COVID-19 Puts Spotlight on Benefits of Ancient Practice of Yoga

ARTICLE BY TWC India Edit Team

The novel coronavirus disease, COVID-19, has been among the greatest challenges humanity has faced in recent history. As the pandemic continues to kill thousands each passing day, and the countries slowly try to get back to the new 'normal', the emphasis on physical and mental health is more today than ever before. And Yoga, the ancient physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in India, has been garnering a renewed appeal as being a proven tool for well-being.

Addressing the nation on this day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that, "Yoga boosts the immune system of the body. You must include Pranayama in your daily life. Pranayama Yoga or breathing exercises, strengthens our respiratory system. It is more relevant in the current times as it is the respiratory system of the body that is most adversely affected by the COVID-19."

As the physical activities have been limited drastically over the past few months, Yoga provides potential co-benefits of both physical and psychological health.

Yoga for psychological well-being

Given the current situation, as countries gradually recover from one of the most restrictive lockdowns ever, the uncertainty around the world is having a severe psychological bearing on the masses. The unpredictable changes in health care, daily life, economy and personal relationships have caused global anxiety and distress, all of which are classified by WHO as 'natural psychological responses' to the changing scenario.

In these challenging times, positive health practices are emerging as the need of the hour. Yoga and meditation, forms of self-healing techniques, are said to have several benefits for the mental and psychological well-being. Regular practice of Yoga and meditation lead to emotional strength and mindfulness. Experts say that, by developing a sense of inner awareness, Yoga helps one focus on the body's abilities at the present moment.