United Nations: Recognising the importance of yoga in helping people deal with increased depression and anxiety due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, India's Permanent Mission to the UN has developed a special 'Yoga Module' of exercises, breathing and meditation practices to mark this year's International Yoga Day.
The 6th International Day of Yoga will be commemorated virtually this year due to Covid-19 restrictions in place and requirements of social distancing.
The Permanent Mission of India to the UN will commemorate the International Day of Yoga on June 19, at a time when the global outbreak of COVID-19 has upended lives and disrupted lifestyles of people across the world, the mission said.
Recognising the important role of yoga, the mission, together with yoga gurus and therapists, has created a special yoga module, 'Yoga for Health - Yoga at Home' on the occasion of the International Yoga Day.
The mission said that the module is a safe set of yoga practices, based on available scientific evidence, designed for all age-groups, which can be practiced from homes.
The module, which includes simple yoga exercises, breathing and meditation practices to improve physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health, will be webcast on various virtual platforms on June 19.
The mission noted that adapting to lifestyle changes such as work from home and lack of physical contact with friends and colleagues have been particularly challenging for people.
"Studies indicate that there has been a rise in depression, anxiety, and fear than normal among people during these changing times. The increasing psychological suffering, mental health problems and the mental health dimension of this pandemic needs to be effectively addressed," the mission said in a press release.
Given the increase in depression and anxiety among people in the era of coronavirus, the message of yoga in promoting physical and mental health and the well-being of humanity have never been more relevant, it added.
"There is a growing trend of people all over the world embracing yoga to fight social isolation and depression during the pandemic. Yoga can also play a significant role in the psycho-social care and rehabilitation of COVID-19 patients in quarantine and isolation. They are particularly useful in allaying their fears and anxiety," it noted.
The module includes a session by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev on 'Yoga for Respiratory Health' where the spiritual leader will speak about the need and importance of maintaining an inner balance during these challenging times.
In a 15-minute session 'Yoga for Soothing the Heart', Yoga Guru Kishor Chandra from the Bhakti Center will lead followers through asanas and pranayama that will help balance and soothe the heart.
In the session 'Basics of Yoga', Yoga Acharya Swami Sivadasananda, Director of the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres in Europe, will give a glimpse of simple Asanas along with Pranayama and relaxation. A meditation session from Sahaj Yoga will be a guided meditation exercise aimed to relax the mind.
India's Consulate General in New York will host a virtual session titled 'Sustainability Yoga and Social Inclusion' on June 13 to mark International Yoga Day. Consul General Sandeep Chakravorty said on Twitter the event highlights the "intrinsic link between Yoga and Sustainability".