Director of Prayag Tirth Yoga Centre and former director of Patna University Yoga Centre, Dr Prabhakar Devraj, said yogic asanas and pranayam can do wonders in preventing the spread of the infection (Picture used for representational purpose only)

PATNA: People who are afraid of getting infected with Covid-19 virus may start practising yoga. Even people with mild to moderate infections can get respite if they practise yoga, experts claim.
Dr Gangadhar of Govt Ayurvedic College and Hospital, Patna, said extensive work has shown that systematic tailor-made asana practices, dedicated pranayams and meditation could provide a broad-spectrum immune build-up in the body so that viral infection could be averted or its virulence reduced. As the upper respiratory tract is the portal of entry for the virus, the health of the respiratory system is very important in preventing fatality. Yogic exercises improve the pulmonary function in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, he said.
He said asanas like surya namaskar, pawan muktasana and some components of pranayams like bhastrika, kumbhak and bhramari are much beneficial for strengthening breathing system and improving our immunity. All the doctors and staff of the hospital undertake these yogic exercises regularly to keep themselves mentally and physically fit, he added.
Director of Prayag Tirth Yoga Centre and former director of Patna University Yoga Centre, Dr Prabhakar Devraj, said yogic asanas and pranayam can do wonders in preventing the spread of the infection. He said not a single person out of nearly 600 people practising yoga at his centre has been found to be Covid-19 positive till date. Breathing exercises and pranayams like anulom-vilom, nadi shodhan, bhastrika and jal-neti are reported to have increased the oxygen saturation level by three to four percent in Covid patients, he said.
He further pointed out that the entire medical fraternity has now been advocating the practice of asanas related to the respiratory system for the cure of Covid positive patients with breathing problem. He appealed to the people not to get panicky on getting infected. They should follow the necessary protocols, take up some light asanas and have healthy diets in home isolation. Yoga would also help them maintain their calm and mental health, he added.
Dr Ramashankar Ojha of Jain Vishwabharti University’s local study centre observed that breathing exercises like vayu mudra, pran vayu mudra, nadi-shodhan and ujjayee can help a lot in lessoning the breathing troubles faced by Covid infected people. All yoga practices utilize deep relaxation, which could release all tension and stress to prevent immune suppression that would have otherwise weakened the responses to the onslaught of viruses and bacteria, he said.
Yoga therapist Sanjeev Suman pointed out that nearly 10% of the people diagnosed with Covid-19 experience prolonged symptoms, including trouble breathing, blood clots, headaches, nausea, muscle pain and fatigue that last for weeks and months after testing positive for the virus. Yoga helps them ease stress and pain, maintain mobility and breathe easier. He said breathing exercises and stretching (asana or gentle movement coordinated with the breath) are important for their complete recovery.

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