Prolonged closure, for almost one and a half years, of education institutes throughout the country, has been the cruelest blow of this pandemic situation. It was totally unexpected and beyond the stretch of anybody’s imagination. Physical and interactive classes have been replaced by online classes. The students have to remain indoors, that is, confined within their homes. These do the exact opposite of contributing to the nurturing of their health and mind because it’s common knowledge that a sound mind needs a sound health. Thus, the online classes have deprived the students of any type of physical activities; and it must be admitted that this is doing an irreparable damage to their physical and mental health. This apart, senior students at the colleges pass through various emotional and physical problems which they can take care of through physical activity and yoga.
None can, however, predict how long such a situation will continue. People are afraid of a third Covid wave. Therefore, it is likely that it will take a very long time for the situation to be normal. Thus, it is necessary for people to be cautious and take requisite protection. Under these circumstances, the parents have certain responsibilities they must fulfil. They should not deprive their children of any type of physical activity. They can make them take the recourse to yoga which will be of immense advantage to them.
Following the yogic way of life may lead one to actualise the higher purpose of life with health and wellbeing. First of all, one should identify the strengths as well as the weaknesses in his personality. Then, he needs to fulfil the basics of a healthy body to become harmonised and balanced in the current situation by demonstrating the yogic values and skills. Regular yoga practice has a very profound effect on the human body and mind and is, thus, a most useful tool for the yogic management of various disorders and maintenance of health. Developing the flexibility yogasanas or the physical postures increases the blood circulation with adequate nutrients to all the muscles and joints. Backward bending postures expand the chest and encourage inhalation and they are associated with the attitude of embracing life. Forward bending postures are associated with chest compression and exhalation and they induce relaxation. Spinal twisting postures strongly influence the abdominal muscles, alternately stretching and compressing them as the body twists from one direction to the other. Inverted asanas improve health, reduce anxiety and stress and increase self-confidence. Then, Pranayama utilises breathing to influence the flow of vital energy in the psychic channels of the body. Its practice emphasises inhalation and exhalation at the beginning in order to strengthen the lungs and balance the nervous system and improves brain power. Enhancing the vitality, it voluntarily regulates the breath and strengthens the immune system as well as helps the healing power. However, various principles of social as well as personal codes of conduct with proper food habit, intake of water, sufficient sleep or rest should be taken into care to attain perfection in every sphere of life.
(Dr Swain teaches in the Department of Yogic Science, Sri Sri University, Cuttack)