YOGA in times of Covid

2021-06-17 16:35:09

Source: The Embassy of India


Today, the world stands at a crossroads and the humanity is facing a transformative phase in the wake of Covid pandemic. Covid has wrecked the entire global social & economic system. Besides unimaginable loss of 3.82 million lives so far, the preventive measures against Covid 19 have fundamentally altered hitherto accepted norms and has changed our way of life, perhaps forever. One thing is quite certain that it has certainly reduced humanity’s instinctive comfort in the presence of others and fueled an uncomfortable level of suspicion of human interaction which has been further compounded by fake or unverified news.


We all want return to erstwhile normal life and eagerly await an early end to this pandemic.  Till such time, we must explore effective ways of holistic living as well as physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing not only for an individual but society as a whole.


Towards this, Yoga offers an immediate, short term and long term solution. Though the fast paced society has become static adapting to newer realities in pandemic ridden world, every day stress remains the same. Upheavals in society have impacted personal relations and mental wellbeing of a wide section of society constrained by compelling circumstances to remain indoors due to preventive measures. Children & youth are at risk because of continued closure of educational institutions and extended exposure to screen time. A large number of people are at risk due to job uncertainty. Businessmen are shattered owing to melt down of supply chains. Frontline healthcare workers, Emergency service personnel, law enforcement agencies, all have some degree of stress and pressure. I genuinely believe that Yoga has proven stress relief properties and provides required healing touch and could be a possible solution to have some degree of stability and calmness in life.


Though the science of Yoga is essentially oriented for physical and mental wellbeing, it has tremendous capacity to integrate body, mind and soul.  Yoga is a science – science of well-being that is both ancient and modern; constant and yet evolving. Over the years, not only Yoga has been standardized but has also evolved.  That’s why you hear of so many forms of Yoga – covering the art of breathing, innumerable adaptations of exercises promoting flexibility, integrated Asanas (postures) that facilitate digestion system, relaxes mind and brings in harmony between our internal being and external world.  Yoga is a proven stress buster and facilitates in developing positivity and helps us actualize our true potential.  Any Practitioner will vouch that Yoga enhances belief in yourself, energize body systems and provides strength of Power of Mind.


It can be said with certainty that Yoga has nothing to do with religion or faith but everything to do with spirituality and could help in much needed inner calm, peace and tranquility. Yoga promotes equanimity in face of emotional stress, develops positivity   energizes body systems, strengthens immunity and enhances Power of Mind.


What we need today is Yoga’s holistic way of living & wellness. While most Yoga postures offer preventive care - many postures, if practiced regularly - actually supplement curative powers for example Alternate Breathing exercises from Nose or full Sun salutation exercise. The other aspect of Yoga is wellness, which is often billed as a State of Mind and considered more important than just being healthy and being fit.  Yoga is helpful in controlling your thoughts and mind; it teaches you how to remain at peace with yourself while facing upheavals and vagaries of life.


As compared to other sporting activities, Yoga involves no expenses and can be practiced anytime, anywhere. No expenses are involved in doing Yoga, all you need is a mat or woolen rug and if that is not available, clean surface. Yoga could be practiced in any season – be it winter or summer; snow or rain.  It could be done alone or even with a group of friends or with like-minded persons.


In the recent years, journey of ancient form of Yoga has moved from individual to societies across the world. Mindful of immense benefits of Yoga, United Nations, in a rare unanimous resolution approved June 21 as the International Day of Yoga in 2014. Separately UNESCO has recognized Yoga as an eternal heritage of mankind.   Though Yoga originated in India but it now belongs to the world.  


Yoga has adapted itself with the changing times in which several societies of the world, including Mongolia, have contributed to Yoga’s development.  The fact that Mongolia has over 80+ Yoga Centres/Studios and thousands of practitioners is an acknowledgement of its wide acceptance and benefits.  On its part Embassy of India has been celebrating International Day Yoga every year from 2015 onwards to attract more and more people from all sections of Mongolian society.  


So, let the light of Yoga illuminate the world, elevate our minds and empower mankind everywhere.