The Path to Immunity: Yoga in the Time of COVID-19

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The Path to Immunity: Yoga in the Time of COVID-19

The Discovery of Yoga’s Hidden Facets

During the COVID-19 pandemic, I embarked on a profound journey of self-discovery through yoga, uncovering aspects beyond mere physical postures. I delved into the Bhagavad Gita, a revered Indian scripture, and its teachings on karma yoga, the yoga of action. This philosophy emphasizes living devoid of selfish desires, focusing solely on the present moment.

Harnessing the Power of the Nervous System

Modern science illuminates the mechanisms by which yoga methods influence our physical and mental well-being. The autonomous nervous system (ANS) plays a crucial role, regulating our respiratory system. The sympathetic nervous system (SNS) triggers the fight-or-flight response, while the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) promotes relaxation.

Yoga techniques stimulate the vagus nerve, which connects the brain to the abdomen, enhancing PNS activity and reducing anxiety. Practitioners have found Pranayama, or breathwork, particularly effective in balancing the ANS. Controlled breathing exercises, such as ujjayi and bhastrika, increase vagal tone, promoting relaxation.

Aiding Immunity through Yoga

For my fellow countrymen facing the threat of COVID-19, yoga offers a path to well-being. By calming the nervous system and bolstering immunity, it provides a vital defense. Regular yoga practice, combined with yoga nidra, a deep relaxation technique, can empower us to navigate these challenging times with resilience and tranquility.

By Gai Jindal

Indian-American yoga instructor and entrepreneur

**Credit and Rights:** OMG I Yoga

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