International Day of Yoga comes once a year but that’s more about reminding people that yoga can be beneficial if practiced through the year. If you look at it, there is Swimming Day, Fitness Day and what not but, of course, all these fitness approaches need to be appreciated throughout the year.
Most of our lives have become entwined with the many devices around us but there are benefits if some of these devices are used properly, like the Apple Watch, which continues to set new standards when it comes to health-related metrics. The Watch cannot be seen in isolation. The sensors on the device are put to use by watchOS while the Health app on the iPhone works in tandem. Everything connects at some level yet, you won’t know they are at work. That’s the beauty.
“Practicing yoga twice or thrice a week is a good frequency. I think it should be a part of everyone’s routine without fail and the more we delve deeper into it and practice regularly the more we fall in love with it. One doesn’t have to do it daily as a compulsion but incorporating it in our lives is the best step we can take towards our holistic health. Yoga is a lot more than just moving and breathing; it impacts the way we think, behave, react, emote, respond and it is life altering,” Mumbai-based yoga expert Tanvi Mehra tells us.
The founder of Tangerine Arts Studio considers the Apple Watch a great device for evaluating physical fitness and it is an important predictor of all-cause mortality associated with coronary artery disease.
When you start to exercise, the sympathetic (activating or ‘fight or flight’) branch takes control and sends signals to your heart to beat faster in order to increase blood flow throughout your body. The opposite then occurs when exercise stops, as the parasympathetic (deactivating or “rest and digest”) branch takes over and tells your heart to beat slower. Research shows that heart rate recovery time is a result of how fast your autonomic nervous system can “shift gears” from sympathetic activation to parasympathetic. When this happens quickly, it is an indication that your nervous system is balanced and “running on all cylinders”. It is also a sign that your body is well conditioned to adapt to its environment and perform at its best.
One of the best features of the Watch is the Breathe app, which may appear simple but makes a world of a difference, especially when we are working long hours, moving from one task to another. “Living in cities and working at the pace we usually do we tend to forget to just sit back and relax or even just breathe. And the Breathe app on Apple Watch is a pleasant reminder to stop and pause and give back to yourself. We are so used to being on the ‘go go go’ mode that when the watch beeps and reminds me to breathe I am always caught off-guard and I always smile as I feel the watch is like a guardian taking care of me,” says Tanvi, whom you can follow @tanmehra on Instagram.
If done correctly, yoga can make you feel more stable, focused, positive and sane, something Tanvi’s students also understand. “The mental and emotional wellbeing that yoga inculcates is what keeps people coming back. Asanas and pranayamas don’t need much space or equipment. It can be practiced anywhere and the convenience and accessibility is what makes this an adoptable practice,” says Tanvi.
The Apple Watch offers plenty of data about your workout
Yoga and meditation app recommendations (App Store)
• Prayoga: Prayoga makes optimum use of watchOS and iOS technologies, on the watch they provide a one-of-a-kind experience, the app guides users to perform asana’s through audio streamed on the watch. ML and vision based body tracking on Prayoga tracks up to 17 joints in the body to evaluate an asana as it is being performed and gives real-time feedback on corrections in form.
• UltraHuman: The platform combines cutting-edge science and art for our workouts, yoga, meditation and bedtime stories, which is driven by the knowledge and experience of the world’s top neuroscientists, psychologists, musicians, authors, yoga experts, fitness and workout trainers.
• Asana Rebel: It is the app to help you reach all your health and fitness goals, it will empower you to get in shape, feel better, and stay inspired day after day.
Breathe App on the Apple Watch
The app guides you through a series of deep breaths, and it will remind you to take time to breathe every day. Choose how long you want to breathe, then let the animation and gentle taps help you focus. Start a session by pressing the digital crown to go to the home screen, then open the Breathe app. Turn the digital crown to set the session’s length. Tap start when you’re ready. Remember to stay still while you breathe.