us, but we need a resilient mind and focus just to let it take its due course.
Resilient is the ability to find the humour and irony in situations that would otherwise overpower you. -Amy Tan
Being born with resilience is a rare phenomenon; however, I say it can also be an acquired asset without any depreciation. Yes! You heard it right. It indeed is an asset that can be acquired. If you think it can be acquired through attending some motivational seminars, watching motivational video content, let me tell you, it won’t be sustainable. No amount of external motivation can make you resilient unless you are motivated enough to be resilient.
In the tsunami of changes that take place in our lives from time to time, the emotions play a role of high tide and low tide. For some controlling these emotional tides is an innate ability, and for many, it is not. But relax! you too can acquire this ability naturally?
Yes naturally! But how?
Let’s unfold the secret!
Yoga, ancient wisdom and age-old practice from India that modern science and international bodies recognise due to its endless benefits. Yoga and its benefits are not limited to physical health alone. It has been proven and time tested for its emotional, intellectual, and spiritual benefits as well. There is numerous content on its health benefits; however, today, I’ll talk about its effects on your brain wiring.
Lately, psychologists, counsellors, and various psychotherapists are turning towards yoga as one of the tools in dealing with depression, anxiety, and other disorders. The studies reveal that mental health issues are primarily due to reduced activity of the prefrontal cortex.
Further, the studies also show that daily practice of yoga and the mindful asanas activate the prefrontal cortex and cerebellum, which invoke therapeutic thought processes. Also, it improves the release of oxytocin in the brain, thus reducing the stress response, anxiety, and improving interpersonal behaviour, thus proving to be therapeutic.
Further, the studies also show that daily practice of yoga and the mindful asanas activate the prefrontal cortex and cerebellum, which invoke therapeutic thought processes. Also, it improves the release of oxytocin in the brain, thus reducing the stress response, anxiety, and improving interpersonal behaviour, thus proving to be therapeutic.

Yoga enhances resilience in us in various ways:

Body Relaxation: In the digital era where we are always glued to our computers, smartphones, and other gadgets, especially post-pandemic when the world has shrunk to the digital web, yoga comes as a saviour. Our stiff muscles tend to lose, stretch, and unwind the tensed nervous system during these asanas, leading to mental agility. Mental agility creates an aware state, and it is the awareness that makes us observe emotions, accept them, and act on them instead of being reactive about them.
Relationship with Self: When we are born, we are born with relationships such as daughter, son, sibling, etc. As we grow in age, we get caught in the material web of relationships and often think that we are made of these relationships and get entangled in further misery of the world.
Relationships are indeed important, and we certainly have some obligations and responsibilities towards them. But what makes us miserable is, we lose our sanity and forget that the first relationship is with us, that is, self. Yoga helps build relationships with ourselves while still caring for others. We, humans, are part of this consciousness, and everything that is in this universe is an energy and living beings are made of emotions that is energy in motion. Vibrations are just the other side of our emotions; yoga helps us maintain high vibrations and energy. Vibrations build your psychic or intuitive powers and help you identify if anyone is trying to step onto your inner self or vice versa. It will further allow you to draw clarity about loving, caring, empathy, and maintaining your boundaries. Resilience in relationships is necessary to lifelong togetherness with everyone in your circle.
Embracing the Challenge Zone: Comfort food, comfortable clothing, comfortable transport, we are all confined to comfort so much that we don’t ever think of going beyond our comfort zone.
“Comfort is your biggest trap, and coming out of comfort zone is your biggest challenge”- Manoj Arora.
Yoga is one of the mediums to get out of your comfort zone. Want to know how? Our body is used to certain movements and comfortable positions that it loves being there, and we enjoy being the couch potato. But, when we do yoga, we are forced to stretch and bend our bodies in certain positions; this brings forth elasticity in the body and the mind and attitude. We then tend to venture into uncomfortable situations in our lives and try to adapt them and make them part of our being. In simple terms, yoga flexes body muscles and brain muscles, making us resilient towards life and its events.
Focus Retention: Breathing exercises are part and parcel of yoga asanas; while performing these asanas, a constant flow of relaxed breathing is necessary. Vrikshasana, Brahmari pranayama, Natrajasana, Garudasan, and many other such asanas build your focus and concentration abilities. These poses help in improving the body postures and teaches us the art of balancing. This agility enhances our quality of life and allows us to focus on dealing with challenges, accept life, and work on finding a way to live in the present rather than keep oscillating between past and future that add no value but add to our misery.
Trust me, I’m telling this from my personal experiences that incorporating yoga into your daily life will benefit you immensely in gaining resilience and being emotionally, mentally, physically, and intellectually a tough individual who is not afraid to face life as it comes.

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