Yoga’s home truths


JUNE 21, 2020

Just like every year, a flurry of messages/emails and advertisements preceded the International Day of Yoga. But there’s nothing predictable about yoga day 2020, which is celebrated on June 21 every year. Started five years ago, the day became a worldwide phenomenon with scores of people practising yoga on this day around the globe.

However, 2020 introduced new words to our daily vocabulary — social distancing and stay at home. And these had to be embraced by the yoga community. So the new normal for this yoga day are Zoom sessions with celebrity yoga gurus. All these point to the one most important fact — how important and relevant this ancient practice of yoga is in these trying times.


Coronavirus cases in India seem to be rising every day. In a situation like this, experts have been suggesting developing immunity to combat a further spread. That’s where yoga would come into the picture. Considering Covid-19 is a disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 that can trigger a respiratory tract infection, yoga gurus suggest asanas to strengthen lungs. Dr. Dilshan. KM, Yoga and Naturopathy Doctor, Mercure Goa Devaaya Retreat says, “There are many yogic practices that strengthen our lungs, for example, Kapalbhati Kriya. It is a cleansing procedure, which helps to drain all the excess rheum in the respiratory tract and prevents onset of all kind of respiratory infections. Pranayama is the set of breathing techniques in yoga, which trains our body to take long and deep breath, increases lung capacity and the body’s oxygen saturation. In addition, yogic postures such as Bhujangasana, Ustrasana, SetuBandhasana help in reversing the mechanical constriction and strengthen the lungs.”

Spiritual master Grand Master Akshar elaborates, “Asanas such as Urdhva Mukhisvanasana, Ustrasana, Hastha Uthanasana, Dhanurasana and Chakrasana are some of the postures that you can practice to improve the health of your lungs. These asanas are heart-openers that work on building the capacity of the lungs by increasing the ability to take in more oxygen, strengthen our lungs and also purify them of toxins. Surya Namaskar or sun salutation is a powerful mechanism that can develop our physical health. With a total of 24 counts, the Surya Namaskar is a set of asanas strung in a scientific sequence. Among its many benefits, it is also known to strengthen the lungs.”


While the economy bore the brunt of the lockdowns that were imposed to curb the spread of the virus, mental health is one of the biggest casualties of the pandemic. As people were confined indoors, future uncertainties coupled with financial instability raised many mental health concerns. And that’s why a practice such as yoga could prove helpful.

Biodynamic craniosacral therapist Camelia Oberoi recently conducted virtual yoga sessions for the Accor group. She says, “One of the primary things that people are trying to deal with is fear, especially since not much is known about this virus. Along with fear, comes stress. And stress of course triggers our sympathetic nervous system which leads to sleeplessness, tense muscles and joints, shorter faster breathing etc. Yoga helps to calm your nervous system by easing anxiety. It brings about a parasympathetic state which is essential in repair, sleep, rejuvenation and of course fighting off disease. When a body’s nervous system is functioning in a healthy manner, it bolsters all the functions of our organs including our immune system. Yoga also helps to ease us mentally as we stay confined without much social contact.”

Adds Sarvesh Shashi, Founder, SARVA and Diva Yoga, “Yoga and pranayama is a process of you telling your mind that everything is okay and you are taking care of yourself. Yoga asanas have been known to make your mood better and incr-ease the blood flow in your entire body.” As the world awaits a Coronavirus free life, perhaps yoga can make the wait a little more bearable.

Courtesy/Source: Mail Today