Yoga in time of COVID-19 Pandemic
1. We are traversing through a very difficult time which comes once in a century. It tests us, it destructs us, and it constructs us but only after a painful devastation of our life and livelihood. One thing remain intact which is human instinct to survive with our belief system. Traditional wisdom has always helped us to pass through such a testing time. I feel this is how we have come so far from the time of invention of wheel.
2. The wheel tells us about the system of cycle and its stable axis. The axis controls the movement of the wheel to give a desirable pace and momentum. Similarly, human body lives in a very delicate harmony. The COVID 19 pandemic has impacted our economies and societies around the world. Other impacts of this pandemic are wider pessimism and isolation at the level of individuals. While our governments are trying their best to mitigate impacts of COVID-19 pandemic, many of us find ourselves in a time of uncertainty, with little information or too much information with no real way to extract its truthfulness.
3. And here comes in Yoga, physical benefit and psychological fitness are dovetailed in practice of yoga. Yoga exercises helps a person manage stress, which is known to have devastating effects on the body and mind. Stress can reveal itself in many ways, including back or neck pain, sleeping problems, headaches, drug abuse, and an inability to concentrate and The purpose of yoga is to build strength, immunity, awareness, and harmony in both the mind and body, increased flexibility, muscle strength and tone, improved respiration, energy and vitality, maintaining a balanced metabolism, weight control, cardio and circulatory health, improved athletic performance and protection from injury. Empirical evidences show that people who practice Yoga experience less anxiety, less depression, and fewer symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
4. We get inner strength for self-discipline and self regulation. These two are ‘mantra’ for positive directions and feelings towards life. The flow of positive energy is essential to bring in empathy for human kind and also for the nature. With reducing the friction between our body and mind, Yoga produces beautiful harmony. It reveals Mother Nature to us and we become more natural and true to our own emotions. By providing solutions to our physical and mental illnesses, Yoga also contributes to growth, development and peace throughout the world.
5. Yoga combined with Ayurveda eradicates the root cause of the suffering or disease. Yoga and Ayurveda go beyond Asana (bodily postures) and herbs & plants, respectively. Both are like Deep Ocean encompassing the all secrets of inner and outer life. Both together, if incorporated properly, can make this world towards the ultimate goal of Satyam (Truthfulness), Shivam (Divinity) and Sundaram (Beauty). Yoga has continued to spread and mainstreaming in Japan’s long tradition of believing in holistic well-being, which is very much, the essence of Yoga too. Our Embassy in Tokyo is committed to continue spreading message of Yoga through virtual training sessions and talks by our Yoga Teacher. Increasing number of students registered with the Embassy are proving that our virtual Yoga courses run by Vivekananda Indian Cultural Center are getting popularity.
6. In order to keep everyone safe and healthy, this year we all have chosen to celebrate the International Day of Yoga either in a restricted way or by the virtual means but its universal message is helping us within even our closed spaces to overcome the current challenge. I am also happy to note that various yoga institutions in Japan are celebrating 6th edition of International Yoga Day virtually. I take this opportunity to congratulate you all.
(Sanjay Kumar Verma)
Ambassador of India