The Magical 20 Minutes of Day


yoga


The practice of Yoga has been followed for thousands of years now. Yoga in Sanskrit means “union”. This union usually refers to the one self’s higher soul. However, Yoga is not only a practice of spiritual upliftment but also involves physical attributes. The common technique is to stretch and concentrate on holding different postures while controlling your breath. It is hailed as a medicine for the body. Multiple studies show that Yoga helps to regulate blood glucose levels, improve muscle-skeletal ailments, moderate the nervous system and regulate the cardiovascular system[1].


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There are mental benefits as well of the routine practice of Yoga. Even with only a single session, you can experience a quieter mind, lighter feeling, sense of mental refreshment and clear-headedness. Anxiety and stress reduction are also some of the benefits of Yoga. But, in this fast-moving world and everybody’s occupied schedules, it is quite challenging to find time to make a routine for a practice altogether and dig out a whole hour towards the cause. But, hey I believe we can at least spare 20 minutes to keep our mind and body healthy if not an hour.


So, let’s discover if we slip in 20 mins towards Yoga, is it going to be of any help or not:

There are lots of studies concluded in the field of sports suggesting that splitting your workouts into multiple short sessions can be as good as one long session for a variety of benefits—heart health, weight loss, aerobics. More frequent sessions of physical activity can also have a positive effect on our mental health[2].


However, it is mention-worthy that much of these studies have been concluded on high-intensity interval training. But some small-scale research in Yoga has also suggested that that the practitioners who performed Yoga more frequently in a day witnessed higher levels of mental and physical status. This frequency of practice appeared to have a greater effect than the number of years they had practised for longer durations. It also contributes to bone health, and an improved focus and stronger working memory.


These studies have been directed towards both the physical and mental facades of Yoga. Frequency is thus, more important than duration. So, performing Yoga for 20 minutes a day, seven days a week, is more likely to be beneficial than an hour-long session one day a week. Shorter duration sessions give you the liberty to increase the frequency of your sessions. Let us now look at some of the benefits of performing Yoga regularly:


Makes your body flexible

Moving and stretching in new ways helps a person become more flexible, bringing a greater range of motion to the otherwise hardened body. The hamstrings and joints will become flexible, which help in decreasing pain and stiffness in joints.


Improves body balance

Balance, bone integrity and core strength go a long way ahead if worked on well and regularly. Yoga guarantees you these benefits through its various poses, such as: standing on one leg, stretching your body, and even inversions. All of these help tremendously in strengthening your upright posture.


Tones your body

Many yoga poses require you to bear your body weight by balancing and supporting it on your limbs. Practising these poses, coupled with the right breathing pattern, helps build muscle. This muscle gain gives you a toned appearance.


Inspires self-confidence

When Yoga means union, it is obvious for it to improve your mind-body connection, giving you a better awareness of your own body. During Yoga, you learn what your body and mind are truly capable of. You accept and feel comfortable in your body. This leads to the feeling of a heightened self-confidence.


Closing thoughts

The significant hurdles that people face while trying to include an activity in their schedule are lack of time and motivation. So, once we aim to introduce something in our routine, we should start small. It is easier like this for those changes to become our habits. Same applies to Yoga. Shorter sessions are, easier to fit into our day and therefore, easier to continue doing them.


Yoga encourages cognitive flexibility, patience, self-acceptance and expanded awareness—all benefits that go well beyond the changes it yields in the physical body[3]. Thus, this surely is one of the practices we should fit in our day, and stick by. By taking out just 20-60 minutes in a day and practicing a few yoga poses leads to a healthier and positive mind within a healthier body. Another reason to include Yoga in your routine is that you need no specific place to practice it. A quiet corner of your house, balcony, lawn, park, beach side, anything works perfectly for practicing Yoga.



References

[1] https://www.forbes.com/sites/bryanrobinson/2020/08/16/new-study-shows-surprising-benefits-of-yoga-to-deal-with-anxiety-and-stress/#655af318a71b [2] https://www.ekhartyoga.com/articles/practice/is-20-minutes-of-yoga-enough [3] https://www.forbes.com/sites/kourtneywhitehead/2019/06/22/why-your-yoga-practice-should-make-you-happier-at-work/#3deb0f3fb2d7

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