Below article was written for Hunzas
“The world is going through an unprecedented experience; the whole planet is confined; we are forced to stay at home to avoid the spread of the coronavirus. This situation generates a lot of anxiety; many people experience insomnia, nightmares, the feeling of shortness of breath.
Invisible enemy, unprecedented stress.
April 7th was World Health Day.
This current health crisis has no boundaries and bring many questions about how to manage the present situation but also how to prepare for the after, both physically and mentally.
IT SEEMS PRESUMPTUOUS TO SAY THAT YOGA IS THE ANSWER.
Yoga can nevertheless boast an offering that remains accessible and adaptable to each and every individual. Yoga through its holistic approach speaks to both the body and mind.
We are all affected by this crisis of Covid19; the sick individuals, the caregivers under great pressure, companies and their employees, independent workers, and families including children.
The practice of Yoga is very fashionable nowadays it is in fact a millennial tradition.
BALANCE BETWEEN BODY AND MIND
Practicing Yoga means taking care of one’s body and mind to allow us to understand and enjoy what life can offer us.
To realize the importance of finding the balance between body and mind resonates all the more in this period of confinement.
In ordinary times, inactivity is already a problem. It is being amplified at the moment. Yoga through a postural practice supports the mobility of the body. And as the body moves, the mind calms down.
Of course, the transformations are not instantaneous, the practice requires commitment and regularity. A personal investment of oneself but well worth the effort!
BREATHING, THE ESSENTIAL ELEMENT
To help support this balance between body and mind, Yoga offers tools including breathing, which for many remains a great unknown. We take breath as a given… but do we know how to properly breathe?
How can we master our breathing it to optimize our general state of health?
On the physical level, nasal breathing supports the immune system by facilitating, among other things; oxygenation of cells, transport of nutrients, removal of waste. Better oxygenated, the body can better detoxify (some claim that breathing can accompany weight loss … not entirely false!).
Beyond the physical, it is recognized that breathing has multiple cognitive benefits. It helps with the management of stress, emotions, but also helps to increase our concentration, and to support the quality of our sleep. It allows the mind to bring clarity of thought. Breathing well can have an effect on the nervous system and especially the parasympathetic system which when activated brings the body and mind back to serenity.
The Yogis, long before science took over the subject, understood well the benefits of breathing … Breathing is vital… physically but also mentally. One word of caution, learning on to properly breathe requires initial supervision. Breathing can be beneficial but can also cause health concerns if done incorrectly.
YOGA, A WELCOME BREAK
The word ‘confinement’ is in itself an anxiety-inducing term… It suggests an imposed constraint, a limiting freedom of movement. Added to this restriction of movement comes the activity of the mind that tends to ruminate, worry and turn to negative thoughts if left untamed. Yoga can be appreciated as a mean to keep both the body and mind sane. Look for yoga that offers classes without artifice.
There are all different kinds of Yoga out there, it is thus important to choose a practice adapted to your needs. Caution is all the more important when the practice is done alone at home. Choose a Yoga that includes breathing times, postures and relaxation.