Day 5: The Strange Connection between Mind & Body

As a student, I hated PT classes. I used to make up excuses for escaping the once in a week PT classes. Nobody has taught me the importance of being physically active. Now that I think of it, my school definitely had good reason to include at least an hour of physical training in a week. But it never appealed to my sedantary and bookish self while growing up. In short, I never learned to play any sport and was always a couch potato until I graduated from college. The seniors in my hostel used to refer me as the girl who never left her bed. I had good reputation, you see!

Even though forced physical activities made me miserable, I always loved to walk. It probably has something to do with all the wandering I did during my summer holidays. There was always some place to go to, some trees to climb upon, some place to lie down and read and I was always ready to walk to that place. This love for walking helped me not to become an utter failure as a grown up when it comes to physical activities. I was the only one in my gang who never made a fuss about walking.

When I hit 20s and moved out of home, I got interested in running. Waking up early and going for a run became a routine. Initially it didn't start as a fitness routine. But it certainly improved my stamina and I started losing weight. So you see it helped me to look better. I was still unaware of the good things it did to my mind. There was a brief period of depression and I remember going to run even without having an hour of sleep. Somehow it helped to shake off the emotions and get out of the stupor.

Years gone by and I always tried to keep at least one physical activity at any given time. I learned swimming, I ran a fun marathon, climbed many mountains and walked many miles in unknown lands. Even though I did enjoy all these activities, there were periods where I would not have the energy to get out of my bed. I was tired and exhausted mentally. I hit the rock bottom during these times.

Something changed in the last one year. I enrolled in a yoga class and started doing yoga daily. I rarely missed a class. It was only because I wanted to get the maximum out of my money, not because I was too keen on doing yoga. In between I had to move to another city and there was no option to pursue yoga daily. That's when downdog came to my life. On a whim, I subscribed to an annual plan which was just over 1500Rs. Now that I have a plan which I paid for an year, there was an urge to exploit it to the maximum. That's how I started working out every day.

I made it a habit eventually. It was then that pandemic arrived and had to move in with my friends. So there were some weeks when I couldn’t do yoga. I recognized the impact it has on my mental health only then because most days I was just miserable. Somehow I picked myself up again and started doing yoga regularly. It has helped me to keep my sanity in lock down. There were brief periods of quarantine and chicken pox when I was not able to do yoga. I never thought that not able to do yoga will make me miserable. But now I have come to that stage. After so many years of misery, I am in a healthy state of mind and I am getting enough sleep. Who would have thought I would become an advocate of physical activity.

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