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Celebrating International Yoga Day with a healthy body, healthy mind

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My journey with yoga started during my childhood. My father was a state-level Kabaddi (a contact team sport) player, and hePracticing in the Veritas gym before the pandemicPracticing in the Veritas gym before the pandemic always wanted me to excel in sports. Because of this, there was a rule at home: no breakfast without exercise. This made exercising a habit and helped me develop good strength and flexibility. During school, I continued yoga and won many prizes but did not follow a serious regimen.

It was only after joining Veritas that yoga came to me again. I attended a yoga session for employees, and it ignited a spark in me. I began doing yoga mindfully and not just as an activity. I started attending classes, workshops, training in different styles of yoga; and then I was certified as an Ashtanga Yoga teacher. My hunger for learning yoga continues even today after nine years of practice.

When I started, I would practice thrice a week. However, as time passed, I fell more in love with yoga and tried to make each day count. Now, I start my day with yoga at 5:30 am. This is me-time, and it just vitalizes my mind and body. Sometimes my five-year-old son joins in with my practice.

Before the pandemic, while I was still working in the Veritas Pune, India office, I would start work at 10:30 am after my yoga practice in the office gym. All my line managers have always motivated me to continue my yoga and supported me in adjusting my working hours.

When it comes to my working life, I do yoga, not only because I love it but because it instills new energy in me. After practicing, I find myself finishing things at double the speed. It keeps me steady, more focused, and content. The breathwork during my practice helps to reduce stress and relaxes my mind and body, and stretching releases physical tension. After my practice, I feel calm, and it’s a very satisfying process. Yoga always helps me to gear up for the day, physically and mentally.

Not only has yoga helped me keep physically fit, but it has also had a huge impact on my mental health. Practicing yoga has taught me to complain less and plan more. Instead of giving up during challenging moments, I try to spend time figuring out how to fix the problem.

Yoga is good for your body and mindYoga is good for your body and mindThere are many asanas that I enjoy doing, but I love balancing poses the most. Balancing is where my strength and flexibility get tested. A few poses that I love doing are Shirshasana (headstand), Hanumanasan (front splits), and Samakonasana (straddle splits), and two that I am learning to master now are Pinchamayurasana (feathered peacock) and the Adhomukha Vrksasana (handstand).

For me, every day is yoga day. Whenever I am on my mat, it is a blessing for me. It doesn’t matter where I am practicing, what the occasion is; it’s just me and yoga. For the past few years, I’ve been trying to educate more people and make them aware of how blessed we are with this body and how we should take care of it. On occasion, I have lead yoga classes for my Veritas colleagues in India, and to celebrate this year’s International Yoga Day I taught a beginners yoga class online to introduce yoga to more people.

For all my friends out there who are hesitating to start practicing yoga – this International Yoga Day, give it a go. Once you start practicing, you’ll begin to observe changes in yourself, and you’ll be amazed to see the changes it makes with your body and mind.

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