Courtesy: Online Health Journals
Though Outbreak of deadly Corona virus originated in Wuhan, China, in December 2019 yet by January 2020 it had started spreading its wings to several other countries like Iran, Italy, Spain, South Korea etc to a large population. Before anyone could imagine or understand the enormity of this deadly disease this had already spread its wings to more that 200 countries by then. Even the super powers like America & most of the highly advanced countries like U.K.,Germany France, Australia, & several other countries of the whole world including India are baffled to find any trustworthy solution to tackle this menace as the number of victims is surfacing everyday at an unimaginable staggering speed.
According to an average estimate, nearly 1100,000 people have been found to be confirmed victims of corona virus & over 66,000 patients are reported to have succumbed to this disease globally though actual number of such victims seems to be much higher because most of the countries are not disclosing their actual numbers of victims/deaths to the media.
Primarily this virus spreads through droplets of saliva, discharge from the nose or when an infected person sneezes or coughs in the open in close proximity of the people. Being a contagious disease it spreads fast when affected people have close proximity with other people especially the older people, people with poor immunity & people who are chronic patients of frequent cough & cold attacks, asthma, diabetes,cardiovascular disease, cancer etc.
As so far no one has been able to discover any specific potent drug/ solution to deal with such a deadly disease, most of the countries/scientists are issuing the following medical advisories to the general masses to slow down transmission of this virus to their fellow citizens. :-
Keep sanitizing your hands, mobile /telephones, handles of your doors and windows, laptops, clothes,particularly towels & hankerchief etc besides keeping social distance.They are further advised to stop shaking hands or hugging each other instead fold your hands from a distance, say Namaste to greet each other.
Apart from above stated advisories, almost every Doctor worldwide is highly recommending intake of adequate amount of vitamin C containing citrus fruits,vegetables ,spices & supplements to boost one’s immunity .However despite following such advisories the disease continues to haunt more & more people everyday.
Ultimately most of the countries have ordered a complete lockdown for its people. Surprisingly even after having enforced such a harsh decision, this pandemic has not yet been contained adequately .Apart from physical & financial losses, this lockdown & a prolonged complete social isolation is bound to send billions of people to severe depression and many more psychosomatic diseases.
Apart from physical & mental suffering including a large number of deaths happening everyday , economies of the entire world have been devastated. A large number of people have become jobless. Prices of all the commodities are skyrocketing & there seems to be no ray of any hope in the near future. Therefore even if someone finds an effective drug still there is an imminent danger of losing innumerable precious human lives as well as further incalculable loss to the treasuries of the entire world by the time that cure reaches a common man.The poor countries/people would be the most affected .So in order to prevent such calamities in future , we need to introspect as to where we are going wrong !
IS IT NOT THE RIGHT TIME TO INTROSPECT ?
We can be very proud to boast that we have made unimaginable advancements in the field of science & technology. Even in the medical field a lot of inconceivable breakthroughs have taken place by which quite a large number of diseases like Polio, Smallpox etc which were considered incurable in the past are being cured through the latest advancements which were not available to our ancestors.
We have accumulated huge amount of wealth & have made our lives much more comfortable yet neither our wealth nor our so sophisticated advancements in science is able to save us from this deadly virus.
There have been similar pandemics in the past also which had also taken away innumerable precious lives before the then Scientists could find any solution for those pandemics.These are not coincidences. If we ponder over such disasters seriously we will have to admit that there is much more to attribute to our sufferings than the emergence of mysterious viruses ,surfacing from time to time. Perhaps it could be the natures/God’s way of teaching us a lesson to behave & improve our life styles.
Our greed for money,cpower,cruelty towards animals & human beings ,jealousy, unethical practices, hypocrisy ,destruction of our eco system, fast foods ,fast life ,no respect for parents, no faith in God, no sense of gratitude, impurity of our body & mind, heavily injected fruits,vegetables , spices , grains, polluted air & adulterated milk etc., have become an accepted part of our lives.
Above all our Karma, if we defy the age old principles of Prakrati & Parmatma one deadly pandemic or the other is bound to keep coming back in one form or another hence the need of the hour to sit quietly & introspect as to where we have gone wrong & what changes we need to make in our Ahar,Vihar &Vichar to ward off such calamities in future. !
Our ancient Yogis have frequently been cautioning us about the necessity of adopting good Karma because as we sow so shall we reap but we have never taken their advice seriously. That’s why despite having accumulated so much wealth coupled with so deep knowledge of medicines still we are failing miserably to save our lives from such a tiny virus.
The 8 step Yoga of Maharishi Patanjali, called AshtangaYoga (Yama,Niyama,Asana,Pranayama,P- ratyahara,Dharna,Dhyana & Smadhi) , if followed in our day today life, can be extremely helpful in warding off any such calamities in future.
