Journal of Yoga, Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation (ISSN: 2577-0756)

review article

Using Pranayama or Yoga Breathing to Mitigate Stress and Anxiety during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Sukesh Sukumaran1*, Devi Asokan2, Niveditha Sukesh3, Vini Vijayan4

1Division of Rheumatology, Department of Pediatrics, Valley Children’s Hospital, Madera, California, USA

2Divison of Pulmonology, Lisie Hospital, Kochi, Kerala, India

3Buchanan High School, Clovis, California, USA

4Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Pediatrics, Valley Children’s Hospital, Madera, California, USA

*Corresponding author: Sukesh Sukumaran, Pediatric Rheumatology, Division of Rheumatology, Valley Children’s Healthcare, Madera, California, USA

Received Date: 13 May, 2020; Accepted Date: 02 June, 2020; Published Date: 05 June, 2020

Abstract

The emergence of the novel SARS-CoV-2 virus in December of 2019, and subsequent worldwide spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has affected the psychological wellbeing of the general public. The impact of social distancing and shelter-in-place policies have exacerbated this stress and anxiety due to the pandemic. It is well-documented that stress and depression can increase the risk respiratory infection and overall physical health. At this unprecedented time, measures to enhance well-being and respiratory function through yoga can help mitigate stress. In this review, we describe the use of Pranayama, a branch of yoga practice, to allay stress and mitigate anxiety related to COVID-19. This yoga breathing method involves regulating the flow of breath consciously by a deliberate process and it involves the stages of inhalation, exhalation and retention of breath. Pranayama assists in mental clarity as well as emotional and physical control. Using illustrations, we have provided the steps on how these techniques can be performed. This easy-to-learn approach can be translated to the inpatient and outpatient settings to be used on a daily basis during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure well-being among the public.

Keywords

COVID-19; Pandemic; Pranayama; Stress; Yoga; Yoga breathing


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