Nourish Yoga in the times of COVID-19 We are in the midst of one of the major paradigm shifts ever experienced by humankind. The world has gone upside down, from people running around all day to being stuck at home. Yes, nature is stronger than us. By Wanderlust Journal There is so much panic, anxiety and fear all around and the only way we can carry on is by taking care of ourselves. It’s time we focus on the self and take charge of our lives. With this pandemic, people are going to hesitate to go to the gym, to the swimming pool, to studios, etc. for months to come. Then, what is the way out? Here comes the role of Yoga. Yoga is becoming a necessity to stay fit physically and most importantly it is a tool that can help us stay calm. All you need is a little space and a burning desire to stay fit. Today’s “real world” is not what it was 2 months back. Suddenly everyone is home, most people are working from home, spending time with families, cooking, cleaning. The big question is how will the body and mind get the right fuel to carry on like that and play our roles with full responsibility? If we don’t have fuel in the body, the body will give up. Let’s not wait for that moment when we regret our lives in this pandemic. Immunity is king right now, so we need to buck up and roll the mat. An ancient Indian practice Ashtanga yoga is a science that gives us the tools to have a peaceful mind and body. It is something that helps us reveal the best version of ourselves. It makes us get in touch with our true self by channeling our energies in the right direction in all areas of life and establishing stability. All you need is a desire to create a “sadhana”, a personal spiritual practice. The daily practice of Ashtanga is really instrumental in knowing yourself. You feel more fluid and open if you commit to the practice on a daily basis. I hope you too get inspired to begin a yoga journey and continue this practice and live a happy life. If yes, then the following pointers can act as guidelines for you to embark on a journey towards a fitter you. – Yoga compared to other workouts Yoga is the only form of workout in which post a session you feel energetic yet your state is relaxed. Most workouts work at a physical level only, unlike Yoga that heals and builds the body from within. Yoga is one of the few forms of exercise that works on your internal organs, nervous system and eventually on the mind. Yoga acts as medicine is most people’s lives. At last but not least it also makes your body look beautiful. – The role of diet What you eat affects your practice to a great extent. Keeping the body as alkaline as possible is the key. A light dinner is what works best if you want to feel alive on the mat the next day. Eating 70% of your capacity will always do wonders. Experiment by eating a heavy dinner and see what happens to your practice the next day. On the contrary, eat a light dinner and see how this affects your practice. Listen to the body each day and you will get your answers. – Frequency of my practice One must aim at practicing Ashtanga Yoga 6 days a week with 1 holiday per week and no practice on moon days and ladies’ holiday. But for someone, if that’s not possible due to various reasons, I would say do it at least 3 times a week, or even once a week to start with, but step onto that mat whenever you can. – Yoga on the go With such busy schedules nowadays, we all look for quick fixes. My quick-fix solution is a 20-minute Ashtanga Yoga daily minimum practice. This is a bare minimum that you can do in whichever part of the world you are. – Connect with the right teacher Any subject is as interesting as the teacher. Explore and identify a teacher you can relate to. Find a class that you enjoy and stick to it for a few months. Give it some time before you make any decision. If you don’t enjoy your practice, you will not be excited to hit the mat every day. The mat must be a happy place. Yoga is a route to self-discovery and the journey can be very enjoyable. So, embark on it today. A fit body and a calm mind are the base ingredients of a strong immunity system, which is the need of the hour. Yoga can show us the path. Namaste! — Sejal is a Mumbai based Authorised Ashtanga Yoga Teacher, Speaker, Writer and Traveller. The philosophy of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbkam”, has been imbibed in Sejal by her parents at a very early age. It means the whole universe is one family. She has enjoyed a unique and offbeat upbringing which involved travelling, rural development, community living & natural farming. She was always encouraged to question concepts, dogmas, belief systems and develop her own sense of judgment. Her wide spectrum personality ranges from being a school drop out at one end and a post-graduate in business management on the other. She has diligently pursued her passion for yoga as a practitioner as she firmly believes that one who teaches must never cease to learn. This thought has always driven her toward in-depth training. Her personal practice is based on the Ashtanga Yoga method. Sejal is an Authorised Level 1 – Ashtanga Yoga Teacher from Sharath Yoga Centre, Mysore, the birthplace of self-mastery and a shrine for yogis around the world. An ardent traveller, she conducts Yoga Workshops and Retreats in the USA, France and India, bringing yoga to the world. Connect with her on her website, Instagram, Facebook and Youtube.