Indian Spice Mag – Yoga Tips for Covid19
Originally Pulished in Indian Spice Magazine, May 2010.
Yoga For Health During Covid-19
By Yousuf Tilly
ORDINARILY, the period between March and May is when South African’s capitalize on public holidays to get a break. This year, the outbreak of Corona Virus has us all on an enforced holiday to the exciting destinations of couch, kitchen and bedroom. It seems that, even in a democracy, we can lose our freedom and the only travel that lockdown allows is in our minds. For many, that has been the most harrowing experience of all as sitting around, eating and consuming Netflix hardly helps with the looming economic uncertainty that we all will soon have to deal with.
In times like these it’s hard enough mustering the courage for a mere fifteen minutes of exercise, let alone redefining our health as the culmination of physical, mental and emotional exuberance. Yet, that is what renowned yogi and visionary, Sadhguru, describes as the most basic form of health. The ability to carry out those activities we enjoy is not enough, he says. True health is feeling happy while doing it too. Despite current circumstances, that is very much within our control.
“A joyful, sensible, and responsible human being can deal with situations much better,” says Sadhguru because mental and emotional distress adversely affect the immune system.
He further explains that we literally live in an ocean of bacteria, and viruses are not new. “The Corona Virus is simply new to human systems so our bodies are struggling to produce the necessary antibodies to combat it.”
Luckily, the right combination of household herbs and spices can be a powerful support for your immune system. In just six to eight weeks, you can enjoy significant improvements, thereby minimizing fatality to yourself and loved ones.
Neem and tumeric, for instance, are effective in enhancing your ability to fight external organisms like Covid-19. While neem leaves are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent, many grocers do carry them along with turmeric, a commonly available spice. Today, you can also buy ‘nano-tumeric’ which has an enhanced absorption rate. Simply consuming a teaspoon of turmeric in warm water on an empty stomach along with eight to ten neem leaves daily is enough to notice a significant improvement in your immune system, Sadhguru recommends.
Jeeva legium and raw mango have traditionally been used to boost the immune system of those beyond sixty years of age. Sadhguru advises not waiting for the mangoes to ripen. Eating them raw provide small but consistent benefits to the immune systems of the elderly, who are the most susceptible to Covid-19 infections.
Another simple yet powerful tonic is amla with honey and peppercorns. It’s best to consume three spoons, three times daily on an empty stomach, Sadhguru says. To prepare the mixture, soak some amla (gooseberry) along with cracked black or green peppercorns in honey overnight. In four to eight weeks you will notice significant improvements to your immune system.
It’s important to remember that, while these ingredients are natural immune boosters, they serve as preventative measures and aren’t a cure for the Corona Virus. Sadhguru recommends consulting a doctor if you’re showing symptoms.
In the meantime, the necessity of physical exercise during lockdown cannot be understated. Just fifteen to twenty minutes of daily physical activity helps to combat the adverse effects of sitting for long periods of time, eating or drinking alcohol.
The efficiency of our immune systems, Sadhguru explains, can be improved by generating ‘samat prana’ or ‘ushna’. In English, ‘ushna’ translates to heat, but that is merely a simplification for the type of energy actually being described in the yogic system. Generating it over a period of time, however, makes you more capable of dealing with the Corona Virus, or other viral attacks that may ensue in the future.
On his website, isha.sadhguru.org, you can find detailed instructions to practice the ‘Yoga Yogeshwaraya’ chanting meditation that generates ushna in the system, but Sadhguru has offered an even simpler yogic practice for those engaged in essential services like medicine and security who may be highly exposed to the Corona Virus.
With only a few exceptions, ‘Simha Kriya’, can be practiced by anyone, anywhere. It helps to boost immune system and enhance your lung capacity within only a few minutes of practice several times daily.
Covid-19 is essentially an airborne virus that transmits itself most commonly through saliva while talking or engaging with others. Before infection takes place, the virus lodges itself in the throat, and it is the consistent rhythm of our breathing that carries it into the lungs where it becomes harmful. ‘Simha Kriya’ is effective as a preventative measure against respiratory infection, where the virus is most rampant.
Once again, you can find detailed instructions on how to practice ‘Simha Kriya’ on Sadhguru’s website. Admittedly, it does look and feel a little weird to practice but there shouldn’t be any limitations to the responsibility we have to ourselves to stay healthy during this crisis and otherwise.
Ultimately the quality of our lives depend on the level of health we can sustain within ourselves. While Sadhguru challenges us to look beyond physical fitness as our concept of health, he reminds us that much of how we maintain ourselves is within our control. As human beings, our locus of control may be tiny but Sadhguru is quick to point out that “Mother Nature is so generous and effervescent that, if we give her the chance, she will restore everything abundantly and beautifully.”
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FILLER: Find Yogic groceries & Kriya instructions
The easiest way to find neem leaves and other groceries described in this article is to shop online at ishashoppe.com or locally at gorimas.co.za. Both stores carry a wide variety of Indian and ayurvedic products, and deliver nationally in South Africa.
You can watch the instructional video for Simha Kriya at: https://isha.sadhguru.org/global/en/wisdom/video/simha-kriya-powerful-yogic-practice-boost-immunity
Or learn the Yoga Yogeshwaraya practice by pointing your browser to:
ENDS: 985 WORDS.