Why do I do Yoga?

We all have our reasons for doing Yoga and I wanted to share mine with you today, on International Yoga Day 2020.

From experience, I know what works for my body, and if there are positive improvements.

Secondly – as the owner of my body, I am curious about how this wonder of nature works.

Regardless of that, I have always had an interest in health & food. Don’t we all? The curiosity to learn more about my own body started with my practice of yoga.

Yoga is many things (what it is for me, is a topic of another blog)

One thing it is – is the study of your own body.

As you continue with the class for a couple of months – you start to ask why can’t I stretch more or what muscle would be at work when I do this? These questions lead to self-study and understanding of your own body and a great deal of appreciation for this tool (body) that God has bestowed on us. Using this tool, we can interact with our surroundings. Our bodies are an instrument that allows us to jump, dance, run, fight, climb on trees, and type on the keyboard.

The point being our body wants to move – naturally.

That is what it was meant to do. And we are not giving it that by sitting on the desk all day long. Well, sitting on the desk is incredibly powerful – it helps us contribute to the world with our skills (especially as is evident in these COVID times). But it takes a toll on your body. And it did on my body.

Last year I started feeling pain in my upper back as a result of having a bad posture. It was an acute, sharp pain that was almost unbearable. It would resurface after a day of looking at the screen. I had to make a couple of trips to the physiotherapist, it helped in the short run. I adjusted my ergonomics while working on the screen and that helped more. I basically just elevated my screen and bought it to eye level. That helped a lot.

Additionally, I had just entered my thirties. Below I am with my wife and friend, with a t-shirt they had gifted me on my birthday last year, saying “Level 30 Unlocked”

I love this picture. It was a beautiful day

I was suddenly living the decade that always seemed so far off.

And looking at how fast time is passing, I am sure that forties, fifties, and sixties would come, eventually.

And they will come fast.

My body will not heal as it healed in the twenties. So in order to sit on the desk all day I need to condition my body. We are digital athletes and we put our body under stress by sitting all day.

Jokes aside, exercise keeps us healthy.

But being the science-driven solution finder that I am – I started to look for ways I could alleviate this pain. A realization was always there that there is atleast 40 years of professional career lay ahead of me. Web analytics is my sport and I want to crush it. I didn’t want to get retired hurt because of the back pain. My research led me to the holy trinity – yoga, pilates, and tai chi.

Thinking about the end in mind (courtesy 7 habits of highly successful people) I want to be able to walk & perform bends when I am 70.

And Yoga has the best chances of allowing me to do that.

You do’t need anything for Yoga. Its calisthenics.

But props do make it possible to practice some advance poses. These are my props

Yoga mat, blocks, yoga wheel and headstand bench

No extreme sports, no CrossFit. Just Yoga. It’s that simple. Of course, I will sprinkle in the principles of pilates in my daily routine as well.

I have been doing Yoga regularly since September 2019.

My back used to pain – it stopped paining. I feel way more energized.

Not to mention – it helps to look good as well. Who does not want to look good on the beach?

So taking up Yoga has been for very selfish reasons for me. It helped me with the back pain and it is going to help maintain my mobility as I grow older. That is what really matters in terms of health for me – not how big of muscles I have.

That is the reason I do Yoga. To be healthy.

I am curious to know what your reasons are.

My Ground Rules for Working Out

I have developed my own ground rules so as to maintain consistency.

Because it may be the single most important thing that is going to give you results.

I am no athlete, but I like having a active lifestyle.

It is from my personal observation, that I have noticed that injuries have came in and affected my consistency the most. Whenever I was getting good, I would get myself injured.

So that is my first rule – “Don’t get injured”

My other rules of fitness/working out are as below –

  1. Don’t get injured: Know your limits. Slowly push yourself. Take your time.
  2. Have fun: Whatever activity you are doing, it should be fun. Keep it different, keep switching things up. There are too many things to do biking, running, hiking, swimming, skipping, basketball, skiing etc
  3. Focus on fundamentals: Basics like squats, pull-ups, push-ups are building blocks for more advanced goals
  4. Have fitness-based goals instead of weight loss gain related goals
  5. Practice mobility every day
  6. Do enough cardio, get that heart going a couple of times a week
  7. Don’t forget number one

What are your ground rules for working out? I would love to know your thoughts.