COVID-19 – A Yogic perspective

In “COVID-19” – “CO’ stands for ‘corona,’ ‘VI’ for ‘virus, ‘D’ for disease. WHO declared the COVID-19 outbreak a “public health emergency of international concern” The declaration was primarily due to concern that the virus could blowout to countries with weaker health systems.

It is not an air borne disease. However, it is a communicable virus spread easily through air with mucus droplets secreted from respiratory track & mucus when an infected patient coughs, sneezes, breathes or talks. It displays wide range of symptoms of respiratory to nervous system like common cold, pneumonia, and giddiness. It affects the respiratory system and makes it fail. In severe cases vital organs like heart, liver & brain functions could be affected.
It takes two to fourteen days for symptoms to appear after one is affected by Coronavirus.

So what are typical signs and symptoms?
Respiratory system- Sore Throat, Cough, Headache, Breathlessness, Tiredness, Running Nose. Critical cases been detected as respiratory failure, septic shock, and/or multiple organ dysfunction/failure.
Digestive system – Vomiting Diarrhoea with Abdomen Pain.
Muscular system – Fatigue, body ache.
Lymphatic or Immune system – Fever.
Nervous system – Coronavirus causes demyelination in central nervous system & impaired coordination of brain & body.
Mild cases may resemble the flu or a bad cold. However, people may unknowingly pass the virus even before they develop symptoms.

General Precautionary measures
Prevention is always better than cure in such epidemic threats. Guidelines provided by WHO & Local Public health care sectors are

  1. Washing your hands frequently at least for 20 seconds.
  2. Avoid touching hands on face.
  3. Avoid travelling if not an emergency.
  4. Use mask if you travel or are going in a public place.

According to Ayurveda, Corono virus disturbs equilibrium of Vata and Kapha dosha. Hence, it recommends Pitta vardhak (stimulating pitta until it balances Kapha & Vata dosha) diet and lifestyle. Food changes, as suggested below, can help to restore these functions back in the body.

a. Eat vegetables like Fenugreek. It absorbs abnormal kapha.

b. Add Spices in food for e.g. garlic, ginger, turmeric to stimulate taste & assimilation

c. Drink turmeric powder and milk with Honey .

d. Eat fruits like papaya oranges and lemons.

e. Avoid cold drinks, ice-creams and cold food.

The Importance of Self-Care and Empowerment
Practice self-care! You are the vehicle of self-care for so many. Take care of yourself by maintaining your own yoga practice, including Asana, Pranayama, and Meditation.
Get sound Sleep, be Physically Active, Eat Nutritious Foods, Stay Hydrated, and Manage Your Stress.
Put your Asana, Breath work, and a few Ayurvedic herbs and rituals to use to stay calm, get the sleep you need, and boost your immune system.
Yogic Tips.

1.Gargle warm saltwater and use a neti pot.
dissolving about ½ tsp. salt in 8 oz. of warm waterand gargle for 2-3 minutes. Germs and bacteria hang out in your nose and throat 24 hours before digging into your blood stream and affecting your immunity. You can use these saltwater rinses as preventative measures or when you start to feel sick.

2.Sound Sleep
Sound sleep directly compliment your circadian rhythm. Going to bed two to three hours after sunset and getting up with the sun to help maintain healthy circadian rhythms. According to Yogic science , Your internal time-keeping for cycles of sleep and alertness is directly linked to a strong immune system . Avoid Big, Heavy, Late Meals, since they are difficult to digest and lead to undigested food, that can also compromise immunity. living your life in accordance with the rhythms of nature, sleeping enough, eating food full of prana (or life force), and building ojas, or overall well-being. “Immunity is about how you live your life,” “Our big assignment as yogis is to try to be content and go about our lives as best we can in the face of uncertainty. The reality is that fear puts us in touch with the truth, which is that we can sometimes affect outcomes, but ultimately we don’t have control over what happens to us.”

3.Drink Tulasi Tea ( Betel leaves)
One of the most revered Yogic herbs, Tulsi is known as a stress, fever, and headache reducer and lung clearer. When viruses like coronavirus take hold, they create problematic respiratory conditions, which Tulsi may be able to help soothe.

4.Turmeric powder or paste .
Turmeric also is an immune booster and limited usage of Turmeric with milk and Honey or in dishes will boost immunity . Turmeric is used to reduce inflammation in the skin, clear excess fat from the digestive tract and boost the body’s natural immunity. Turmeric is a natural anti-microbial.

5.Ashwaganda ( winter cherry ) also is a good immune booster .These are all parts of Yogic diet . Ashwagandha strengthens and gives more flexibility to the heart muscles, for instance, and is also useful for treating uterine and menstrual conditions involving the muscles, such as menstrual cramps.

6.Breathe deep.Your lungs are your biggest lymph pumps, clearing out clutter and toxins. Daily practice of Pranayama to mitigate stress and boost immunity. Deep breathing, or complete yogic breath, will do—anything that opens your lungs and side ribs, and keeps things moving. Pranayama is the formal practice of controlling the breath, which is the source of our prana, or vital life force.

7. Yoga Asanas The lymphatic system strengthens due to numerous twisting and bending postures. It is important to drain out secretions from lymph glands in the body.A. Shashankasan- In sitting posture, forward bending drains lymph toxins out from the body properly and improves immunity.

B. Padahastana- In standing posture, forward bending drains lymph toxins from the body properly and enhances circulation. Similarly, Paschimottanasana helps to expand chest posteriorly.

C. Sarvangasana – In supine posture raise legs and body upwards till shoulder region. This drains lower limb toxins out from body and reduces pressure on lower body.

D. Matsyasana – After Saravangasana do fish pose. This helps as complementary postures bring equanimity and take care of other parts of the body like neck.

E. Dhanurasana – In prone posture (lying on the abdomen) twisting both the legs and hands backward, resembling body like bow. Similarly many backward bending asana like bhujangasana (snake pose), Ushtrasana (camel pose) improve volume, strength and elasticity of chest cavity & muscles.

8.Shuddhi kriya

A. Jala neti- Cleanses the respiratory pathway, hence removes the entered virus or bacterial infections. Salt water scraps the track and improves breathing afterward oxygenation. After Jalaneti, one should do Kapalbhati or forceful exhalation to eliminate stagnated water in the sinuses.
B. Vamandhauti – This is yogic cleaning of digestive track.
C. Kapalbhati – It is yogic cleansing of sinus.

9.Pranayama is a systematic yogic approach that tackles breathing and mind concurrently. It enhances and repairs respiratory apparatus thereby making neuroendocrine mechanism efficient. It must be done under direction of experts with 10-20 rounds twice a day.

A. Lom vilom Pranayam – Alternate Nostril Breathing cleans the internal energy channels and respiratory system more competently. It channelizes and balances neuroendocrine functions, thereby improving immunity.
B. Bhastrika – Forceful inhalation and exhalation.
C. Suryabhedan Pranayama – Right nostril inhalation and left nostril exhalation.

Please note – avoid Pranayama which brings cool effects like Sheetali & Sitkari pranayama and do pranayama which brings warm effects like Suryabhedan and Bhastrika pranayama.

10. Meditation-Relaxation Techniques- It is recommended to meditate in a meditative posture. It gives adequate space to the chest and spine and results in a healthy breathing process. Healthy breathing brings mental cleansing.

11.Finally, we need to respect Nature and follow the Rules of the Land where we are living which means, to surrender self towards the celestial power for the benefits of humanity. Come ! let us stand united with the Government and support the government Health initiatives and combat the Covid -19 challenge together . Go with Yoga and Grow with Yoga .

In service of the humanity,

Yogacharya Sowmya


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