Exercising while fasting from dawn to dusk during Ramadan might sound counter intuitive. Shouldn’t we be conserving our energy and our strength, we might well ask. It’s not as though our daily chores stop. How about starting yoga practice this summer?
However, incorporating a gentle Yoga routine into our day during Ramadan can actually help us in many ways. Not only will it boost flagging energy supplies, but it will calm our mind, channeling it towards more constructive thoughts.
Choosing a time for Yoga during Ramadan is entirely up to you. You might want to exercise in the morning, since you’ve had your pre-dawn meal a few hours ago. Or you might want to wait for a time when you feel a little low. Yoga can act as a quick pick-me-up shoring up energy reserves.
However, make sure you are gentle and pace yourself well. Try and avoid strenuous poses. Hold a pose for only as long as is comfortable. Set aside at least 15 minutes for Pranayama — deep breathing techniques. And make sure you rest in Shavasana (corpse pose) at the end of your routine.
Yoga Nidra is ideal at this time. Nidra means sleep.
In this practice, we tap into all the benefits of sleep without actually sleeping. In fact, it is very important that we don’t fall asleep as our instructor guides us through a Yoga Nidra meditation.
Lying in Shavasana we are progressively led to relax each and every part of our body. With our eyes closed and all our senses attuned to the instructions, we gradually calm all the mental stimuli within. If done right, then Yoga Nidra will help you feel refreshed.
There are only benefits to doing Yoga while fasting. It helps improve mental clarity and focus, keeps all our joints flexible, helps in the detox process alongside our fast, and by spending time in mediation we can reflect more deeply on our spiritual needs.
As always, if you are a beginner, it’s best you learn from an experienced and qualified teacher.
Yoga is a very exacting discipline. And there are many dos and don’ts. Beginning with the pose itself and the technique, how long you hold it, or the number of times you repeat it, to the way you inhale and exhale while getting in and out of a pose, each and everything is important and makes all the difference to one’s practice.
Once you’ve learnt under an experienced teacher, you can keep up a regular home practice. Yoga is not a one-day affair. Its benefits gradually accrue as you keep up your daily practice.
Its benefits will most especially be felt as you age. It’s likely that muscle wastage, wear and tear of joints, mental decline — all this and much more can be managed far better as long as you are a regular practitioner of Yoga in your youth and middle age.
Pratimoksha offers beginner classes as well as Advanced programs. Our Beyond series of classes are ideal for someone who may not be interested in a comprehensive in-depth dive into Yoga and its philosophy (such as the Pratimoksha Yoga Alliance-certified Teacher’s Training Course) and yet retains a solid interest and curiosity about Yogic concepts. For more information call us at 00971-50-385-5613.
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