Yoga – a fit and balanced way of life

by Varsha Chaudhary

July 25, 2019

Fitness is a non-negotiable priority of life. A fit body has good kinesthetic intelligence that helps perform daily functions smoothly and also protects it with high immunity levels. Sooner we understand this, better.

But the million dollar question remains, “how to indulge in a fitness regime that is fun”?

Keeping fit becomes a daunting task if done out of compulsion. How, “homework” during school days always turned out to be a burden while one could read a lengthy novel for hours with pleasure. Same needs to be applied to fitness.

All we need to do is explore what physical activities make us feel good and bring fitness as a byproduct.

I am a 32 years old IT consultant and my official rendezvous with fitness started 8 years ago in 2011 after I discovered upsetting reality of my unfit during a mountain hike with friends. I somehow managed to climb up the mountain but didn’t come down on my own feet. It was an embarrassing state at such a young age which forced me to re-look at my lifestyle to find root causes.

I had always led an active and athletic life during my school days. However, like a typical IT worker I didn’t realize when I slipped into a sedentary lifestyle and stayed there for years. Upon observations I found out that my daily activity level dipped on pretext of a work life. I worked sitting and moved only to keep minimal and basic functions up. No matter what, this needed to be changed and thus began my journey to be fit.

I found my perfect fitness regime in Yoga. I had childhood inclination towards Yoga hence I decided to start my fitness journey with it.

Why Yoga?

In my opinion nothing can be a complete fitness package than Yoga. The beauty of Yoga lies in its holistic approach that includes physical, mental & spiritual benefits with minimal or no materialistic investment. You can practice it at a place of your choice per your convenience. Here are few of the benefits that you may reap immediately:

Benefits of Yoga:

a. Yoga brings about holistic healing that balances and harmonizes the body mind connection.
b. It brings different bodily functions into perfect coordination. Yoga stimulates and balances all the systems of the body i.e. reproductive, circulatory, respiratory and digestive.
c. There is no formal set up or investment required to start the practice. All you need is a yoga mat and yourself.
d. It’s suitable for everyone, all age groups. You may start it at any age. Yoga makes you self-sufficient. Once learnt you can practice it yourself anywhere, anytime without depending on anyone.
e. It improves flexibility, strengthens joints and tones overall body.
f. This is the only form of workout which can be practiced all seven days of a week without needing a rest day.
g. Yoga is a prefect fitness regime to learn if you travel frequently for business or pleasure. You would not have dependency on a gym or workout studio to carry on your practice. This avoids irregularity in your fitness regime.

How can you kick start Yoga?

I am a detail-oriented person and love to learn everything with a solid foundation and what could be a better place to learn Yoga but “world capital of Yoga, Rishikesh, India”. I enrolled in a Yoga retreat with an Ashram called Parmarth Niketan in Rishikesh, India and stayed there for a month to learn foundation course for beginners. I have attended two residential programs to get better at Yoga.

But don’t worry going to an Ashram is not the only way to train in Yoga. You may pick any of following per your convenience:

a. If you are old school and want to learn Yoga with yogic philosophy, then you may enroll for yoga retreats or residential training programs offered by several ashrams in India and across the world. These yoga retreats are a good way to connect with oneself and completely focus on learning activity.
b. These days yoga studios are mushrooming everywhere. You may look for a qualified yoga trainer or studio in your locality and enroll for a basic course to begin with. You may move towards intermediate and advanced levels once you have mastered the foundation postures.
c. One can also learn basic asanas of Yoga through virtual channels like Youtube and Instagram. Many renowned yoga trainers and celebrities have their own channels and run short term courses at beginner and intermediate levels.
d. You may also learn basic techniques of breathing and stretching exercises through book manuals. There are various popular books published by Yoga schools with rich heritage and strong credentials that provide step by step approach towards basic postures.

How to join Yoga groups

Joining a group virtually or physically with people who have similar fitness goals and interest can prove be a great motivator.

a. You may join groups in a nearby studio, clubs, central parks where yoga classes are arranged in your locality and enroll for updates. You can share your journey and ask for best practices in exchange. You would be amazed to see how wonderful insights come your way.
b. There are several yoga communities online wherein you may learn and involve. You can share your experience and vice-versa.

Things to watch out for when starting Yoga:

a. Please consult an expert yoga trainer if you suffer with any medical condition before starting practice of advanced and inverted postures.
b. If pregnant then start under guidance of a trainer if you have never practiced yoga postures before. Also, inverted postures should be avoided during pregnancy.
c. Yoga practice should be discontinued if you are sick or suffering with fever or flu.
d. You must practice yoga in open surroundings with no furniture or solid objects in vicinity to avoid accidents. Many accidents occur when people fall suddenly against objects around them while trying a posture.
e. You must discontinue a posture immediately in case you feel acute pain in any of the body parts during practice.

Fitness activities and exercises are infectious. Once you make your own regime that you enjoy, your brain starts looking for new ways to improvise, explore and learn. You would eventually start exploring new sports and benchmarks. I later picked up weight/strength training along with pilates, swimming and cycling when my basic regime fell in place with Yoga. It has become very easy for me to build on what I already knew and had fun with.

Fitness is a never ending journey and one should never stop exploring new avenues and milestones. I hope you have fun learning Yoga!

Varsha Chaudhary

By Varsha Chaudhary

Fiery, Feisty, free spirit who has laid down her own code for life. Loves to travel, read, learn and write. Committed to staying fit through a dedicated fitness regime that evolves through experience. "My code" is her mantra to lead life.


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