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Yoga and Covid-19

The International Day of Yoga is celebrated on 21st June every year. The idea was first proposed by Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi during his speech at the UNGA on 27th September 2014. 

The first International Day of Yoga was observed on 21st June 2015. The Ministry of Ayush organised the day, as 35,985 people including PM Modi and other 84 nations performed 21 asanas at Rajpath, New Delhi, India. This day became the largest Yoga class held with 84 countries participating together. 

India plays an important role in the global observation of IDY. The ministry of AYUSH, the nodal ministry for Yoga, as well as the missions of India abroad support yoga-related training programmes and other activities across the world. The AYUSH ministry came up with a Common Yoga Protocol (CYP) in 2015, to facilitate harmonious observation of IDY. Later, national-level advisory body called National Board for Promotion and Development of Yoga and Naturopathy was also created. 

Other major initiatives of the ministry included steps for skill development as a means to ensure quality in yoga training, promoting evidence-based research in yoga in collaboration with reputed institutions like AIIMS, promoting yogasana as a competitive sport and widening the access to yoga- learning and treatments through the network of 1.25 lakh Health and Wellness Centres.

Why Yoga?

  • Increases physical activity 
  • Inspire a healthy diet
  • Improve sleep quality 
  • Reduce stress levels
  • Reduce motivation to drink and smoke
  • Increase the brain chemical GABA, which produces calming effects
  • Reduces the cortisol, the stress hormone 

Yoga during Covid-19

During Covid-19, due to social isolation, health concern, loss of employment and other variables has led to anxiety and problem among the people. The relevance and importance of Yoga during the same time has increased substantially. 

The Pandemic has brought loss of human lives and has crested challenges for the public health sector not only in India but across the globe. Covid-19 has made us realise the importance of a good immunity system. The studies recently conducted shows that Yoga has led to improved immunity system as it combines both physical concentration and mental concentration.  It helps in stimulating thymus, an organ which releases T lymphocytes which helps in building up immunity. When combined with breathing and mediation, it helps to take care of our mind, body and soul.

Yogasans to build Immunity

Bhujangasana (Cobra pose) 

  • Strengthens the spine and stretches chest and lungs, shoulders, and abdomen and also stimulates abdominal organs 
  • Helps relieve stress and fatigue
  • Opens the heart and lungs and therapeutic for asthma
  • Soothes sciatica

Matsyasana (Fish pose)

  • Relieves tension in your neck, throat, and shoulders
  • Stretches and tones the front of your neck and your abdominals and also stretches and stimulates the organs of your belly and throat
  • Relieves stress and irritation
  • Therapeutic for rounded-shoulders, asthma, spasms in the bronchial tubes, and other respiratory issues.

Dhanurasana (Bow pose)

  • Strengthens the back muscles
  • Improves posture
  • Stimulates the organs of the abdomen and neck

Trikonasana (Triangle pose)

  • Stimulates the abdominal organs and improves digestion
  • Helps relieve stress
  • Therapeutic for anxiety, flat feet, infertility, neck pain, osteoporosis, and sciatica

 Padagunsthasana (Big toe pose)

  • Calms the brain and helps relieve stress, anxiety and mild
  • Stimulates the liver and kidneys
  • Improves digestion
  • Helps relieve headache and insomnia

Yoga for Wellness: 2021

The 7th International Yoga Day was celebrated at 75 Cultural heritage locations with restricted participants. As the world is combating the Coronavirus, PM Modi launched mYoga app. India with collaboration with WHO launched the app which will be available in different languages and will help practice and train oneself in Yoga. 

योग कोई धर्म नहीं है, यह जीने की एक कला हैं! Yoga is an art to live a balanced and healthy life as it fights diseases as well, making it the one of the only ways to live through the second year of Covid-19.