We are pleased to share a guest post from Dr. Madhu Guliani, MD.
Dr. Guliani is a board-certified internist and a certified yoga teacher. She received her 200-hour certification in yoga from the Himalayan Institution of Yoga and Meditation. For the past year, she has been practicing medicine via telehealth and offering free online yoga classes during the pandemic. Fun fact: During her final year of medical school, Dr. Guliani received a gold medal, which is awarded to the best graduate of the year.
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For now, we are thrilled to share Dr. Guliani's wisdom!
As we already know, stress has a huge impact on our physical and mental health. We are all aware that everybody’s stress has increased in midst of the COVID-19 pandemic due to job loss for some, kids being at home, the loss of domestic and caregiver help, increased work at home, wearing masks, and social isolation from our family and friends. This can make us eat poorly, keep us away from exercising regularly, spike blood pressure, affect our sleep, and decrease our immunity.
Yoga can give us tools to cope with our depleting energy and provide us with physical and mental well-being and peace of mind. It is a tradition practiced for over 5,000 years.
Following are some very basic poses, which can be practiced at any time of the day and even before retiring to bed.
1. Shoulder shrugs (especially helpful if you have neck and shoulder issues).
Sit on a chair with your feet on the floor or sit on a floor (on a mat or blanket) cross legged. Sit up with your back straight. Inhale and bring your shoulders to the ears. Exhale and release the shoulders. This can be repeated 5 to 10 times.
2. Knee hugs (especially helpful if you have back pain).
Lie down on the floor on a mat or blanket. Inhale slowly. Bring one or both knees to chest while exhaling. Clasp one or both of your knees with both hands and hold it for 5 breaths. Then keep on breathing. You can rock from side to side. Release your knees gently. This can be repeated 2-5 times.
3. Shavasna (very refreshing and rejuvenating when you are tired).
Lie down supine on a mat or blanket. Keep your feet 2 feet apart. Keep your arms by your side with your palms facing up. Allow your body to relax and gently close your eyes. Breath slowly and focus on your breath. Don’t dwell on our thoughts. This can be done for 5-10 minutes.
I hope these poses help you cope and wish you all a good journey.