Nepal must understand yoga isn’t to correct your body image

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File: Yoga for body image

It has already been established that being able to practise yoga is a joy for humans. Born as a human, there should not be an excuse for anyone not doing yoga. Undoubtedly, yoga is a celebration of being human.

Although yoga began in the eastern part of the world, it has not become a part of life for common Nepalis until now. However, of late, the urban crowd is gradually getting used to it. Following the wave, many Nepalis have begun yoga and they think it is a solution to everything, including their imbalanced body image. But, now, Nepalis need to understand that it is wrong, and yoga is not meant for a right body image. In fact, yoga and a balanced diet, or nutrition, should go hand in hand for a healthy being.

The limitations of yoga

Regular yoga gives you inner strength, improves health and adds concentration and focus to your life. Body flexibility and easy movement are its other purposes. In the long run, it eases ageing, perhaps easing movement and reducing the onset of various chronic diseases.

yoga at home
File: Yoga at home

Apart from this, one of the mottoes of yoga is weight management. But, the so-called body image that people today are falling for is only a secondary byproduct of consistent yoga; maybe it could be the primary target of a balanced diet. 

The belief of people towards the connection of yoga with spirituality has been strong and evident since ancient times. However, these days, people in Nepal perceive yoga as a primary technique for losing weight and gaining a desirable body image. People doing yoga for possessing a desirable body image has been a popular practice recently. But, such practices do not give sustainable returns.

Yoga should come into life gradually to absorb its most enormous fruit. The slow and gradual yoga acquaints you with flexibility, easiness, peace, self-reflection, and core strength. But, irregular yoga or too much-extended yoga prevents you from receiving joy and easiness which regular and gradual yoga definitely pours you with. Although a lot of yoga could reduce a lot of weight, that should not be the goal. 

The alignment of goals is important. People should align their goals with the goal of yoga. But, the challenge in accepting the real goal of yoga is huge, especially among young people. They intentionally or semi-intentionally ignore it because their attention is more on having a desirable body image.

This brings them heavily deviated towards the relationship of yoga with body shapes. Such thoughts lead to practising yoga beyond their flexible threshold. For instance, they try to perform the learning of three yoga sessions into one session by pushing their limits beyond their energy, capacity and flexibility, sometimes resulting in negative outcomes such as bad health and injuries.

Nutrition’s necessity

Periodic meal plans are getting popular in Kathmandu these days. Photo: Facebook/ Tiffin Batta
Periodic meal plans are getting popular in Kathmandu these days. Photo: Facebook/ Tiffin Batta

It is also important to know that simply practising yoga does not let humans enjoy all the benefits one can have. Humans must ensure an adequate amount of nutrition is given to the body. A recommended amount of energy-giving (carbs), and body-building (protein) food must be present in the body for good health. Fruits and vegetables should be taken in at least five portions a day for an adequate source of vitamins and minerals, protecting the body from falling sick and diseased conditions. Yoga and nutrition must go hand in hand.

Body image is not a vision that yoga ever holds. However, people holding such visions are abundantly found in houses, schools, universities, coffee shops, restaurants, and bars. People with such an objective are likely to stop doing yoga once they find themselves as per their desire, preventing them from reaching the joy part yoga adds into life if they have carried it a little longer with a vision of inner peace and self-actualisation.

Inner peace is the new height of achievement, which cannot be achieved through possessing a better outer body structure. 

Yoga is a spiritual discipline involving both science and art among humans for attaining harmony between body and mind. It is one of the best measures for achieving healthy living.

The derivation of the word ‘yoga’ is considered from the Sanskrit word ‘yuj’, which means to join or to unite. Yoga gives relaxation to not only the mind but also flexibility to the body. The purpose of yoga is self-health and self-growth. It should be for the idea of generating good health.

But again, a healthy diet and yoga are not meant for the body image goal only.

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