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International Yoga Day 2020: Why you should practise yoga during the COVID-19 pandemic

Uttanasana is an inversion exercise that can help rejuvenate your immune system.

On the occasion of International Yoga Day, renowned yoga guru Nandan Gautam, CEO, Bharat Thakur Artistic Yoga, shares the benefits of practising yoga during the pandemic while showing a few asanas to cope with stress, anxiety, and depression and boost immunity.

Due to the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown and restrictions, people are struggling to keep up with their daily lifestyle. Also, there is constant fear of the contagious disease, uncertainty about the future, financial insecurity, job losses, changing work habits, social distancing confronting all of these issues at once can be too much to handle for your mind and body. This can lead to mental issues like stress, anxiety, and depression as well as affect your physical health. A study published in The Lancet Psychiatry journal has also suggested that COVID-19 survivors may suffer mental health issue like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Meanwhile, yoga experts are advocating healing and alternative therapies as great options to tackle this pandemic situation. Many of them claim that yoga can play a powerful role in fight against the novel coronavirus while improving the physical and mental well-being of individuals. On the occasion of the sixth edition of the International Yoga Day, we have invited a renowned yoga expert to shed light on the benefits of practising yoga during these this trying time.

Yoga exponent and CEO, Bharat Thakur Artistic Yoga, Nandan Gautam is live with us on Facebook now sharing his thoughts on how yoga helps in managing stress and depression amid the COVID-19 pandemic while boosting immunity. Watch him striking yoga poses for alleviating depression and revving up immunity. The theme for this year's International Day of Yoga is 'Yoga at Home and Yoga with Family'. So, bring together all your family members and try these yoga asanas suggested by the yoga guru.

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OTHER YOGA POSES TO TRY DURING THE PANDEMIC

Yoga can boost immunity, reduce stress and inflammation as well as help fight depression. Experts also say that regular yoga can improve recovery post an infection. Regular practice of yoga has also been linked to increased feelings of wellbeing, happiness and overall contentment. Apart from the asanas suggested by yoga exponent Nandan Gautam, you can try these simple yoga poses also at home to boost immunity and relieve stress.

Ardha Matsyendrasana

Practising this asana can increases your immunity, boost digestion and detoxify your body.

How to do it

  • Sit up with your legs stretched out straight in front of you, keep the spine erect.
  • Now bring your right leg over the left knee, keep the sole of your right foot on the mat/floor.
  • Now, place the right hand behind you and the left hand on the right knee.
  • Twist the waist, shoulders and neck to the right to gaze over your right shoulder.
  • Hold the position for a few seconds and repeat on the other side.
  • Do this exercise 5 times.

Uttanasana

This is an inversion exercise that can help rejuvenate your immune system. It is a great pose to ease congestion and keep your sinuses and mucus membranes healthy. Uttanasana can help you relax, relieve mild depression and beat insomnia.

How to do it

  • Stand straight in a Tadasana or Mountain Pose, with your legs and feet together.
  • Exhale and bend a little from the hips, not the waist and rest your hands on the feet or floor.
  • If you can, try to bring the palm of your hands by the side of your feet.
  • Bring your forehead to your knees. Then shut your eyes and relax the body.
  • Hold this position for a few seconds.
  • Exhale and slowly return to the beginning position.
  • Practice 3 times for a few seconds initially and then gradually increase up to a minute.

Child's Pose (Balasana)

Child's Pose is one of the best yoga asanas for stress relief and energy restoration. It promotes flexibility, improves circulation to the muscles, joints and spine, calms the brain and helps relieve stress and fatigue.

How to do it

  • Kneel on the floor keeping your toes together and knees hip-width apart. Place your palms on top of your thighs.
  • Exhale and lower your torso between your knees.
  • Stretch out your arms alongside your torso, your palms should be facing down.
  • Relax your shoulders toward the ground.
  • Stay in this pose for as long as needed.

Reclined Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)

This pose stretches the hips, inner thighs, and groin all places where you can hold tension and stress. Regular practise of this asana can help relieve the symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression.

How to do it

  • Lie down on your back. Bring the soles of the feet together, knees stretch out to the sides. You can keep yoga blocks, bolsters, or folded blankets underneath the knees to make the pose more restorative.
  • Take your arms overhead and hold each elbow with opposite hands, or you can rest them on the floor alongside your torso. Some prefer putting one hand on the heart and the other on the belly.

Stay in this pose as long as you feel comfortable

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