It has been weeks and months since we have stopped counting days being in this pandemic-driven lockdown. There is a unique quality to this day-by-day pandemic despair; this quarantine depression is edging humans into physical and mental stagnation. According to an article I read in the Hindu couple of days back, approximately 12.2 crore Indians lost their jobs during the coronavirus lockdown in April 2020 only, which makes COVID 19 pandemic much more stressful for people.
Not only for people who have lost their jobs, but also for people who are working from home in this pandemic and trying to juggle between their family and work without any house help and childcare services available, that this pandemic is proving more emotionally exhausting than the virus itself. With an official Microsoft TEAMS video call in my morning joggers or stirring the ladle in a cooking pot with my official call in my earpods and with my toddler in my arms, I too am acing at juggling! Watching this situation very closely for past couple of months now, I feel a more accepting and holistic approach to this fiasco is the need of the hour.
We all know that there is uncertainty & fear and we all are multitasking around for the past 4-5 months, but instead of getting bogged down, coping with stress in a healthy way will not only make us, but the people we care about and our community stronger. The best we can do is accept the situation and take care of our and our family’s mental and physical health. One way that I discovered and loved during this period, is a 40 minutes yoga routine with 10 minutes meditation, to reinforce my strength and potential. Every single day for past three months now: believe me these are the most blissful 60 minutes I have from my day! I feel that my mind is calmer and more focussed; I am able to do one thing at a time, that too perfectly and my productivity has increased like anything. I am following a very good book ‘Light on Yoga’ by BKS Iyengar and practicing yoga from the same.
It can be anything, as long as you are present in the moment mentally & physically and moving, stretching and doing basic pranayama initially for 10 minutes in a day and gradually increasing to half an hour or 40 minutes; but please follow the same with 10 minutes of mediation (just focussing on your breath with closed eyes) and you will feel a positive change in your day. You can even take breaks in between your office calls and stretch your arms, necks or legs for 2 minutes on the chair or your yoga mat.
On the occasion of International Yoga Day 2020, I am sharing some of basic yoga poses which I have been practicing and you can also start with them as a beginner in yoga journey:
- Trianga Mukha Eka Pada Paschimottanasana: Keeping one knee folded, try to touch your nose to the other stretched knee. It gives a nice and long stretch to your tense back and can make you ready for a long office call.
- Matasyasana: Matasyasana or Fish pose is a reclining back-bending pose. It relieves tension in your neck, throat, and shoulders and stretches and tones the front of your neck and your abdominals. It could be proven beneficial for all the creative people who like to keep their neck in the laptop screens for better focus.
- Dhanurasana: Dhanurasana or chakrasana or wheel pose or The Upper Facing Bow whatever you can call, it can help—and strengthen your arms, legs, abdomen, and spine. For this one, you bend your knees and place your heels as close to the hips as possible and then slowly raise your arms, bend your elbows by resting the palms beside your ears.
- Floating camel pose: an advance version of Utraasna. This one is little bit of an advance yoga pose and maybe you will be able to do it after a month’s practice but the benefits are for sure worth the pain in the process. It increases flexibility in the spine, stimulates the nervous system, opens the chest and shoulders, improves circulation and digestion, and stimulates the thyroid gland. It’s said to rejuvenate/increase energy levels, and lower blood pressure.
- Sirsasana or headstand: and finally the king of all the yoga poses, The headstand. This is definitely a very advance yoga pose but is known as the most relaxing and cooling posture. It helps you to draw your attention inwards, to concentrate more, to focus more. This posture is extremely helpful if you are having anxiety, stress, fear or otherwise worrisome thoughts. Combine headstand with long, slow breathing and you have a recipe for stress relief.
So happy International yoga day 2020 people and I would like to leave you with a very special quote from my favourite yogi BKS Iyengar, ‘Yoga is a light, which once lit, will never dim. The better your practice, the brighter the flame.’