Regular practice of Yoga fosters a harmonious balance between all aspects of health be it physical, mental, social, moral, emotional and spiritual. Awareness of breath in all yogic techniques is the secret behind this. This simple practice of conscious breathing during the practice of Yoga aids in minimizing unwanted thoughts and keeps stress, anxiety and depression at bay. Every procedure that falls under Yoga Kriya, Asana, Pranayama, Bandha, Mudra and Meditation is effective in improving mental health. A sincere effort to perform Yoga systematically is the key. The improvement in mental health is seen as early as 4 – 6 weeks with a consistent Yoga practice.
Positive Attitude – A Yoga Perspective
A positive attitude in life can help you manage your day to day affairs skilfully. All Yoga techniques help us to a great extent in managing our mind and our thought process, be it the Kriyas like Kapalabhati, Tratakam, Yogasanas, Sun Salutations, Pranayama or even meditation practices.
The practice of Raja Yoga deals with an individual’s mindset at the subtlest level to eradicate any negativity or irrelevant thoughts. Follow the systematic practice of the 8 components of Raja Yoga, namely, Yama (Self Regulating Behavior), Niyama (Personal Practices), Postures, Yogic Breathing, Sensory Withdrawal, Concentration, Meditation and the state of Trance. Shaucha (Cleanliness, Hygiene or Purity) is one of the basic principles included in Niyama, that has been emphasized a lot in the practice of Raja Yoga. The benefits of the practice are immense, both physically and mentally. Personal hygiene and healthy food habits recommended in Shaucha helps prevent infection and boosts immunity during the pandemic. Shaucha brings about Sattva Shuddhi (Clear thinking), Saumansya (a pleasant state of mind), Ekagrata (Focused attention) and Indriya Jaya (sensory control). When Shaucha is diligently followed, it can help enhance one's immunity and assist in maintaining composure, enabling one to manage their physical, mental and emotional health.
4 attitudes that help you stay calm
Sage Patanjali in his Yoda Sutras also speaks of four attitudes that one needs to cultivate to keep themselves calm during a crisis or to resolve issues n a daily basis. These attitudes include:
- Friendliness (Maithri) towards situation or people who bring about pleasant feelings (Sukha)
- Compassion (Karuna) for sufferings (Dukkha)
- A feeling of joy (Muditha) or rejoicing for virtuous things (Punya) around us
- A sense of neutrality (Upeksha) towards vice (Apunya)
Yogic Cleansing Techniques Can Help Manage Crisis Like COVID-19
If you practice the above four principles with awareness, you will become capable of managing yourself in all aspects during a crisis like COVID.
- In Yogic cleansing techniques like Kapalabhati, the manipulation of breath induces a thoughtless state, bringing peace in all our activities.
- Trataka helps to evacuate the pent-up emotions, encouraging a sense of mental wellbeing.
- Sun salutation is the quickest and easiest way to bring positivity into our life. It improves energy levels by enhancing Prana in the Mind-Body complex.
- Yoga postures, when done with a focus on breath and movement, increase physical and mental flexibility allowing one to focus on the positive aspect of everything.
- Yoga techniques like Pranayama (Yogic Breathing) help you to keep calm during any crisis and have a positive outlook on life. Breathing practices influence our thoughts as breath connects the body and mind giving rise to awareness and influencing our responses.
- Cooling breaths like Sheetali Pranayama, Sheetkari Pranayama, humming bee breath or Bhramari Pranayama, left nostril breathing or Chandra Anuloma Viloma Pranayama help in reducing stress, anxiety and to keep negativity away.
- Kapalabhati Kriya and Bhastrika Pranayama are excellent practices to increase lung capacity helping in the effective prevention of COVID-19.
- Breath Awareness is a meditation practice that helps one to be aware of themselves and their surroundings, which, in turn, reduces false expectations. It also helps one to live in the present, contributing to wholesome positive health.
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