Efficacy of Yoga in Coping with Mental Health Issues due to COVID-19 Pandemic: A Review
The world was shocked with the sudden outbreak of a virus in the early 2020 destroying lives and livelihoods of millions across the globe. The COVID-19 pandemic with its epicentre in Wuhan, China spread across the globe like a fire. To restrict the further spread of the virus, nations around the world went into complete lockdown restraining people from any movements outside their homes. The government imposition saved people from the dangerous virus but had a crucial impact over many people’s livelihood, employment and thus creating mental health problems. Many non-governmental as well as non-profitable organizations have tried their best to help humanity in the best possible ways to keep them engaged and also support their livelihoods. However, the need of the hour is to equip oneself with a good mental and physical health in these dark hours. Ancient Indian practices like yoga and meditation are proven tools to cope with misery, fear and anxiety during such times of despair. Their benefits encompass both physical health such as improving immune functions and activating parasympathetic activity, and mental health benefits like overcoming anxiety, depression and insomnia. This review highlights the benefits of yoga practices in combating the mental health issues faced by individuals due to lockdown, loss of near or dear ones and unemployment and highlights its role in improving wellness during the pandemic.