COVID-19 : SBV Responds
Various Health Experts on how to manage Mental Health & Well being during COVID - 19 outbreak
Online Sessions of Yoga for Self -Care
The entire world is caught in the vice-like grip of the COVID-19 pandemic with 200 countries reporting casualties, increasing alarmingly moment-by-moment. Within a period of 4 months, every human being on our planet has been affected directly or indirectly by this virus that has brought out the worst fears in each and every one of us. Even the most advanced and developed countries have been brought to their knees by something that is so small that we cannot even see it. This “invisible enemy”, the virus, has brought forth another companion too. One that cannot be seen, heard, smelt, tasted or touched and yet affects us to the very core of our being. That enemy that destroys us from within is fear.
During the time of the lockdown worldwide, there is increased mental stress, emotional volatility and lack of physical exercise that leaves people feeling increasingly disempowered. To overcome this, the Centre for Yoga Therapy, Education and Research (CYTER) of Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth, Deemed to be University in Pondicherry has launched a series of online sessions of “YOGIC SELF CARE”.
The sessions are being aired live daily at 7am and 7pm through the FB page of CYTER designated for the same www.facebook.com/yogicselfcare and have already had nearly 2000 video views in just 2 days. Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth has introduced many pioneering initiatives to help our society during this Covid pandemic and this effort has been appreciated and supported by the Ministry of AYUSH by mention in its social media.
In recent time, a branch of modern medical science has developed and is known as Psycho-Neuro-Immunology. It deals with the phenomenon of how our thoughts and emotions can affect our immune system. Stress, fear and negative emotions are known to weaken our immune system while Yoga (including meditation), mindfulness, positive emotions, and relaxation strengthen it.
The limbic system plays a major role in triggering such emotional upheaval that then results in a weakening of the immune function. When the immune function is weakened every microbe gets a chance to attack us as all our defenses are wreaked. Fear, especially of the magnitude being experienced and expressed by all of us in the present times, will totally destroy any chances we have of fighting this devious enemy.
We need to refocus on our own salutogenesis (Swastha), our own inherent capacity and ability to be responsible for our health and happiness. We must move from pathogenesis, the focus on disease that worsens fear, towards salutogenesis, the focus on health that strengthens all our systems! Yoga empowers us, and enables us to take charge of our own life, thus promoting holistic health for each and every one of us.
Yama-Niyama principles of cleanliness, purity and self-control are most important in the present moment where social (physical) distancing, personal hygiene are being emphasised by all medical authorities. Sense of Seva and Nishkama Karma Yoga are to be emphasised to help our fellow brethren who are in need.
Yoga practices especially those done mindfully will strengthen our immune system by inducing a sense of empowerment and confidence from within. Slow mindful Asana practice, Pranayama and Dhyanam will help us regain control over the horses of the senses and emotions that are in the process of bolting. Shatkriyas especially Neti and Kapalbhati are useful to enhance protective reflexes of the respiratory system and promote healthy function.
Mantra Japa especially of Omkhar is very useful as it is known to attenuate the limbic over activity. Pranava Pranayama and Pranava Dhayanam using Akara, Ukara and Makara are extremely useful in inducing the relaxation response from within.