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Get off your Ass-ana! Yoga And The Modern Lifestyle


Turning a sedentary lifestyle around is crucial to your health and your future. The self-discipline you gain while practicing Yoga can assist you in other aspects of life, as can the many other benefits of practicing Yoga.


Get off your Ass-ana!  Yoga And The Modern Lifestyle
https://www.indiatimes.com/health/healthyliving/yoga-and-the-modern-lifestyle-242406.html 
https://aurawellnesscenter.com/2011/07/16/beginning-a-yoga-practice-for-sedentary-lifestyles/

The modern lifestyle lures us with comfort and convenience, in the form of gadgets and gizmos that have become vital to our daily lives. But it comes with a big price tag and we pay for it with lifestyle diseases like obesity, hypertension and cardiac problems, among others.  Excessive use of cell phones, laptops, dishwashers and the like pose a serious threat to our health. They make us physically inactive and put us at an increased risk of diseases like cancer, diabetes, obesity and cardiac troubles. Also, many gadgets, including like hair dryers, electric shavers and digital clocks, give out waves of electromagnetic radiation that pass through our bodies and disturb our biological processes. Social networking websites have replaced face to face contact, making people secluded.  

Common risks of the modern lifestyle
• Frequent use of keyboards and cell phone keys leads to orthopedic problems.
• Staying immobile for more than four hours increases the risk of heart disease.
• Lack of physical activity decreases bone mineral density and lowers immunity.
• Sedentary lifestyle amplifies loneliness, depression, anxiety and panic disorders.

• Radiation from cell phones is known to affect the brain cells and also reduce sperm count in men.
• Use of earphones can lead to hearing loss and headaches.
• Increased screen time leads to blurred vision, red eyes, difficulty in focusing and weak eyesight.
• Radiation from cell phones is known to affect the brain cells and also reduce sperm count in men.
• Use of earphones can lead to hearing loss and headaches.
• Increased screen time leads to blurred vision, red eyes, difficulty in focusing and weak eyesight.

It is therefore important to consider how much time you spend sitting every day. Nowadays, so many simple things in life are now just a click away, whether it's paying bills online, shopping online, studying online, etc. In the past, doing these same things would have required you to get up and move.  Whether this lifestyle is led by choice (being a notorious couch potato) or by necessity (logging long hours at a desk job), it is important to incorporate physical activity back into your life; and Hatha Yoga is the perfect way to do this.

Yoga to deal with the modern lifestyle

A long term sedentary lifestyle causes damage to the body, by weakening muscles and decreasing flexibility. A radical upsurge of activity, however, can cause injury. Since Yoga posturing is a  low impact activity, it is a wise choice as a tool to gradually ease into an active lifestyle.  You can practice Hatha yoga to avoid the disastrous consequences of the sedentary urban lifestyle. A set of yogic postures combined with pranayama, if practiced daily, can protect you from modern lifestyle diseases. To start with, go through each pose gradually and mindfully. Do not worry about making up for past mistakes.  Set your own pace to create a healthier lifestyle.  Some of the practices that are easy to do include:

• Surya Namaskar (Sun salutations) are not only a great warm up exercise but it also helps to shed those extra pounds by speeding up the metabolism.
• Cobra Pose strengthens the upper back and helps correct the bad posture caused by long desk jobs.
• Eye, neck, shoulder, wrist and ankle rotations help counter stiffness whilst sitting at a desk.
• Shalabhasana (locust) relieves lower back pain that is caused by hours of perching on a chair
• Downward Dog Pose and Sarvangasana (shoulderstand) help to reverse the blood flow in your body, thereby preventing baldness and premature graying.
• Gomukhasana (cow faced pose) prevents cervical pain, which is becoming increasingly common. This asana can be practiced while seated on a chair.
• Sitting in a chair for prolonged periods tightens the hip flexors; the Warrior I pose, or Virabhadrasana, is a great hip flexor stretch. While performing this exercise, it is important you ensure your body is in proper alignment – with your heel perfectly in line with your knee, and your hips are aligned in a forward position.  The reclining hero pose, or Virasana, is also an excellent stretch for your hips, and can be practiced every day.

A lack of self-discipline may have been what created your sedentary lifestyle, but self-discipline is what is needed to end it.  Make it a habit to practice Sun Salutations as soon as you wake up, for a healthy greeting to your day. It is crucial to carve out time for physical activity and do it – no matter what. If it’s hard for you to give up your TV, practice Yoga in front of it! Find little spaces of time to do poses, and slowly increase that amount each day, until your sedentary habits are replaced.

Other solutions:

• Walk or cycle to work.
• Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
• Take short walks at home and at work.
• Use noise canceling headphones, so that you don't have to keep the volume as high.
• Play outdoor games for entertainment, instead of sitting in front of a screen.
• Increase your blink rate to 6-8 blinks per minute to avoid eye strain.
• Conduct your meetings standing up.
• Regularly practice relaxation techniques like breathing and meditation.

Turning a sedentary lifestyle around is crucial to your health and your future. Imagine how accomplished you will feel when you achieve this goal, and use that as your driving force. The self-discipline you gain, while practicing Yoga, can assist you in other aspects of life, as can the many other benefits of practicing Yoga.  

If you want to start making a change, book onto our workshop on Sunday 19th November and Get off your Ass-ana!  Using yoga Asana we will target those areas which include the neck, shoulders, back, hips, glutes and hamstrings (pretty much everything!) We will also look at how we can incorporate a few sneaky yoga moves whilst at the office!