Every now and then, a human body needs relaxation to keep going, and Yoga is one discipline that relaxes both the body and mind. Many came out in numbers to celebrate the fourth International Day of Yoga organised by the High Commission of India at UB Open Arena over the weekend.
Yogis filled up the open space on colourful Yoga mats and ready to take instructions of the session. Yoga is said to be one of the best lifestyle habits that foster a complete wellbeing. The session included meditation, which most attendants said they loved the most.
Yoga offers a variety of benefits including posture correction, stress relief, relief from back and neck pain, as well as boosting energy levels. According to Speaker of National Assembly of Botswana, Gladys Kokorwe, who was present at the commemorations, Yoga is increasingly recognised as an excellent approach to health and wellbeing. She further said that Yoga has immense potential for achieving moral and physical health. “Botswana extends support and cooperation in the further promotion of Yoga in this country for achieving the common pursuit of peace in the country and global population,” said Kokorwe.
High Commissioner of India, Dr Rajesh Ranjen also emphasised that Yoga is a way of living that aims towards a healthy mind in a healthy body. He referred to Yoga as a science. “It is an applied science, a systematised collection of laws to realise our full potential,” he said, adding that young people have now accepted Yoga as a profession and he is happy about many Yoga centres set up in Botswana to promote Yoga.
One of the attendants, Irene Mokobi appreciated the session, saying that just the process of inhaling and exhaling helped her to feel refreshed and lighter, let alone exercising the body through different postures. “Yoga refreshes mentally, physically and spiritually and this is the third time I have attended the International Day of Yoga commemoration. I really felt refreshed after the event and I have learnt some exercises that will help relieve my chronic back pains,” said Mokobi. The practice of Yoga encourages proper breathing, giving rise to flexibility, strength and vitality in the body, while at the same time calming and reducing stress.
It reaches basic postures of the body called ‘asanas’ which are more than just stretching. Along with breathing, these ‘asanas’ try to open the energy channels or ‘chakras’ that is, physic centres of the body while increasing flexibility of the spine, strengthening bones and stimulating the circulatory and immune systems. As ‘asanas’ focus on the health and flexibility of the spine, performing these poses slowly and consciously would become a mental exercise in concentration, positive thinking and meditation. Thereby, Yoga broadens the mental faculties. Yogis perform ‘surya namaskar’ (Sun Salutation) before proceeding with ‘asanus’. Several paths of Yoga have been developed now.