The year 2020 was unprecedented in many ways and the defining factor was good health. Many found comfort in fitness and workout routines to cope with doomscrolling, pandemic-induced stress, social distancing and the new rules of work from home.
Here’s Finisher Magazine’s list of Top Yoga Trends of 2020
A study conducted between March and June 2020 had revealed that since gyms were shut, many fitness enthusiasts started doing yoga to stay fit. Around 78% of fitness conversations on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms were on yoga, 8% on running and 14% on how to workout at home with no equipment. These conversations were led by working professionals (37%), fitness enthusiasts (25%), women (18%), health conscious people (12%), and beginners (8%). The concerns were around weight loss, diet and yoga tips.
Kapalabhati Breathing Technique: How To Do It And Its Benefits
Kapalabhati can be broken down into Kapala (skull) and Bhati (shining/ illuminating). This is a cleansing practice for the entire nervous system, and when practiced regularly makes the face shine with good health and radiance. It is part of the Shat Kriyas (six cleansing techniques) in traditional Hatha yoga.
Each round of this breathing technique involves active exhalations, passive inhalations and a few seconds of breath retention. It makes full use of our abdominal muscles and diaphragm to ensure release of large quantities of carbon dioxide from our lungs. It allows the lungs to get proper oxygen, increase lung capacity and strengthen the intercostal (ribcage) muscles.
Pranayama and The Art Of Breathing Right
The quality of our breath is the quality of our life. If you have ever paid attention to your breath, you may have noticed how the breath changes with subtle or significant shifts in our state of mind. When content or happy, the breath is fuller. When fear rules our minds, the breath is faster, more shallow. And when the mind is focused, the breath becomes very fine, subtle. This indicates that our breath is directly linked to our state of mind. And this is where Pranayama plays its part very effectively. The ultimate aim of Pranayama is to regulate the state of mind by altering the pattern of the breath. Read Dos & Don’ts
Dealing With Stress & Anxiety? Here’s How Yoga Can Help
Globally, more than 264 million people of all ages suffer from depression and this is steadily on the rise. So how does yoga help in coping with stress and anxiety?
Yoga helps us take a PAUSE. Rather it teaches us to activate the pause button in our body-mind system, so that when we come out of this interlude something in our framework has been altered. It works in the same way as when we switch off the car engine for a brief period to cool it down subsequent to a fairly long and rough ride.
Because yoga helps us build more awareness within ourselves, it also throws light upon our tendencies which we may be unaware of – such as tensing of the neck/shoulders, tensing of the jaw, unconsciously holding tension in areas such as hips and lower back. And most importantly, the extent of tension we hold in our minds. Only regular practice makes us aware of the amount of stress we hold inside ourselves. That’s why a good stretch is such a wonderful release.
Scientific researches have universally concluded that the overall practice of yoga helps in stress and anxiety management, however, there are certain specific postures and techniques that are particularly helpful as they offer almost instant rest and relaxation. Let us look at a few of these postures. All you need is a mat and some comfortable clothes, and you are ready!
Restorative Yoga & How It Helps Release Deep Tissue Stress, Muscular Tension
Restorative yoga hones this ability to be able to switch to relaxation mode each time our system calls for it. It makes us slow down, tune in and sensitise ourselves to the inner mechanism so that the parasympathetic nervous system response can get optimally activated. Simply put, this is our body’s own in-built relaxation response that self-activates after going through a stressful situation.
In restorative yoga, we learn firstly to really and truly slow down. There are fewer postures, and the focus is on holding each of these for extended duration until the inherent restlessness we feel can slowly die down and the mind, body and breath can calm down. Restorative yoga can be practised by everyone and is particularly recommended for people who hold a lot of tightness and stiffness in the muscles and joints.