Yoga to reduce lockdown stress

As Covid-19 continues to spread, we have all experienced change and stress in our lives. Many of us had never heard of ‘social distancing’, but are practicing the same multiple times a day. All our workout options like gyms, fitness studios and group walks stand cancelled.

A lot many people are stressed and concerned about staying healthy and maintaining a robust immune system. But there are things we can do from the confines of our home to bust the stress and Yoga is one of them. In addition to being a form of exercise that doesn’t consume much space or equipment, there are specific poses and breathing exercises that can help reduce stress in the mind and the body.

So far there is no vaccine against Covid-19. All we can do is to keep our immune system, the mind and the body robust so as to give it the best chance of fighting an infection.

This is where things like Yoga, balanced diet, regular exercise and sleep come in. Studies show many viruses and bacteria quietly reside within us until something within the body's internal environment becomes unbalanced. Then they come into action and attack.

People staying indoors due to coronavirus lockdown could benefit from Yoga which helps boost immunity. Unfortunately, most people believe Yoga is just postures, which is not true. In fact, a large part of Yoga is meditation and breathing techniques that reduce stress and boost immunity.

Our mental/emotional state such as stress, anxiety, anger, etc., changes our breathing pattern and further affects physical health resulting in health issues like heart diseases, high blood pressure, metabolism disorders etc. For example, when we are angry, we automatically breathe fast and heavily and when we are sad, our breathe is shallow. By controlling/managing the way we breath, we can also manage physical and mental health.

With a simple breathing technique in Yoga, you can instantly manage your emotions anytime anywhere. When mentally/emotionally disturbed, just practice it for few minutes.

Step 1. Inhale gently and slowly, count to four, expand your belly as you do so

Step 2. Hold your breath for a few seconds

Step 3. Very slowly exhale, up to the count of six to eight.

During these times of stress, it can be really easy to let our anxiety take over. But setting aside just a few minutes to move your body or meditate can make a world of difference. So, roll out your mat and enjoy a little “me time.”

Stay healthy, Stay home!

(The author Neetu Wason is a Holistic Nutritionist, Wellness expert and Yoga Instructor. She can be contacted at [email protected])

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