In this guide: How to use yoga and meditation for coronavirus. The best free online courses to do during self isolation. How to deal with coronavirus anxiety. Advice for teachers and yoga studio owners, and more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made huge changes to the way we practice meditation and yoga. On the one hand, yoga studios and meditation studios are closing in droves all around the world. On the other hand, there are more free online classes now then ever.
As people search for ways to prevent coronavirus, handle the illness, cope with anxiety, and live in self-isolation, more and more people are turning to yoga and meditation. We’re seeing celebrities and famous teachers offering free classes online, everyone sharing inspiring Tweets and Instagram posts, education institutions giving free courses, and so much more.
Both yoga and meditation can help with COVID-19 and especially with the anxiety that many people are facing as a direct result of the pandemic. This much has been confirmed by major scientific institutes like Harvard, as I will reveal in just a moment.
Because of similar scientific studies, it is reasonable to assume that yoga and meditation might help prevent Coronavirus and also give you the inner peace you need to deal with any anxiety you may be experiecing as a result of the pandemic.
In this guide I’ll share everything you need to know to continue yoga and meditation in self-isolation, and to boost your health at the same time.
Everything you need to know about yoga, meditation & coronavirus
In this guide I’ve included links to resources, links to free courses, and lots of advice to help you continue your practices while staying healthy.
Let me say upfront: There is zero proof that meditation or yoga can prevent COVID-19. Other than washing our hands and self-isolating, we still do not have proven ways to prevent coronavirus.
However, there is reasonable evidence to suggest that meditation and yoga could help prevent coronavirus.
For starters, both yoga and meditation are proven to have positive effects on the immune system. Research shows that mindfulness meditation can improve the immune system by causing an increase in hemagglutination-inhibition influenza antibody titers . Research also shows that yoga reduces pro-inflammatory markers (which shows an improved immune system response) . Combine these practices with the basics of good hygiene and self-isolation, and you give yourself the best chance of staying healthy.
As well as this, mindfulness helps with the biggest element of coronavirus prevention: hygiene.
When we are more mindful we are more aware of our actions and our movements. This means that you are more likely to realise when you are touching your face (which you should stop, according to experts). It also means being more aware of when you need to wash your hands and when you are too close to other people. These might sound like very basic things, but the World Health Organization says that these basic practices are the best way of preventing coronavirus (read WHO’s guide for more).
By helping us practice better habits and by improving immune system response, it is reasonable to assume that there are benefits of yoga and meditation for coronavirus prevention. That’s why it is imperative to continue yoga and meditation even if your local classes have stopped.
What is spreading even faster than the disease itself is coronavirus anxiety. Self-isolation brings with it its fair share of mental health challenges. Isolation and loneliness pay a toll on mental health. And the illness itself, of course, is its own source of anxiety.
Joshua A. Gordon [M.D, Ph.D, Director of The National Institute of Mental Health] says, “These are confusing, stressful times for all of us. As the coronavirus pandemic affects numerous facets of our society, it also impacts each person in different ways… Feelings of anxiety and uncertainty are completely normal during times like this”.
Normal it may be. But that doesn’t mean that you have to live with anxiety of COVID-19. There are steps you can take to reduce the anxiety. Harvard recommends doing yoga.
Yoga stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system to induce relaxation and reduce the fight-or-flight response associated with anxiety.
Meanwhile, there are many meditation techniques you can use too. Many experts have advised that compassion-based meditations like Buddhist Metta (Loving Kindness Meditation) are especially beneficial [READ: Best Meditation Techniques For Anxiety].
There aren’t many good things to come our of the global pandemic. However, one tiny little silver lining is the fact that more and more people are starting to practice meditation and yoga. As a result of this burgeoning popularity, there are now tmany free online meditation and yoga classes.
As coronavirus is spreading, so too are meditation and yoga. 2020 is currently set to be a bigger year for the mindfulness and yoga industries than 2019 was (and 2019 was the biggest year ever, with the mindful industry rising to an annual revenue of $1.2billion U.S.).
As a result of the burgeoning popularity of yoga and meditation, and the global pandemic (which increases the need for these practices) we are seeing many experts, teachers, and celebrities providing free resources to help you practice yoga and meditation while self-isolating.
To help you out, I’ve created a list of current free yoga and meditation classes onine.
There are also some great free Buddhism courses online too. A lot of universities have also brought their studies online because students cannot attend university in person. This means you can now take those lessons for free online even if you are not a student. What better time to learn something new?
For Studios & Teachers
The global pandemic has made it incredibly hard for yoga studios and meditation studios to survive financially. Of course, studios are currently forced to be closed and not to admit members in-person. This, however, does not mean that it’s “Game over man, game over!” for local yoga businesses and meditation businesses.
It is absolutely possible to survive and thrive as a yoga studio or meditation studio, even with the COVID-19 pandemic. The key is to take your courses online.
There are more people searching for yoga and meditation classes online right now than at any other time in history. And you are perfectly equipped to meet those demands. This means not only can you survive the challenge of the pandemic, your business can grow, too.
I have written a guide to setting up your yoga or meditation studio online.
COVID-19 has completely changed the way we practice yoga and meditation. For students and practitioners, it means doing classes online and using the many tools (like apps and live streams) to continue your yoga and meditation practice. And for teachers and studios, it means moving your classes online in order to continue to provide your members with the support and lessons they need.
We all have a choice. We can cave in to this situation. Or we can grow from it.
Meditation and yoga can help prevent coronavirus and can help you handle coronavirus anxiety. Plus, the sheer amount of free online content for yogis and meditators means you are actually spoiled for choice right now in how you choose to continue your practice during self-isolation.
How are you continuing your yoga and meditation practice during self-isolation? Leave a comment and remember to subscribe .