Politics

​Yoga as a tool to create a positive impact during COVID-19 pandemic

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Yoga is an ancient practice that originated in India. 21st June is designated as the International Day of Yoga by the United Nations in 2014. The practice of Yoga aims to liberate a person from suffering. The practice of Yoga helps with the physical, mental and spiritual activities of the practitioner. Yoga has positive implications on the daily routine of a person and has become more relevant during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Yoga helps achieve a sense of inner peace. Many people find living in the modern world with the pandemic to be quite stressful. However, Yoga could help decrease stress levels, and further allows us to carry out our daily lives with a sense of calm. Besides, Yoga helps with fighting stress (with an increase in inner peace, there will be a decrease in stress); smaller levels of stress allow our lives to see an increase in longevity and hence allows us to enjoy life more. A study performed on 24 women who thought they were stressed, practiced 3 months’ worth of yoga sessions (2 days per week, 90-minute sessions). Results were determined by taking their cortisol levels before and after yoga sessions, and personal evaluations were made. The results showed that women showed significant improvements in decreasing their stress levels.

Yoga also increases the activeness of our body and the power/will to concentrate. With many people constrained by the lockdowns, curfews, and restrictions, it proves that it has been difficult for people to stay active and healthy with many institutions and public areas closed during this worldwide epidemic. In these restrictive circumstances, Yoga becomes more relevant as it does not require a lot of space to perform the activities and can be done inside homes, with nothing more than a mat. Yoga also creates an increase in mindfulness, focus, awareness, and motivation. Therefore, the practice of Yoga can enable people to stay healthy through accomplishing physical activity and keeping a calm mind.

Lastly, Yoga can improve the quality of sleep, help improve flexibility and create a healthier heart. Poor sleep quality can be associated with a lack of exercise, high blood pressure (BPD), and depression. A study made by the journal Alternative Therapies in Health and Science took test subjects both men and women over the age of 60 with insomnia to test the effectiveness of Yoga. The study concluded after 12 months with improvement in sleep quality, sleep duration, and sleep efficiency.

Ultimately, performing Yoga allows the overall improvement in the quality of life and could potentially help people during the COVID-19 pandemic. With a commitment of 20 – 30-minute sessions per day, it could help create a better life.

Daniel Rinnunga Bawitlung, student of The International School of Azerbaijan

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