Coronavirus lockdown: Working (out) from home

Poorna Kulkarni
Friday, 3 April 2020

During the 21-day coronavirus lockdown, various individuals and organisations are coming forward with their virtual sessions to reach out to a broader audience. Among them is Sarva and Diva yoga who have their virtual/online yoga sessions on their social media accounts. Sarvesh Shashi, the founder of Sarva and Diva Yoga, tells us more about it. 

- With the current lockdown, what can people expect from such online workout sessions?
A: Both Sarva and Diva Yoga launched live yoga sessions which are aimed at building immunity. The sessions are being organised across 25 countries around the world. It is a first-of-its-kind initiative through which we aim to give people a way to stay fit and healthy during this lockdown. 

We are offering a 14-day Immunity Building Program through our live yoga sessions taught by 50 of Sarva and Diva Yoga’s best instructors. The online yoga sessions will not only help people achieve physical and mental wellness and fitness but also improve their immunity levels to tackle any health issues. Some other benefits include better respiratory health and overall positive bent of mind – which is the need of the hour.

- The virtual classes have chakra chanting, emotional wellness, and so on. How does it work for a diverse audience?
A: We believe that apart from overall fitness, people are looking at achieving a sense of calm and getting rid of the anxiety that has become so prevalent with this global health scare. We had all this in mind while designing the online sessions. The best part about them is that they are interactive, so everyone can actually see each other work out and also have fun while doing so. The idea was that this ongoing social isolation and distancing need not be an impediment to working out and staying fit.

- The quarantine period is a way to slow down, look around and introspect on our equations with nature. How can one be patient in one’s fitness journey?
A: First and foremost, we need to remain super positive through this quarantine period which can happen only when our physical, mental and emotional health are in sync. While we are in quarantine to avoid contracting the illness and spreading it further, let us also be thankful about the fact that this has given us a reason to slow down, reflect, and do things which we could otherwise not do in our fast-paced lifestyles. 

This includes reading, cooking, binge watching, spending time with family and more. In tough times, it’s important to tell people that you love and care for them, have quality conversations, practise self-care, and be hopeful. 

This quarantine period is also a great time to get back to our usual fitness regimes and ensure our immune systems are active. Certain asanas and breathing exercises are excellent in building immunity. Although you may not be able to venture out to a yoga studio, you can continue practising at home. The underlying message here is that we need not hurry into anything or work for results. The only motive we have right now is to become physically fit and mentally strong.

- Have you included the modified versions of these workouts for the older people or those with physical ailments?
A: We are running classes of different intensities based on various workout goals. Some are meant to burn calories, some are aimed at total body movement, and we also have breathing and pranayama routines for calm and immunity building. The elderly and people with chronic diseases follow our less intensive sessions.

- What are the things people need to follow before following your sessions?
A: A healthy gut can ward off many health conditions, and your diet must be rich with antioxidants. Include immunity-boosting foods every day, those rich in Vitamin C and other minerals. Fruits and vegetables like oranges, broccoli, spinach, etc. are all superfoods. 

Also ensure that you consume garlic, ginger, and other herbs and spices. Yoghurt is a great source of vitamin D, which helps to boost the body’s natural defences against diseases. However, make sure you wash all the raw fruits and vegetables before consumption. If consuming poultry products, make sure they are cooked well.

- The lockdown period can sometimes be quite demanding for people. What is your advice for people to stay calm?
A: Eat healthy, stay positive and continue working out. Follow your normal routine as much as possible. Breathing exercises can go a long way in keeping your mind calm.

- Any particular physical and breathing exercises that people can follow apart from the live sessions?
A: Here are some specific breathing exercises that can make you feel better and joyful and reduce anxiety. Kapalabhati Pranayama (Breath of fire), Breath awareness, Ujjayi Pranayama, Nadi Shodhana Pranayama (Alternate breathing) and Kumbhaka Pranayama (Breath Retention).

- For people working from home, what are the exercises and tips to keep in mind so that they can handle work stress?
A: Yoga is for everyone, every day, and asanas can be tailored according to your need. The ability to be in harmony with one’s thoughts, actions and behaviour and being in the pink of health can bring mental well-being and peace. Yoga offers numerous possibilities, for example, Matsyasana, Tadasana (Mountain pose), Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II), Trikonasana (Triangle Pose), Forward bend (seated, Paschimottanasana), Sarvangasana and Savasana.

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