Yoga focuses on bringing harmony between mind and body. It helps to build up psycho-physiological health and manage daily stress.
Several studies have shown the efficacy of Yogic practices in management of non-communicable diseases like hypertension , Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary disease (COPD), Bronchial Asthma, Diabetes, Sleep Disorders, Depression, Obesity, etc. that can co exist in patients with COVID 19.
Covid 19 and YOGA
Research over three decades has shown the efficacy of yoga practices including meditation and interconnectedness of the mind in reducing stress levels.
When under stress, the hormone cortisol stays in the blood for extended periods of time, leading to increased inflammation. YOGA can be a helpful way to boost your immune system and decrease inflammation in the body, while also stimulating lymphatic drainage.
Extensive work has shown that systematic asana practices, dedicated pranayama and meditation could provide a broad-spectrum immune build up in the body so that viral infection can be averted and/or its virulence reduced.
One month of integrated yoga therapy in patients suffering from HIV-1 infection has reported a significant reduction in their viral load with an increase in the number of CD4 immune cells and improvement in their psychological states.
There are several reports of clinical trials that suggest an overall effect of yoga training toward improved pulmonary function in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Yoga is known to calm the mind and can contribute to deeper, regulated sleep, which is crucial for healing.
Yoga recognizes the emotionally charged state of the stress response. The techniques train the mind to let go of impulsive reactions and replace them by positive thoughts (prashamana).
However, it is not a substitute for medical treatment. It is important to learn and practice yoga postures under supervision especially in the case of medical conditions. Consult a physiotherapist for an assessment if you have any previous history of injuries. This can help in avoiding poses that can make your condition worse. For those recovering from Covid 19, breathing exercises can be initiated after a clearance from the treating doctor.
Dr. Anuja Mhatre, Cardiac Rehab Expert, Mind Your Fitness!