Yoga, Revive Your Body and Economy

Yoga, Revive Your Body and Economy

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Yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual practice that originated in ancient India. At the UN Summit, our current Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi in the year 2014 suggested 21st of June be declared as World Yoga Day. Since it is the longest day in the Northern Hemisphere and it has special significance, the draft was adopted by the UN and since 2015 it has been declared as International Day of Yoga. We are glad that Yoga has received International recognition.

Today, we will dwell on the fascinating intersections between Yoga, and the world of Economics. As we navigate these realms, we will explore how principles of Yoga and mindfulness can create a positive impact on the Economy and Wellness. 

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We have invited Mrs. Sanjukta Dey, who is a Yoga therapist for over 5 years and a lifetime member of the Indian Yoga Association. She has organized many Corporate Wellness programs, Wellness Education, and Training programs and also provides Clinical therapies including Immunity boosting programs, Detoxification treatments, Nutrition solutions, Stress and Pain management and so much more such as Yoga Nidra, Kriya, etc. for all ages groups and gender. 

So, let’s just begin with some interesting questions.

Yoga and its History

Could you please explain the significance of Yoga Day?

Mrs. Sanjukta Dey: Yoga has been with us for the last 10,000 years or more. Lately, due to the efforts of our current government, the importance of Yoga was recognized by the United Nations, and 21st June was accepted as International Yoga Day by 177 countries to celebrate the art and science of Yoga.

And when did Yoga start in our country?

Mrs. Sanjukta Dey: There are mentions of Yoga in our Vedas, Upanishads, or Vedantas. However, it is believed that the Lord Shiva had revealed this knowledge to the Shaptarishis and that is why he is called Aadhi Yogi. Saptarishis, the famous legendary seven saints, passed this knowledge to their disciples and so on. In the classical era, the entire knowledge was collated and formatted into a book known as Yog Sutra by Rishi Patanjali from which we get the modern version of Yoga today.

Yoga and the Indian Economy

I see a lot of Yoga related advertisements on my social media page such as Instagram and I have noticed that the majority of the Gurus and Trainees in them are from Western countries. So how do you feel about this? Are the Western countries adopting and practicing Yoga more than the Indians? Are the Indians losing touch with it?

Mrs. Sanjukta Dey: In the late 18th century, when Swami Vivekananda went to the US, he started spreading the importance of Yoga at a conference, he also opened the School of Vedanta there which further popularised Yoga in the US. Whereas, due to the Colonial rule in India we were losing touch with our tradition. 

During the US Vietnam War, society was revolutionizing, people started calling themselves hippies, and they started adopting something that provided peace to their minds. Western countries conducted multiple types of research to modify the teachings. They separated the tradition or the Sanatan Dharma from this yogic science and it merely became the contouring of the body into some unimaginable postures. They’re giving their variations and they’re calling it their own. For example, Kapalbhati is named Breathe of Fire. On the positive side, the knowledge is spreading, the practice is spreading. 

However, in Western countries, Yoga is considered as a fitness regime with physical benefits. But it’s important to realize that Yoga is not about having a toned body, it’s a science of your actions, a science of your reality. Our actions as human beings when we are born on this planet. What should be our reality? Who we are. The last stage is called samadhi which is realizing who I am and connecting with our inner God and also connecting with the universe, this is where yogic science takes you.

When people will start understanding that Yoga is more about spirituality leading to a healthy mind with a healthy body and helping them function to its optimum, a change will come and more and more people will accept the knowledge. 

With a lot of focus on external appearances these days, do you think with beauty pageants and body wrestling competitions, Yoga will also have a multi-millionaire market and an audience? Especially, when Yoga is something you do in peace, without any showbiz.

Mrs. Sanjukta Dey: Definitely, Yoga has already started becoming a multi-billion dollar industry with not only Yoga classes, and Yoga courses but also allied industries like Yoga clothing, Yoga accessories becoming popular. By 2030, it’s hoped that it will become a nearly $180 billion industry. Along with its external benefits, Yoga is something much more internal, it’s about the proper functioning of the hormones and organs, and it’s about having a vibrant mind to achieve optimum and long-term results.

A very curious thing about what you said, the working class in India is driven by the Western brands of yoga mats, protein shakes, etc. Moreover, people unable to pronounce the Sanskrit words have started giving their versions. So do you think as an economy, India will benefit from Yoga’s adoption among its people and abroad?

Mrs. Sanjukta Dey: Indian economy will benefit, but we have a long way to go because the market is competitive and the US and other Western countries already have good coverage in terms of developing, inventing, and marketing their Yoga related products. Therefore, India should speed up its process to become the global wellness hub by boosting its tourism and developing brands with the right sort of products which will also act as a guide for others.

India has the potential to become a global hub for Wellness!

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Yoga and Fitness

Now, quickly moving to a few fitness questions

Mention one Evergreen Asana for all gender and ages.

