Being a part of the 21st – century world living a healthy life has become a mandate. It is as if a race to achieve the ‘perfect body’ has been decreed by the governments of the world. People constantly strive to mould into perfect body types using numerous types of diet plans. They even practise various cardiovascular exercises to keep themselves miles away from any kind of disease, buckling up their inner self to the core.
But, do you know which technique has proven most effective in protecting our immunity during these times of COVID–19? ‘Yoga,’ is more than just an exercise, it is a way of life; a 5000-year-old subtle science that focuses on bringing harmony between the mind and the body. It is a combination of physical exercise, diet control, breathing techniques, and concentration, which strengthens the body and relaxes the mind. Thereby helps boost the immune system in a wholesome manner.
What is Yoga and Why Yoga?
WHAT IS YOGA?
The first instances of Yoga though are debatable in the Indian scholarly studies. It is a opinion that it is a derivation from the Sanskrit word ‘Yuj’ which means ‘to unite or integrate.’ Yoga is a 5,000- year -old Indian body of knowledge whose origins are the Indus Valley Civilization (3300–1900 BCE). Yoga is all about harmonizing the body with the mind. Also, breathing through the means of varied breathing exercises yoga poses (asanas) and meditation. It is in the late 1890s when Indian monks spread their knowledge of Yoga in the West, modern yoga teachings became widely popular in Western countries by the 1970s.
While modern yoga focuses on poses designed to stimulate inner peace and physical energy. The ancient yoga on the other hand do not place as much emphasis on fitness. Instead, it revolved around cultivating mental focus and expanding spiritual energy. There are many types of yogic practices, but the style a person chooses depends upon their expectations and level of physical agility, such that they can procure a balanced, active lifestyle.
WHY CHOOSE YOGA?
Alike most ancient practices, Yoga is often met with several ifs and buts of today’s ‘scientific’ world. Is there a scientific basis for this practice? What all evidence proves that Yoga ought to be practised? Seems this ‘scientific’ world is currently finding answers to those queries. Various studies uncover the benefits of active Yoga and have been studied scientifically since the nineteenth-century physiology experiment of N. C. Paul. Contemporary science confirms that the application of various Yoga postures (asanas) have tangible physical advantages and help boost the immune system of your body that may further embrace improved brain performance and denser bones.
What does science has to say?
According to the American Council on Exercise, “quite eleven million Americans applied Yoga and realize that the poses (called asanas) and chants strengthen their bodies, centre their minds and facilitate them to relax.” Yoga is more frequently dealt with singly from meditation, which has outcomes of its own. It is far used without delay as clinical aid, specifically for mental situations like post-disturbing pressure disorder; but the evidence for these stays weak. Yoga has typically been advertised with unscientific claims for particular advantages. And soon it will be no better than distinctive kinds of exercising in those cases. And some claims for its outcomes on specific organs, like that forward bends eject pollutants from the liver, are absolutely idle.
learn more about the Physical, Mental and Spiritual health benefits of Yoga
Though technological know-how does now no longer appear to have robust claims to show Yoga as the best immunity booster, the historic evidence certainly mentions the relevance of Yogic exercise in a healthful manner, i.e. physical, mental, or even spiritual. The roots of Yoga is in spirituality, and has deeper goals that pass past easy stretching and strengthening of muscles. The divinity that is attained through yoga permits practitioners to not only enhance their bodily energy and flexibility. Moreover, adding to their emotions, mentality, and concentration.
The verdict of Patanjali sutras
In the words of Patanjali, an asana is described as “a steady and comfortable state” in which the actions are gradual and managed and the respiration is synchronized. For this reason, putting a degree for accomplishing mental stability. While in ordinary exercising the emphasis is frequented on motion and pressure at the muscles; additionally, those physical activities commonly include repetitive motion while synchronized respiration is absent, thereby, it turns obvious that the outcomes of yoga and exercising differ.
This historic technological know-how is going some distance past the mere bodily aspects. Through a manner of deepening the relationship among mind, frame, and most critical of all, the spirit. The spiritual issue of yoga assists yogis increase integration in their internal being in addition to oneness with the Supreme Consciousness, realizing the hidden ability permits oneself to specific the fullness of our divine essence. And thereby, make the finest viable contribution to the arena. Therefore, working towards yoga with this last goal in the end results in a spiritual fulfilment, a state of incredible bliss.
YOGA V/S OTHER CARDIOVASCULAR EXERCISES
This world is full of believers, some believe in the power of Yoga, yet some go for exercises such as Zumba or Pilates or other hardcore workouts, and some do not even consider the power that these physical activities behold; while there has existed a large swarm of believers, a prolonged tussle between following different type of exercises remains intact. Cardiovascular exercises are important for strengthening the heart and lungs, whereas yoga is necessary for controlling and regulating the breath, which is related to prana flow. Aerobics puts strain on your joints and increases your risk of joint injury. Yoga helps to strengthen the bones and joints, thus boosts the body’s immune system, whereas aerobics increases metabolism.
