YogMantra | Adopt This 7-Minute Pranayama Schedule to Avoid Dengue, Other Monsoon Illnesses – News18

YogMantra | Adopt This 7-Minute Pranayama Schedule to Avoid Dengue, Other Monsoon Illnesses – News18


With monsoons comes relief of lowered temperature, but also the stress of rising infections and inflammations. While governments and municipalities up their efforts to fight the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, how can we as individuals protect ourselves? One part of it is to take care of external factors like cleanliness and hygiene in the neighbourhood. The other is building immunity.

A scientific paper lays the primary onus of fighting infection on the host body. “The immune system is the body’s primary defence against the dengue virus,” it says. Enough has already been said about how a healthy diet, enough sleep, avoidance of smoking and alcohol consumption, maintaining hygiene in cooking and the surroundings, and physical exercise help boost the immune system.

Here, we give a short breathing-exercise plan that’s recommended by senior Yoga gurus – for building immunity against the Dengue and various other viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites.

A TINY PRANAYAMA MODULE: CONDITION, CLEANSE, BALANCE, BHRAMARI

Step 1 – One minute of Conditioning

(Eases the mind into the practice, literally ‘conditions’)

Sit comfortably, with back erect, shoulders relaxed, eyes closed.

Bring your awareness to your self — observe the body and breathing at the nose-tip.

Pro tip: Make sure the body is relaxed and mind is inward-looking before proceeding further.

Step 2: Three rounds of Kapalabhati Kriya

(Cleanses nasal passages and sinuses, stimulates the brain and the entire abdomen area)

Contract the abdomen to generate short and forceful exhalations; passive inhalations would be generated automatically, without effort. Stop after 30 strokes in the first round.

In rounds 2 and 3, increase the number of strokes to 40 and 45 respectively. Remember to not exceed your capacity. Stop after 3 rounds. Do pause between the rounds.

Pro tip: People with heart disease and eye issues can avoid this and do 5 rounds of abdominal breathing instead.

Step 3: Five rounds of Nadi-Shuddhi Pranayama or Alternate-Nostril Breathing

(Cleanses blocked channels of energy, brings balance)

Adopt ‘Nasika Mudra’ with the right hand (index and middle fingers are folded to touch the palm; thumb, ring and little finger stay up).

Block your right nostril with the thumb and exhale completely through the left.

Inhale deeply through the left nostril; then block the left nostril with the little finger, and release the breath through the right nostril.

Next, inhale through the right nostril; immediately block it, and release the breath through the left nostril.

This completes one round of Nadi-Shuddhi pranayama. Do five rounds.

Pro tip: Observe the air as it goes into the nostrils, throat, trachea, bronchi and lungs; and as the warm air leaves the lungs, trachea, throat and out of the nose.

Step 4: Seven rounds of Bhramari Pranayama (Humming or Bee breath)

(Energises, relaxes, works its magic on the immune system)

Place your tongue lightly on your upper palate, close to the teeth. This placement enables producing the ‘nnn’ sound.

Take a deep breath and then exhale, producing an `nnn’ sound. Feel the reverberations in the head region.

Do 7 rounds of this technique.

Pro tip: Feel the massaging effect on the body, and the silencing effect on the mind.

Step 5: Release the posture, and carry on with your usual activities.

WHY THIS IS EXTREMELY EFFECTIVE

Nitric Oxide for Immunity….

Nitric oxide — a compound of one nitrogen atom and one oxygen atom produced naturally by the body — is important for several health reasons. Its role in defence against microbes and viruses is also significant. Several studies have demonstrated the effects of nitric oxide in fighting off a variety of viruses, bacteria, fungi, etc. to the point that this compound has been referred to as “a one-man army for broad-spectrum bioactivity”.

….and Pranayama for Nitric Oxide

There are many ways to maintain optimal levels of nitric oxide in the body. Pranayama is a no-fuss, time-effective, and efficient way to do it.

While Yoga gurus’ wisdom has always placed Pranayama on priority for building health, in terms of Science, nitric-oxide production that occurs during Pranayama does the trick. Any number of international research studies have provided evidence of the positive effects of Pranayama and especially the ‘humming’ breath exercise — aka Bhramari — on sinus ventilation and nasal nitric oxide release.

START YOUR DAY WITH THE BREATHING PRACTICES

The tiny Pranayama module outlined above can be followed at the start of day — at the workplace, or in the school assembly for children, and at home. It is a quick, simple and effective way to build immunity in the population against pathogen-based diseases that have been on the rise. After all, it is not possible to get vaccinated against newer bacterial and viral strains that keep rearing their head.

(Please Note: This article is meant for information. Before attempting any Yoga practice, get a go-ahead from your physician. Yoga is best learnt from an experienced Yoga teacher or at an established Yoga school.)

The author is a journalist, cancer survivor, and certified yoga teacher. She can be reached at swatikamal@gmail.com.



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