Aligning body and mind through calculated breathing exercises and various poses, yoga has proven to enhance relaxation and reduce stress.
Other known benefits of yoga include the improvement of flexibility and balance, building strength, fostering mental calmness – and ultimately increasing self-confidence.
All these benefits and wanting to do it en masse drew close to a thousand experienced and novice yogis to the United sports field in Olympia on Sunday in celebration of the 8th International Day of Yoga.
The day was celebrated with great enthusiasm under the theme of ‘Yoga for Humanity’ in the largest gathering of its kind in Namibia. It was live-streamed on the New Era Facebook page.
Yoga is a perfect way to tackle various lifestyle stresses and pressures, said Indian High Commissioner Prashant Agrawal, whose office organised the event. “Yoga, today, has become one of the most powerful unifying forces in the world, a mass movement with positive influence in the lives of millions,” he noted.
Agrawal highlighted the benefits of Yoga for the health and well-being of individuals and communities, especially in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has underlined the need for physical and mental fitness, and boosting one’s natural immunity.
“Yoga is about concentration and being aware of your surroundings; it is not a one-hour thing. I advise people to do it every day, as it entails a lot of stretching, bending and twisting, which gives you energy,” said Yoga instructor Dr Anurita Misra.
She said, among many benefits, yoga also allows for muscle toning, which enables one to look beautiful and boost confidence.
It also helps with back and joint problems. Misra added that everyone can do yoga; it’s not religion-related: “it’s all about training the mind to be calm and peaceful in a difficult situation”.
Windhoek mayor Sade Gawanas, who was part of the large crowd on Sunday, told VIBEZ! she has always been on a spiritual journey and read up on the different chakras (energy points in your body).
Gawanas said she loved every moment of Yoga Day – and to that effect, she proposes City employees also have a yoga day.
“Workers’ wellness is important. We have police and other emergency workers who are exposed to a lot of traumas, and they see a lot; we have to assist them where we can,” she shared.