Ramadan is a month of introspection and devotion. Considered the holy month of the Quran revelation to the prophet, Ramadan is a testing time for most. Fasting and abstaining from worldly pleasures, negative behavior and ill thoughts, creates a sense of focus and discipline, which we tend to evade otherwise. Yes, the religious value of the month intensifies by the day, but those who follow it diligently will also swear by the benefits it brings to the body and mind. Fasting helps release toxins, reduce weight, regulate healthy intake of food and increase self- control, amongst numerous other benefits to the mind. As you fast from Suhur (dawn) to Iftaar (dusk), your body needs the right kind of boosts to keep calm and function right- and exercises precisely helps you with that!
While other forms of exercises may focus on the body, over mind and spirit; yoga cleanses and kindles it all- a necessity in this month. It pulls out and sheds unwanted toxins, thus creating a perfectly balanced base. Studies show that if the release of toxins in the body is slow it leads to headaches, migraines, and tiredness; while if it is fast, it keeps you energized and rejuvenated. Yoga ensures the latter.
The best time for yoga during this month would be once your body has received some food and energy- which would mean dusk or dawn. Those who are new to Yoga, it would be best to start off with a gentle pranayama and move towards easy asanas involving forward and backward stretches. Refrain from intense asanas till your body has paced itself to the practice and rhythm. However, since you are fasting and bereft of constant external energy, it would be best to listen to your body and push it only to the extent that it can take. For those who have been initiated into yoga and practice it regularly, it would be advisable to tone down your challenge level and go for a month of relaxed routines.
Use this month of yoga and devotion, not to push yourself, but to understand your body better. With a controlled pace and regulated exercises, reflecting over the body speed, the energy levels, the strengths, and weaknesses, comes easy. Couple this up with healthy foods like fresh fruit juices, dried fruits like dates and apricots, soups, vegetables, yogurt etc and you just gifted yourself the best detox month ever- for both your body and soul!