Mrs. Sanjukta Dey: I can think of nothing better than Surya Namaskar. There are 12 positions in it and your entire body from head to toe is covered in Surya Namaskar. In case anyone is finding anything difficult or stacking somewhere they definitely can avoid that particular position. They can be a little lenient as it’s not about forcing the body. So yes, Surya Namaskar.

Mention one Asana effective in losing weight.

Mrs. Sanjukta Dey: Losing weight with just one asana is not possible because losing weight is actually like a holistic program. I can mention a few Asanas like Dhanurasana, Ardha Chakrasana, Bhujangasana, or Sarpasana. These are very effective in losing weight. You need to first prepare your body with a little warm-up before practicing these Asanas.

One Asana that is going to regulate the menstrual flow?

Mrs. Sanjukta Dey: For females, I would recommend Baddha Konasana. It’s not only for regulating the menstrual flow but also for keeping the pelvic region in shape by stretching the hip and thigh muscles. It is also beneficial for all our organs in the lower abdomen, including the intestine and the reproductive system. It helps in healing female-related problems like PCOD, PCS, etc.

One Asana for senior citizens, male or female, to live a healthy life?

Mrs. Sanjukta Dey: For senior citizens, I would recommend Tadasana which is simply stretching your body with heels raised. This asana helps to improve balance, posture, and alignment and stabilizes the nervous system. Since backbone is a very big issue in old age, doing this one Asana is going to be helpful for them.

Best food habit to maintain a healthy lifestyle?

Mrs. Sanjukta Dey: Food habit, don’t make it complicated, and eat whatever is available seasonally. If you are a fish eater and it’s available around you then you should have it. If you are a grain eater, please have it. Try to have it as direct as possible. That doesn’t mean you eat raw fish or raw meat, try to cook with minimum oil and spices. Also try following the circadian rhythm, getting up with the sunrise, and stopping your activities after the sunset, so your last meal should be immediately after the sunset. I think everybody can maintain these basic simple lifestyle tips.

Bhramari, or Om Chanting?

Mrs. Sanjukta Dey: For Om chanting, you can easily get lots of mantras online on YouTube, etc. Just start focusing on the sound so you can chant it in whatever way you are getting. Don’t get into the science of what is wrong or right. Once you start focusing on the sound of Om, you create a positive vibration. Because everything in this universe is vibration and energy which sounds like Om, as recorded by the scientists. This means that if we create that vibration around us, definitely we can get connected with the universe. 

However, in the case of Bhramari, we are doing this inside us. The vital life force energies and the mind is a part of our existence. We are not only the matter body. So when we do Bhramari, we are affecting the internal part. Primarily, we are closing the ears, eyes, and mouth but not the nose as we need to breathe. The idea is that we are closing the sense organs and focusing inwards. In our brain, the neurons get activated, vibration is created and we are activating all the universal elements within us. We are leading to a balanced consciousness with Bhramari. 

A quick tip to calm the mind?

Mrs. Sanjukta Dey: For relaxing the mind, one can directly dive into meditation, but I would suggest that please do some Asana first like Surya Namaskar so that your body starts functioning optimally. This will give your mind the hormonal support from within that will eventually help you focus better. Also, sleeping before midnight in the night and getting good sleep will boost your collagen, your consciousness, and your cognitive potential. Then definitely it will help you to calm your mind and get out of depression, anxiety, and restlessness.

A quick tip for the kids to focus better?

Mrs. Sanjukta Dey: Children are already physically vibrant but for the mind, they need to practice mindfulness. They can do it by focusing on different things whatever they like. Mindfulness can be easily practiced through Yoga for all age groups. For children, it will help in their studies, sports, and extra-curricular activities as well as improve their behavioral patterns.

A quick, easy, and clean recipe for working people?

Mrs. Sanjukta Dey: For the working people I’ll mainly suggest one thing, please don’t get sick. Try to keep yourself healthy and practice mindfulness because once you are healthy, your body and mind will function at their optimum. Only then you can create more and more wealth, go for more planning, more strategies, etc. Now coming to a simple and clean recipe, I will suggest khichdi, whether you are vegetarian or nonvegetarian. If you are coming back home from work which means it’s almost dinner time, make sure that your meal has a higher proportion of protein and less carbohydrates. You can eat rice and lentils but rice is again a simple carbohydrate so better to try to add some kind of complex carbohydrate to it like Jowar, Bajra, Ragi, or Oats along with some vegetables. This way you get protein, calcium, complex carbohydrates, and fiber in your diet. You can also make a soup out of your khichdi. Moreover, avoid eating sweets after sunset as insulin in our body stops functioning after 7:00 PM.

Thank you! Until next time, keep feeding your curious minds…

Mrs. Sanjukta Dey

She is a certified yoga therapist and naturopathic advisor with over 5 years of experience in the field of health, wellness, fitness, and prenatal & postnatal yoga therapy.

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