Yoga: Connecting the Mind, Body and Soul
Author: Sohini Roychowdhury Dasgupta
Yogi, Dancer, Choreographer, Producer, and Professor of Natyashastra, Founder of Sohinimoksha World Dance & Communications
The ancient practices of Yoga, having started during the prehistoric times of nearly 5,000 years ago in India, is, once again, becoming a global hallmark of modern-day best practices for a healthier lifestyle in times of COVID-19. One of the best forms of physical, mental and spiritual practice, Yoga, and its myriad derivatives, are ideal immunity boosters in this unprecedented year of the Corona virus, and its ancillary lockdowns and quarantines. It’s regular practise, under the correct guidance, combined with breathing and meditation, can be considered as an all-round exercise which will take care of our body, mind and soul. Given the current situation, as countries gradually recover from one of the most restrictive lockdowns ever, the uncertainty around the world is having a severe psychological bearing on the masses. The unpredictable changes in health care, daily life, economy, and personal relationships have caused global anxiety and distress, all of which are classified by WHO as 'natural psychological responses' to the changing scenario.
In these challenging times, positive health practices are emerging as the need of the hour. Yoga and meditation, forms of self-healing techniques, are said to have several benefits for the mental and psychological well-being. Regular practice of Yoga and meditation lead to emotional strength and mindfulness. Experts say that, by developing a sense of inner awareness, Yoga helps one focus on the body's abilities at the present moment.
The World Health Organization promotes Yoga as a means of reducing physical inactivity, which is among the top ten leading causes of death worldwide. Inactivity is a key risk factor for non-communicable diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, lung infections, energy loss and diabetes – all of which we now club under the dreaded term ‘co-morbidities’, mostly responsible for the ultimate life-snapping fallout of a Covid19 infection.
Yoga and meditation are self-inherent in individuals, from the time a child is born when he/she displays various postures on his own. The practise helps develop a state of mental, physical and emotional balance in a human being. Practising Yoga, in a guided way, helps bring out an individual from a state of anxiety to calmness in a natural way. Given the pandemic situation, the practice of Yoga helps to boost immunity and relieve the anxiety otherwise suppressed and brings you back to your true nature of compassionate and healthy well-being. The UNICEF also recommends that children should practise Yoga poses to reap benefits like increased flexibility and fitness, mindfulness and relaxation, as the long break from schools continues.
Sohini Roychowdhury, through her ‘Healing Through Mudras’ programme, leverages the self-inherence of yoga movements and postures within us, embellishing them further by focusing her discourse and training on classical dance mudras derived from Yoga, and their healing prowess through the practise of the art.