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Using Yoga to Fight COVID-19: From Psycho-social care to Rehabilitation and Beyond

Using Yoga to Fight COVID-19: From Psycho-social care to Rehabilitation and Beyond

COVID-19 pandemic has had a detrimental impact on people’s physical, mental, social and spiritual well-being. Growing numbers of COVID positive cases, deaths, on top of social distancing rules under strict lock-down restrictions are directly responsible for increased physical inactivity and rising mental health challenges. Individuals in these uncertain times are experiencing elevated feelings of stress, anxiety, loneliness, fear, frustration, tension and depression. COVID-19’s malefic impacts have definitely made people much more conscious about the need for a healthy lifestyle. Given our new home-bound routines, regular practice of yoga is a great way to remain fit and increase your immunity.

Yoga simply can be defined as the practice of achieving mind and body equilibrium through a complex set of exceptional elements, including but not limited to asanas (physical poses), pranayama (meditative breathing), dhyana (spiritual concentration), etc. In many ways, it can be interpreted as an alternative medicine boosting mental and physical wellness.

A study published in ScienceDirect, titled “Combating the psychological impacts of COVID-19 Pandemic through Yoga: Recommendation from an Overview” results suggest ‘Sahaja Yoga’, a unique technique of meditation centering around the awakening of the Kundalini, curtails depressive symptoms, instilling a positive mindset and outlook in the individual. While ‘Bhramari Pranayama’, a simple breathing technique that resembles the humming sound of a bee, improves cognition, strengthens the respiratory pump, reduces blood pressure and helps control anti-viral activity. Overall, from a decrease in the secretion of cortisol (stress hormone) to the treatment of several neurological conditions, Yoga has been seen to be effective in contributing significantly to our psychological well-being.

If this has reinvigorated your desire for Yoga, you’re in luck. On the occasion of the 7th International Yoga Day, World Health Organisation (W.H.O.) in collaboration with the Indian government, has launched an M-Yoga application. As per the WHO, the application is a collection of audio and video practice training sessions based on a Common Yoga Protocol and will be available in Hindi, French and English, with other UN languages following in the coming months. In a televised address to the nation, PM Narendra Modi called Yoga a “ray of hope” against COVID-19 and said collaborations such as these “will help us achieve our ‘One World, One Health’ motto”.

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Across the world now Yoga has come to be recognized as an effective tool for improving health. Therefore, lets us celebrate this wonderful day, take advantage of the opportunity in disguise and begin to incorporate this holistic therapeutic practice into our daily lives.

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