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Why is Yoga Beneficial for Defence Personnel?

Sep 29, 2020

The usefulness of yoga is no longer hidden. The world today bows in humility to the ancient discipline of yoga that offers benefits to everyone from every walk of life. Yoga is excellent to relieve stress, exhaustion, mild symptoms of anxiety and depression, etc. It helps in calming the mind and brings in positivity. This is why armed forces of several countries in the world are now turning towards yoga to keep their soldiers in the best shape both physically and mentally. We know that soldiers and officers from the armed forces are away from their families and friends for months. They also require serving at adverse locations amidst various hostilities. Sometimes army officers and other defense personnel have to locate themselves in trenches where they can barely move, take positions in mountains with sub-zero temperature, or even take up fake identities to serve the nation. These things can severely affect the bodies and minds of these officers. Hence, the higher-ups are now turning towards yoga to keep the soldiers healthy. 

The Indian army is doing a fantastic job in highlighting the important usefulness of yoga in the armed forces. Each year on yoga day, the Indian army men have been displaying the role of yoga in the maintenance of their health. They practice yoga at the highest battlefield in the world at the Siachen glaciers. In 2019, the Chinese army personnel also joined the Indian army and performed yoga poses on the Line of Actual Control. The Us military is also turning towards yoga and meditation for war veterans. 

What are the benefits of yoga in the military?

 

Yoga is especially beneficial in the military because it does not require much space to practice. One could be sitting in a trench and still practice yoga. It can be practiced at any temperature. It does not require equipments or any additional music. Hence, security personnel can practice yoga asanas anywhere and at any time. Military personnel also suffer from various health issues due to the nature of their job. Back pain, knee pain, etc. are some of the most common issues suffered by soldiers. Some benefits of yoga for the armed forces are:

  • Help manage stress better. (yoga to relieve stress)

  • Help retain emotional balance.

  • Help bring in positivity.

  • Help calm the mind. (yoga poses for anxiety)

  • Help reduce mild anxiety and depression.

  • Help make good use of spare time.

  • Help increase strength, flexibility, and endurance.

  • Help boost immunity. (yoga for immune system)

  • Help break work monotony.

  • Help retain body heat.

  • Help face extreme climate.

Some yoga poses that can effectively help military officers fight a range of physical nd mental issues are:

Setu Bandhasana

 

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This pose is also known as the Bridge Pose  and a very easy Yoga poses for beginners. It does not require much space and can be practiced anywhere. 

Benefits:

  • Strengthens the back and the spine.

  • Relives tension and fatigue from the back.

  • Helps ease the mind.

  • Helps reduce stress, anxiety, and mild depression.

  • Boosts the respiratory system.

  • Checks thyroid problems.

  • Aids digestion.(Yoga for indigestion problem)

Ardha Pavanamuktasana

 

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This is another very easy pose of yoga for beginners which can be practiced in a limited space as well. 

Benefits:

  • Excellent to treat back pain.

  • Stretches the spine and strengthens it.

  • Massages the abdominal organs.

  • Helps prevent constipation. (yoga for constipation)

  • Promotes the health of the organs in the pelvic region.

Ardha shalabhasana

 

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This pose is also known as the half locust pose and is an easy yoga pose for back pain. (Yoga For Back pain )

Benefits:

  • Strengthens the spine.

  • Reduces lower back pain.

  • Helps expand the chest.

  • Boosts the respiratory system.

  • Aids digestion.

  • Tones the core muscles.

Viparita Karani

 

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Known as the legs-up-the wall pose, this one is a restorative yoga pose very easy for beginners. It is excellent to tackle a number of health issues.

Benefits:

Uttanasana

 

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Also known as the standing forwards bend, this one is a forward bending pose that is done standing. It is also a very easy yoga pose for beginners.

Benefits:

  • Relaxes the brain.

  • Helps fight mild depression and anxiety.

  • Promotes kidney and liver health.

  • Strengthens the thighs and the knees.

  • Relieves stress.

  • Stretches the hamstrings and the calves.

  • Aids digestion.

  • Reduces headache and insomnia.

  • Helps control high blood pressure

Adho Mukha Svanasana

 

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Another very easy pose for beginners, this pose is also known as the Downward Facing Dog Pose.

Benefits:

  • Calms the mind.

  • Relieves mild stress depression.

  • Reduces stress.

  • Reduces back pain.

  • Reduces headache.

  • Fights insomnia.

  • Boosts energy in the body.

  • Strengthens the upper and the lower limbs.

  • Aids digestion.

  • Stretches shoulders, hamstrings and arms.

Chaturanga dandasana

 

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This pose is also known as four-limbed staff pose and is also very easy for beginners.

Benefits:

  • Strengthens the arms and the wrists.

  • Improves balance.

  • Improves posture.

  • Strengthens the spine.

  • Tones the abdomen.

Urdhva mukha svanasana

 

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This pose is also known as the upward facing dog pose. It is also a part of the Suryanamaskar sequence. 

Benefits:

  • Relieves mild depression and stress.

  • Promotes the health of the abdominal organs.

  • Stretches and strengthens the chest, lungs, and shoulders.

  • Tones the spine and arms.

  • Improves posture.

Ujjayi Pranayama

 

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This one is a breathing exercises and is also known as ocean breathing. 

Benefits:

  • Improves focus and concentration.

  • Opens up the energy channels.

  • Boosts immunity.

  • Stimulates the nervous system.

  • Promotes sleep quality.

Yoga has immensely helped armed forces across the world to tackle services related issues like post traumatic (yoga poses to release trauma) stress disorder, suicides, depression, anxiety, etc. Hence, it is wise that every person working in the defence forces should follow a yoga routine of some basic poses at their individual level as well as make it a part of their daily training sessions. 

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