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Why Yoga Is Crucial For Entrepreneurs More Than Anyone We bring you the exact procedure of the breathing exercises to rejuvenate you and keep you fresh throughout the day and give you a long life at the same time

By Pooja Duggal

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I always say, the strongest asset an entrepreneur could ever have is good health.

Entrepreneurs- the fearless lot amongst us- set out to pursue their passion against all odds and this comes at great cost. They are on their toes 24*7; without long weekends, vacations, sleep or even 3 square meals sometimes. Boundaries between work and leisure begin to blur. Targets get bigger and resources get more and more limited.

The University of California conducted a research study some time ago to understand the link between entrepreneurship and mental illnesses. It was found that 49% of entrepreneurs surveyed were dealing with at least one mental illness (such as ADD, ADHD, bipolar disorder, addiction, depression, or anxiety). The physical health statistics aren't optimistic either.

So, let's be honest, there's no better motivator than a healthy body and mind! In fact, the most successful entrepreneurs learn to care for their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing early on, and it really pays off in the end.

This is a reminder: In between back-to-back appointments with your dreams, dear entrepreneur, don't you miss all the appointments you have with yourself. Yoga is one such appointment that I find time to have with myself. Yoga gives me clarity, focus, and the energy to rage on day after day. I've practiced yoga for over 20 years now, and from experience I can tell you that between being a new mother and the founder of one of Asia's foremost wellness discovery platform called Healthhunt, I would've lost my sanity long time ago if it wasn't for yoga! Think of it this way: 30 minutes of yoga will recharge your battery for the remaining 1410 minutes in a day! Really brings things into perspective, doesn't it? Here are the top 3 yoga asanas that I recommend every entrepreneur in the world to try:

Bhramari pranayama: The technique derives its name from the Indian bee - "bhramari' - and involves rhythmic humming, with both index fingers holding the ears closed, while breathing in and out. It works to soothe the nerves, especially around the forehead. The humming sound vibrations have a natural calming effect. It is believed to mitigate migraines, bring hypertension under control, and improve concentration.

  • Sit up straight with your eyes closed.

  • Place your index fingers on the upright cartilage between your cheek and ear.

  • Take a deep breath in. As you breathe out, gently press the cartilage. Keep the cartilage pressed (or press it in and out with your fingers) while making a steady humming sound like a bee.

  • Breathe in again and continue the same pattern 3-4 times

Anulom vilom pranayama: Mentioned in the yogic texts Hatha Yoga Pradeepika, Gheranda Samhita, Tirumandiram, Siva Samhita, Puranas, and the Upanishads, nadi shodhana pranayama or anulom vilom pranayama is the best cleanse your nervous system can receive. It's great for your heart and lungs, and of course, for stress and anxiety.

  • Inhale slowly through the left nostril and fill up your lungs to maximum capacity.

  • Hold your breath.

  • Exhale through the right nostril very slowly, rhythmically.

  • Inhale again through the right nostril.

  • Exhale again through the left nostril.

  • We call this one set. Repeat five sets and gradually increase with practice.

Deep breathing/meditation:

Deep breathing is a great way to begin meditating. When the breath is made steady, the mind becomes calm like a still lake. This establishes a fertile ground for meditation to blossom. The combination of deep breathing and meditation activates the parasympathetic nervous system promoting deep relaxation.

  • Sit up straight creating a straight channel for energy to flow up your spine.

  • Place your hands on your thighs with your palms facing down.

  • Close your eyes and breathe in and out slowly.

  • Relax your facial muscles…and the rest of your body. Let go.

  • If any thoughts arise, bring your focus back to your breathing. Count as you breathe.

  • Continue deep breathing and escape to a quiet place in your mind.

The west has embraced yoga to the core. Jess Weiner (Linkedin CEO), Ariana Huffington (founder of Huffington Post), Jerry Seinfeld (comedian), Oprah Winfrey (legendary talk show host), and pretty much every single accomplished personality you'll come to meet will swear by the power of meditation…and there is no meditation without yoga. Talking of our own history, yogis have been practicing dhyana (meditation) for centuries! Isn't it time that entrepreneurs, more than anyone else, realised the sheer power of it too?
Pooja Duggal

Nutritionist and Founder of Healthhunt.in

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