In the same way yoga can’t cure cancer, it can’t cure coronavirus either. So, why are there Yoga For Cancer classes? Because yoga helps manage symptoms and side effects.
As a yoga therapist, I use a model called the koshas to help me take a holistic approach to what is ailing my clients.
So how can yoga — and the koshas — help with coronavirus? Thankfully, most of us don’t have COVID-19. But what many of us do have is anxiety around the disease and a need to boost our immune systems. Let’s take a quick trip through the koshas to see how yoga can help with those two things.
Annamaya Kosha – The Physical Body:
The thing I see missing from a lot of suggestions for preventing the spread of corona is SLEEP. It’s no secret sleep helps the immune system and aids in healing. And according to the ayurvedic clock, getting to sleep before 10 p.m. is critical to sleeping well. After 10 p.m., our pitta energy kicks in and can keep us awake. (See image.)
Pranamaya Kosha – The Energy Body:
Here is where we can go right at the anxiety with stress-reducing breathing techniques. Most people know that breathing can help our nervous system move into an important “rest and digest” state. But with anxiety, it’s often more effective to do breathing exercises more frequently versus one long session. Schedule a handful of breathing times into your day, even if it’s just for 2 or 3 minutes.
Manomaya Kosha – The Conscious Mind:
Here’s another place to combat stress. Now more than ever, the news is a source of instant anxiety. Make sure you are taking in media that calms your mind – poetry, relaxing music, yogic texts, etc. Turn off your phone an hour before you go to bed. And if you practice chanting, let those mantras soar. Wipe clean the slate of your conscious mind frequently.
Vijnanamaya Kosha – The Subconscious Mind:
I often hear phrases like, “I’m so stressed out, I need to start meditating.” If you don’t have a meditation practice, and you are feeling super stressed out with current events, now is NOT the time to start meditating. At least, not for any extended length of time. Simply breathing and chanting is a much better strategy for the active mind and the beginning meditator. Squirming for 30 minutes trying to mediate is counterproductive and might make things worse.
Annandamaya Kosha – The Bliss Body:
Ananda is all about our ability to feel connected to something bigger than ourselves, and that in return gives us a sense of bliss. So take a walk in nature, blast your favorite song, bow in front of your yoga altar, or gather around a fire with friends. In short, embrace what makes makes you feel whole and connected. We are in this together, after all!
Need to learn some of the techniques mentioned above? Make an online or offline appointment with a Yoga Therapist at Dragonfly!
Joe Simek is a Certified Yoga Therapist, 500-Hour Level Yoga Teacher, and Co-owner of Dragonfly Yoga Studio. Joe has been practicing yoga for more than a decade, using the wisdom of the teachings to lose weight, get sober, and abandon the corporate grind. In 2012, he formalized his yoga education, completing Dragonfly’s 200 HR Yoga Teacher Training. Joe went on to study Yoga Therapy and Peaceful Weight Loss Through Yoga with Brandt Passalacqua of Breathing Deeply Yoga Therapy (where he is now a Teaching Assistant) and Advanced Vinyasa Yoga with Rolf Gates. In 2016, Joe co-founded The Fiaria Project, a non-profit organization that aids foster children. He is also the frontman of Destroy It Up, an indie rock music project inspired by yoga philosophy. Joe holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Arizona State University.