Publised. 06/07/2021

Role of Yoga During The Pandemic


Lavitra Garg

The COVID pandemic has changed lives everywhere. Schools and Colleges have shifted online, wearing a mask is now a necessity and, there is a much noticeable increase in stress and anxiety levels. In these uncertain times, when the daily lifestyle has changed so much, the importance of Yoga has increased.

Restricted travel, the panic of getting infected, and the continuous flow of negative news have in no doubt demoralized everyone. Senior citizens, in particular, have seen their mental health deteriorate during the pandemic. A Delhi-based NGO, Agewell Foundation, held conversations with over 5000 senior citizens in Delhi. Of these, over 63% reported symptoms of depression. It is not just the elderly who are suffering. Several young people have lost jobs during the pandemic and, many have seen their education disrupted. The mental health scenario in India was already bleak before the pandemic, as the country ranked 139 out of 149 countries in the last happiness index survey. Regular yoga practice can help in dealing with the stress and anxiety of the pandemic. Yoga asanas help in reducing mental stress and boost the parasympathetic nervous system. Acute yoga sessions increase GABA levels in the brain (a neurotransmitter that helps reduce stress).

In addition to maintaining your mental health, Yoga also helps you follow a healthy lifestyle which is an absolute must during the pandemic. The fear of infection has made several people reluctant to go out affecting, their fitness. Outdoor fitness and gym sessions can be replaced, by indoor Yoga routines. As we plan to stay inside more often, we must keep our muscles in check and, Yoga routines are great at doing that(*insert supporting stats*). There are also numerous therapeutic benefits of Yoga. Yoga helps keep all the internal organs working in harmony and thus boosts the immune system. It helps prevent and manage several lifestyles disorders such as diabetes and asthma, which are vulnerable target groups for coronavirus(*insert stats about lifestyle disorders and yoga*).

Although Yoga originated in ancient India, only 11.8% of the population regularly practices Yoga. With such a small section doing Yoga, it is no surprise that mental health and lifestyle disorders have become a significant concern. However, these concerns will only become worse during the pandemic and, people must start adopting Yoga in their daily life. Said to be a natural immunity booster, Yoga also serves the dual purpose of helping keep stress at bay in these uncertain times.