Did you know that, according to the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, yoga can be just as good as cycling, swimming, and brisk walking as an exercise? Yes, yoga works on multiple aspects of the body, whether it is fat burning, relaxation, mind-quieting, or getting your heart rate up. Yoga is a more sustainable way to exercise that also incorporates strength training, and it is the way to go if one wants to lose weight and keep it off.
Asanas and their benefits
If one delves deeply into the world of Yoga, there are innumerable asanas with innumerable benefits for each part of the body. These ‘asanas or poses’ are not simply postures to be practised. In order to magically transform your body into that of divine power; rather, these Asanas are a physical practice of yoga that relate to the body in order to give it a ‘perfect shape,’ each asana in its own unique manner.
Though today one can interchange asana with the word yoga, it is only one component of the whole process; understanding what yoga asana is? Where it comes from? And its history opens the doors to a much richer practice. And knowing this also gives you the motivation to boost the immune system of your body. Yoga evolves from being about trying to put your foot behind your head to something more meaningful, like pranayam, the breath-controlling exercise.
Different asanas and yogic practices to boost the immune system
Sure yoga asanas require immense skills, concentration, and patience. But once you get the catch, it becomes inseparable from your life. Name any asana and one will always find a benefit from practising it regularly since it truly excels in mental and emotional benefits. If you know how to use them, yoga poses can be a doorway to a calmer, clearer mind and a feeling of joy and peacefulness.
For instance, Vajra Asana, or the Thunderbolt Pose, is a simple sitting pose with numerous benefits. It is great for the knees, all the leg muscles, and making the ankle joints more flexible. It is also beneficial to digestion (which is why the Japanese eat in this posture)
This is the most beneficial and effective yoga asana. The ultimate goal of yoga asana practice is to make our bodies limber and flexible enough to sit for long periods of meditation. Padma asana has long been the preferred asana of all yogis.
An excellent spine stretch. It aids in the alignment of our bodies and in the prevention and treatment of spinal and back problems.
This asana oxygenates your body, energizes your mind, and expels stale oxygen from your system. “Kapalbhati” means “shining skull” in Sanskrit, so it also gives you that lovely yoga glow.
For good reason, this is yoga’s most popular asana. It’s a fantastic all-body stretch that relieves a lot of back tension. It is also beneficial to circulation because it causes a gentle inversion of the body. It also tones the arms, legs, and tummy, allowing you to get rid of tummy bloating.
Pose of a Child
It is a deeply relaxing and revitalizing asana that can reset and recharge both your body and mind. It relaxes the legs, back, and neck.
Benefits of practising yoga to boost the immune system
With a haphazard life comes various diseases at hand. Starting from basic cold to cancer all are therefore to be treated with one or the other medication; but even these efficient medications sometimes prove to be a disaster for the patient. In order to eradicate any kind of disease from attacking the body, our immune system also needs updation just like the gadgets we use. For years, medical practitioners have emphasized the importance to boost the immune system. We can achieve this by adopting a healthy lifestyle; a nutritious diet, healthy sleeping habits, and physical activity such as Yoga which enhances our body’s natural defence mechanism.
While the asanas make up the cornerstone of infection prevention, yoga’s benefits don’t stop there. Yoga as an immunity booster helps remove stress, strengthens the respiratory system, ensures optimum functioning of all organs. It also improves blood circulation in our bodies.
Yoga helps lower our stress hormones and calms the nervous system from the psychological stress. While breathing practices of Yoga, help maintain the health of our respiratory system; controlled breathing improves blood flow, lowers stress levels, and increases the efficiency of our lungs. Thus in order to achieve the perfect immunity and stay in the race of an active and healthy lifestyle all you need to do is to incorporate a few simple things into your lifestyle. One can achieve this through the inculcation of the physical, mental and emotional benefits of yoga.
Yoga in times of Covid to boost the immune system
Living in the 21st century isn’t a simpler task anymore, pollution, fear of death, and numerous threatening viruses, all together form a sense of anxiety in a human’s mind. Especially in the times of COVID-19, a life-threatening virus has created chaos all around the world-leading economies. It is a necessity to prevent oneself from the sight of such diseases. Even if one is unfortunate enough to be affected by such diseases, medical practitioners prescribe Yoga as an immunity booster against COVID-19.
Yes, India’s traditional way for battling against the risk of getting infected in a report by India Today, Bharat Thakur, celebrity yoga trainer spoke about how yoga has proved beneficial in these struggling times “One because it can significantly boost the immune system. Two, practising yoga can cure the depression generated from quarantine or any other source that one cannot avoid. And three, yoga helps the global community set new goals for itself so we can come out stronger and that simple asana and pranayama can stimulate ‘production of happy hormones.’”
Read to know more about facts on how to prevent infections in Indian culture and tradition
When combined with breathing and meditation, yoga acts as the element to take care of our mind, body. While it also builds a strong physical, mental health system. There are different forms of yoga that can help us stay physically strong and mentally balanced. Yoga brings its own flavour and benefits to the table, that people of all ages can perform, and provides you with a holistic sense of health. It is especially required during these times.