This year is so different from previous years. There are no travel plans, no lounging on the beach, no family reunions. The pandemic has taken over all of our usual routines. I know Covid-19 has been with us since spring and we felt it would be short-lived. But, now it’s clear that it is here to stay, at least for a while.
When change is forced on us suddenly, the first few days are spent in just absorbing the shock. Then, when reality hits, we start to feel resentment, acknowledgment, and then either reach depression or acceptance. Everything I had created to help me unwind and destress was either
taken away or was not as it used to be.
Personally, I like to go to my local YMCA to exercise but the YMCA was closed. I like to visit my friends but that was out of the question. The only thing that did not change for me was my yoga practice. In fact, the pandemic has brought me closer to yoga. Because yoga was the only thing that was available, I delved into it more. I took various online classes that I could not have taken otherwise due to my work hours. I was able to actually take time to sit and meditate, to try a restorative class, and use some of the breathing techniques that I teach to my clients. It created peace for me in the midst of struggle.
Yoga uses a mind and body approach and this pandemic, or any difficult situation, requires us to take care of both. Yoga has 3 powerful tools to help us ward off the stress and strain on our mind and body.
Yoga postures: Postures are very useful to keep muscles optimally healthy. They help to improve both strength and flexibility. During the pandemic, you may have to stay at home and work and your body may crave the movement and flexibility that yoga can provide. Or you may be an essential worker, working longer shifts and your body needs the strength and attention to supporting muscle groups. Yoga postures can also help the body’s endurance.
Breathing exercises/ Pranayama: Breathing techniques used in yoga help to improve lung capacity and strengthen your breathing muscles. Breathing mirrors our emotions. This part of yoga is designed to control and strengthen your breath in order to help reduce anxiety and improve focus.
Mindfulness and meditation techniques: These techniques are useful to help us focus on the present moment, reduce anxiety, and offer you a chance to take a moment to look at the bigger picture.
For more information on yoga, visit Bharti’s website: www.symbioticyoga.com
Bharti Gokhale, Physical Therapist, Certified Yoga Instructor
“When two practices are symbiotic, it means they benefit one another
when paired together. Physical therapy has always been an
essential part of the healing process. I believe when we combine
physical therapy concepts with a personal yoga practice, it takes us a
little closer to achieving our goals of self-healing through breath and the