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International Yoga Day 2019: Shilpa Shetty Reveals The One Thing You Need To Do To Make Yoga Most Effective

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We’re celebrating the 5th International Yoga Day this year, and we think it’s about time we revisited this ancient form of exercise. Yoga is holistic in its approach, and that’s why you’re sure to see results in not just your body, but also your mind and soul. Don’t take our word for it. Fitness enthusiast and yoga practitioner, Shilpa Shetty tells you why you should make yoga a way of life…

People misunderstand the purpose of leading a fit and healthy lifestyle. Fitness is not just about looking good, but about training your mind, and with that, changing your life. Nothing does that better than yoga. I juggle various roles in my life – that of being a mother, wife, actress, entrepreneur, among other things. Yoga helps me strike a healthy balance and retain my sanity! My daily yoga practice helps release the stress and allows me to feel relaxed. It also helps me focus on my mind, body, and soul.

‘Prana’ means life, and ‘ayama’ means control. When you practise control over your breath, you will have control over your mind too, which in turn helps you control your life. This power helps you positively manifest your awareness, your goals and your relationships.

While fitness was always a priority, I started practising yoga over 18 years ago to help me deal with cervical spondylosis. I not only healed because of it, but also felt far more centered, energetic and stronger, and that’s where my journey with yoga began. It is also the reason yoga is such an integral part of my app, Simple Soulful, which caters to the needs and pace of an individual and hand-holds the user through routines within the comfort of his/her home. Like I say, ‘Yoga se hi hoga’, and I truly stand by that!

Yoga and mindfulness are an ancient approach to holistic well-being and gone are the days where one would need to take out hours in an open space to practise it. To view mindfulness simply as the latest self-help fad underplays its potency and misses the point of why it is gaining acceptance.

Though meditation is considered an essential means to achieving mindfulness, the ultimate goal is simply to give your attention fully to what you’re doing. One can work mindfully, parent mindfully, and learn mindfully. One can exercise and even eat mindfully.

In today’s fast-paced, connected world, the demands on our time seem endless. We spend much of our day in a state of constant hyperactivity. Hence, ideally, one should do 45 minutes to one hour of yoga practice along with meditation. For times when you don’t have that much time, I would urge people to start off with breathing. It’s an essential tool and in fact the quickest, simplest way to enhance our health. The Apple Watch Breathe app draws on the ancient wisdom of Buddhist monks and yogis who practise a technique called “resonant breathing.” With clever visuals and smart features, it will guide you through this time-honoured method for relaxing your body and clearing your mind.

Breathing is one thing that will help lower your blood pressure and many heart-related problems. That is why we have a Breathe segment on my app, which helps with mindfulness, bringing one’s attention to experiences occurring in the present moment, which one can develop through the practice of meditation.

This International Yoga Day, I urge you to start with pranayama and breathing right. Welcome the NEW you. Inhale the future. Exhale the past. Enjoy the present!

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