The Bane of "Quitting" Yoga

  • 01 Jun 2020

Nizha Periaswamy

Have you had to suddenly quit yoga due to the Movement Control Order (MCO), without following any virtual classes, or even doing warm up?

If you have, do you wonder what happens to your body, and mind?

The answer is, in fact, nothing much - provided you don't quit what is "really" necessary. 

I stopped practising practising yoga for 2 months after a surgery, but I did not gain any weight. 

This is because, besides following the same diet as I did while doing yoga, I also continued doing pranayama (breathing) and mudra (hand gesture) exercises. I only stopped doing asana (yoga poses) doing the said period. 

Quitting yoga will only cause drastic results if you completely stopped doing physical activities, have changed eating habits, or become lazier, depressed, or mentally drained out. 

Yoga naturally stimulates your cells, and "charges" your body through asanas, and pranayama practice. 

Let's say, on average, our bodies burn an average of 2,500 calories on a normal day. When doing a yoga asana, however, our bodies burn 3,500 calories. This speeds up weight loss and the metabolism rate, produces more "serotonin" aka the happy hormone, and increases flexibility and strength, as well as mobility.

However, when you completely quit yoga, your body goes back to what it was before starting yoga. 

Take a living in a room with air conditioning as an example. You fix an air conditioner in your room, and after "cool" and comfortable days, the machine suddenly stops working and you start suffering from bad air circulation. You may now feel worse then before you even got the machine, because you have experienced the cool days given by the machine. 

When you practise yoga, and suddenly quit, your body might experience a similar condition. 

If you have had to stop practising yoga for some reason, and feel yourself "slowing down", get back to the mat to do light exercises, including pranayama, or even mudras. 

Alternatively, one can look for virtual yoga classes, or gather like-minded people to practise yoga together, online. 

There are a lot of free virtual classes and online tutorial sessions out there, make use of them. 

Nizha Periaswamy is a yoga instructor and freelance writer.

Photo source: Yoginizha Yatra

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