The unprecedented outbreak of the deadly Novel Coronavirus, witnessed round the globe, has brought enormous changes in the lives of billions. With tough lockdown, now people are running out of options and spending time in unfavorable ways. It has led to a surge of plenty of new problems like trouble in sleep. We are unable to sleep when we are too elated or we are in a disturbed mind. Even complications in sleep arise due to the unfavorable perplex situations. There is difficulty in falling asleep, waking up frequently during the night with difficulty in returning to sleep, waking up too early in the morning or un-refreshing sleep. Now during this pandemic, inadequate or poor-quality sleep is a common problem with different psychosomatic problems like anxiety, depression, lethargy, constipation, obesity, etc.
Since the last two months, doctors, healthcare workers, cops and social workers are not getting time to sleep. But starting from the small children to old-age people, all are staying wide awake until midnight. In the name of comfort, they engage themselves with the electronic appliances without doing any physical activity. Some are spending time in front of the television while others are surfing internet or speak on mobile for hours together until late in the night. They are working on computer for long hours without rest. They are taking food without caring about the quality, quantity or even the timing of the food. During this lockdown situation, because we are doing almost no physical activities, like before we were confined, we should take light food, less food; and particularly in the night, we should avoid spicy or oily food. Such type of lifestyle leads one to pay the price of disease for not being in harmony with natural laws.
Yoga plays an important role to correct our lifestyle by doing away with the causes of our sufferings and complications during this pandemic. Through certain principles of social code of conduct as well as the personal code of conduct, it improves the quality of our life. Regular practice of Jala Neti has a calming and soothing influence on the brain. It alleviates anxiety, anger and depression. One feels light and fresh. A balance takes place between the right and left nostrils and corresponding left and right brain hemispheres, inducing a state of harmony throughout the body and mind.
Then, a few rounds of Surya Namaskar strengthen the body, help to balance the metabolism and enhance the vitality. A sense of tranquilisation takes place with the good supply of fresh and oxygenated blood to the brain. It should be followed by Savasana with the practice of abdominal breathing which improves oxygenation of the blood and circulation. It is the most natural and efficient way of breathing.
Apart from this, the practice of Ujjayi Pranayama soothes the nervous system and calms the mind. It has a relaxing effect at the psychic level by stimulating the vital energy in the body. The practice of it is so simple that it can be done while moving, standing, sitting or walking. This pranayama occurs spontaneously when concentration becomes deep and intense.
Trataka is an important technique which is practised by looking with an unwavering gaze at a small point until tears are shed. It eradicates all eye diseases, fatigue and sloth and unlocks the inherent energy of the mind and channelises it to the dormant areas of consciousness. With the one-pointed mind, it helps develop willpower, improved memory and concentration ability. Yoga Nidra is another technique of inducing deep relaxation by eradicating deep-rooted psychological complexes, neuroses, etc. It is the best, cheapest and most permanent method of inducing deep relaxation of the entire human structure.
Hence, during this pandemic, the scope to practise yogic techniques being confined to our houses is plenty; and we can spare some time to look within through yogic practices and stay fit.
(Dr Prativa Shree is Assistant professor, Faculty of Health and Wellness Department of Yogic Science, Sri Sri University, Odisha. Contact number: 7894424506)