The importance of Yoga and Ayurveda during COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has turned the work-life balance upside down. Restrictions in many countries across the globe have resulted in people being confined for months in their homes and working from home. This has put enormous pressure on people’s physical and mental wellbeing, while gyms and yoga studios have been forced to shut down.
India has given two precious gems to the world – Yoga and Ayurveda. In such times, having strong immunity and sound mental health is the key to fighting the rapidly spreading disease. Yoga and Ayurveda focus on strengthening immunity and provide an effective, accessible, and affordable means to fight the negative impacts of COVID-19.
Yoga connects body, mind and soul. Yoga breathing techniques (pranayama), postures (asanas), and procedures (yogic kriya) help in improving lung health. Practising Yoga systematically along with a healthy diet, lifestyle changes, and sound sleep enhances the body's immunity and helps fight infections. As per Yoga experts, Yoga enhances endurance, improves blood circulation, activates internal organs and helps in detoxification, thereby improving immunity levels. Calming and mindfulness practices are a natural way of fighting depression. In the words of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, 'Yoga is a symbol of universal aspiration for health and wellbeing. It is health assurance in zero budget'.
Yoga can be a powerful tool to deal with the lockdown’s uncertainty and isolation, as well as to maintain physical well-being. During lockdown and in its aftermath, an increasing number of practitioners have turned to online yoga classes to regain balance and strength.
Ayurveda experts have recommended simple measures for preventive healthcare and boosting immunity in the wake of COVID-19. These include practices like consumption of warm water, herbal drinks, steam inhalation, etc. Ayurvedic Rejuvenation Therapy comprises lifestyle and dietary changes that help in enhancing growth, retarding aging, inducing tissue regeneration and boosting immunity.
Yoga and Ayurveda have shown enough potential and possibilities to be employed for a healthy living. While the medical fraternity performs their duties in treating the affected, we all can make a significant difference to our lives by adopting these traditional methods and work towards building healthier bodies and souls. People at peace with themselves can build peaceful and healthy societies and a harmonious world.
PM Modi, a keen yoga practitioner, has long espoused the benefits of the ancient Indian practice. He extolled Yoga as a way of building a "protective shield" of immunity against the COVID19 and stated, "We all know that until now nowhere in the world have they been able to develop a vaccine for COVID-19, which is why right now, only a strong immunity can act as a protective shield or a bodyguard for us and our family members ... yoga is our trusted friend in building this protective shield [of immunity]."