“People are taking up yoga lessons online for better immunity and mental health, with dedicated asanas for each. We need yoga more than ever now because the entire focus today is on physical and mental wellbeing - especially for those who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or who have recovered from it,” says Sriyatama Banerjee, a yoga teacher from Mumbai.
DEALING WITH EFFECTS OF COVID-19 THROUGH YOGA
Varun Dhawan and Malaika Arora are among the celebs who recently took to their social media accounts to show the fans some breathing exercises and asanas for those battling COVID-19 or recovering from it. In fact, Shashi Prem, a painter living in Pune, who contracted the virus in January and is now recovered. "Yoga has helped me with my breathing issues post-recovery too, and I regularly perform the asanas to stay healthy,” says Shashi.
“Nearly 10 per cent of people diagnosed with Covid-19 experience prolonged symptoms, including troubled breathing, blood clots, headaches, nausea, muscle pain, and fatigue that lasts for weeks, months, and possibly years after testing positive," says Dr Seema Jaiswal, general physician and yoga expert, adding, “Yoga is helping these long-haul patients in easing stress and pain, maintaining mobility, and breathing easier. Even the World Health Organization has urged people to take up yoga during the pandemic.”
IMMUNITY-BOOSTING POSES, BREATHING EXERCISES AND MORE
Yoga teachers are now curating special classes and offering courses with specific asanas for mental health, immunity and breathing-related issues.
Yoga instructor Vidhi Shah from Pune explains, “Pranayama, which is breathing and meditation exercise in yoga, is the main practice to overcome anxiety, stress and breathing issues. There are several types of pranayama, such as surya bathing pranayama, chandra bathing pranayama, and anulom vilom pranayama, besides meditations like static and guided. A lot of people are seeking online classes that focus on these.”
She adds that several people are also seeking yoga lessons for their children - “Since children cannot go down to play, many parents are also seeking special kids' classes and acro yoga lessons for them to keep them occupied and healthy.”
ASANAS FOR PANDEMIC PROBLEMS
Yoga instructor Monika Sharma lists out specific asanas for different issues that one can perform at home:
Balasana, Sukhasana variation, Makarasana for 5 to 10 minutes
These asanas will help open up the airways and get the circulation going throughout the body, which will help you feel energised
For lungs functionality and WFH issues:
Cleansing kriyas like Kapalabhati
These help improve lung function and cleanse the sinuses.
For breathing issues, anxiety and stress:
The best time to practise pranayama is after your asanas and breathing kriyas, because they improve the blood circulation, allowing oxygen to be carried more efficiently through your nasal passages.
End your practice with:
Shavasana and meditation
COVID-19 is physically tiring, so meditation will be pivotal in your recovery process as it helps the mind, body and soul to achieve a relaxed, sleep-like state which promotes healing, recovery, and regeneration.
IMMUNITY BOOSTING POSES:
This seated posture can help you find your center. Focusing on your breath may help you find ease in the stillness of this pose.
This classic standing pose may help you focus inward, quieting racing thoughts.
This energising pose can help ease tension in your neck and back.
Standing Forward Bend
This resting standing pose may help relax your mind while releasing tension in your body.
This backbend can help relieve tightness in your chest and back.