Here in the UK, life for the majority of us has pretty much returned to ‘normal’ following the pandemic. That being said, Covid-19 is still continuing to spread among the population and impact people differently.
For some, it may simply be a mild cold whilst others experience more severe symptoms and take much longer to bounce back to their usual selves.
So, if you’ve been unlucky enough to test positive for Covid-19 and you’re struggling to get back to full fitness, you’re not alone. And whilst being unable to jump back into your usual routine may be frustrating, the good news is a gentle yoga practice may help aid your recovery.
Yoga is scientifically proven to build strength, boost the immune system and increase lung capacity, which means it can be particularly beneficial for individuals recovering from Covid-19.
Therefore, we thought we’d share a few simple sequences and breathing techniques that you can do to help aid your recovery.
Remember, you should always consult your doctor before trying any new form of exercise, particularly if you have any health issues.
Also, when recovering from any illness it’s important to build up gradually, so to take things slow, listen to your body and don’t try to push beyond your limits. Patience is a virtue and your body will thank you in the end.
If you’re not familiar with belly breathing already, it’s simply a breathing exercise that strengthens the diaphragm, which plays a key role in inhalation.
You can practice belly breathing in any position that feels comfortable e.g. sat cross-legged, in a chair or even lying down.
Once you’ve found a comfortable position, place one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach just below your ribcage, then inhale slowly through the nose.
Your chest should remain still, but you should feel your stomach rise and push your hand away. Slowly exhale, and feel your stomach gently fall back down.
Start by doing one round of ten breaths and try to increase the number of rounds overtime. Just practising this for a couple of minutes each day can help improve lung capacity, helping to increase oxygen intake and reduce shortness of breath.
If you don’t feel up to a full yoga practice, sun salutations are a great way to get the body moving and your circulation flowing in just a few minutes.
If you’re not familiar with sun salutations, don’t worry - they’re very simple. It is essentially a flow sequence of 12 asanas which are practiced in the order listed below.
1 Prayer Pose
2 Upward Salute
3 Standing Forward Bend
4 Low Lunge
8 Downward Facing Dog
9 Low Lunge
10 Standing Forward Bend
11 Upward Salute
12 Prayer Pose
Of course, like with most yoga poses, you can modify your sun salutations wherever necessary. For example, you may want to modify your chaturanga push ups by dropping the knees to make it less strenuous.
Don’t forget, it’s important to go at your own pace and if you need to take a breather at any point then be sure to do so.
Heart opening poses
Heart opening poses expand and lift the chest, helping to create more space which improves circulation and oxygen intake.
Cat-cow, crescent moon lunge, camel and fish pose are all great heart opening poses that will open up the chest, so try to incorporate these into your practice for a faster recovery.
Be kind to yourself
Finally, be kind to yourself. When your body is recovering from an illness you’re likely to lose strength and get tired quicker, as your immune system is working hard to fight off the infection.
But try not to get frustrated or be too hard on yourself and be sure to show your body plenty of love and gratitude.
Cork is clean
Studies have shown that your average gym yoga mat can contain more germs and bacteria than a toilet seat! Our priority at CorkYogis is to keep yogis fit on their spiritual journey. Cork is organically anti-bacterial so it provides the perfect clean and healthy surface for your yoga every time. Check out CorkYogis products here.