Thursday, April 18, 2024
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Breathing balance

In a world marked by bustling lifestyles and mounting stress levels, the practice of yoga has emerged as a beacon of tranquillity, offering solace to millions of individuals seeking balance and harmony.

As a practice that can be traced back thousands of years from ancient India, yoga has evolved from its spiritual roots, having been adopted in the modern age as a holistic way of life combining physical postures (asanas), breath (pranayama), meditation and ethical principles.

For many, yoga is embraced as a tool for personal growth and well-being, but for others, the teachings of yoga can resonate deeply, especially in how the practice fosters connectedness.

Whether it is between the mind and the body or between one’s self and the world, the sense of unity within yoga is a source of comfort and inspiration among its practitioners, even those residing in the Abode of Peace.

Having practised yoga for more than three years, Chairman of the Yoga Division at the Panaga Club, Venkata Ramana Rao Suryadevaraa shared how yoga can be a gateway to destressing the mind and the body.

“I am a very active and sporty person, but there are times when the time and energy required to partake in (regular) sports can be very high. This is where yoga can be good, as it only requires you to be stationary while still burning calories,” he said.

Chairman of the Yoga Division at the Panaga Club Venkata Ramana Rao Suryadevaraa and Dina Ismagulova. PHOTO: DANIEL LIM
ABOVE & BELOW: Susan Decena; and Durrah ‘Nadheerah’ binti Idris. PHOTO: DANIEL LIM
PHOTO: DANIEL LIM
A yoga class in session. PHOTO: DANIEL LIM

He noted how yoga can be adapted to one’s needs, allowing people from all walks of life to participate, regardless of their physical ability.

This sentiment was echoed by yoga instructors Susan Decena from the Philippines and Dina Ismagulova from Kazakhstan.

Decena noted how yoga can directly improve one’s flexibility and mobility, as the practice involves holding stretches for a period of time, allowing the muscles to stretch deeply.

“As I have a background in dancing, I found yoga to be quite relaxing while also good for the body as it trains and flexes to be flexible,” she shared.

Ismagulova on her part acknowledged that yoga is often perceived as something akin to a trend, but the practice, according to her is “more than just stretches, it is a lot deeper as we want to improve our body and mind”.

Its ability to improve one’s health and wellness is what also inspired Bruneian Durrah ‘Nadheerah’ binti Idris to start taking up the practice early last year.

“On the surface level, I was attracted to yoga as I needed to find some time in my day to be calm and away from work, to focus on healing the body,” she explained.

Having a typical 9-to-5 job, Durrah’s routine can become overwhelming, which initially led her to attend yoga classes on a now weekly basis. Ultimately, the classes gave her space to centre herself when needed.

“I can focus on my breathing, to taking care and give what my body deserves because they have worked so hard for me,” she said, adding that the practice has also improved her flexibility.

“You end up realising that it is not about racing (towards) the end goal but enjoying the progress that we make each day through yoga as we all have our own pace, and that’s the beauty,” she added.

“At the end of the day, it (yoga) is something that we do for our body, and the benefits will be noticeable in our body and mind,” she added. – Daniel Lim

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