Its worth mentioning here that having found no solution to this pandemic people in Milan, Italy,are seen chanting the Mahamratnjay Mantr.. Even in Brazil they are devoting more time in worshipping Jesus Christ in large numbers ,expecting an invisible hand to save their lives.
Koreans are seen to be chanting Gurubani to combat this catastrophe. You would be surprised to see many Americans , Europeans & Muslims chanting Holy Sanskrit Shalokas & indulging in Havan Yagya to get Gods blessings in overpowering their death & devastations.
It clearly indicates that when all the doctors , medicines & technologies fail to save us from such baffling disasters our prayers to the Almighty do hold some hope for our survival
As far as this present pandemic is concerned ,to the best of my knowledge ,apart from following all the advisories issued by the W.H.O , as well as the concerned Govt ,regular practice of Jala Neti ,Ghrit Neti , Kapalbhati , Lion pose,Surya bhedan Pranayama,Shanmukhi Mudra Meditation, regular Swadhyaya (reading of spiritual books),Ishwar Pranidhana(chanting of Aum & performing of Havan Yagya etc) can be extremely useful to protect our respiratory tract .
On top of all above mentioned practices the world needs to adopt vegetarian/Satwik diet,without any further delay as meat eaters get all & any disease that the birds or animals might be suffering from when they were slaughtered.
NETI (NASAL SANITIZATION)
15th Century old Yoga treatise, Hathyog Pradipika,describes the deep rooted knowledge of our ancient Yogis about the importance of the inner cleansing of our nostrils in protecting us from the onslaught of pollutants,allergies &germs/viruses of various kinds,it states in Sanskrit:-
Kapal Shodhini chaiv Divyadrishti Pradayani I
Jatru Dhwajatrogaugham Netirashu Nihanti Ch II
Literally it means :-
Practitioner of Neti attains purifity of mind,clairvoyance & is able to eradicate all the diseases, pertaining to all the organs located beyond the neck.
Neti literally means to cleanse the nose which in turn can keep our entire respiratory system including our eyes, ears, nose, sinuses, throat and brain healthy.
There are a number of Neti processes like Jala Neti, Rubber Neti, Sutra Neti and Ghrit Neti
When we inhale air we also inhale pollutants, dust particles and innumerable germs/viruses. To prevent any foreign matter from entering the lungs, nature has designed a filtering system in the nostrils, the fine curly hair as well as our mucous membrane in the nostrils filter the gross dust particles and prevent them from entering the lungs. Secondly, the mucous membrane is activated and the cilia removes particles and the germs from the air as it passes through the nose.
The most important structure in the nostrils is the mucous membrane or tissue. It is one of the most sensitive tissues in the body. It is common to incur minor infections, particularly in the hair follicles or in the roots of the hair in the nose. It is now generally well known that common pus-forming germs are widespread and can easily get into the human body unless we keep our nostrils properly sanitized through regular practice of various Netis.
Also the nose is very intricately connected with our eyes, ears, teeth and the brain . Perhaps that is why nostrils can be rightly said to be the gateway to life and good health. Therefore we need to keep our nostrils thoroughly sanitized by performing various Netis regularly.
One cardamom,should be crushed & placed in the boiling water ,to be used for doing Jala Neti, along with two tea spoons of salt in a litre of water.Water should be boiled for 10 minutes on low fire, water should be filtered and the temperature should be brought down to luke warm before attempting Jala Neti.
In order to keep your nostrils clean and stimulated, the Yogis recommend passing a specially designed thread called sutra neti from the nose to the mouth and moving it in the nostrils for several times, allowing all the impurities to come out through the nostrils , mouth & throat.
Take a specially designed tumbler, full of salted lukewarm water and insert the nozzle of the tumbler into your right nostril and tilt your head to the left hand side allowing the water to flow from the other nostril, while breathing through the mouth.
You will see the water passing out through your left nostril, without any effort, because there is a hole connecting both the nostrils at the apex of the nose. However, if the nostrils are blocked and the water is not passing out through the other nostril in a free flow, you must immediately stop the practice and perform Vatkram Kapal Bhati (exhaling forcefully through the nose while inhalation is very little through the mouth) – to save yourself from the side effects of the water left in the sinuses or nostrils.
Repeat the same process with the other nostril also and again perform Vatkram Kapal Bhati.
By cleansing foreign matter from the nasal passages, it can take very good care of our respiratory gateway including fighting against all the diseases of your eyes, ears, nose etc, besides stimulating your brain centers very effectively.
Therefore, by its regular practice, we can expect to alleviate frequent attacks of cough and cold, sneezing, rhinitis, headaches, migraine, depression, loss of smell, hard of hearing, premature graying of hair and poor vision etc. by boosting your immunity against attacks of harmful bacteria, germs and viruses.
It refreshes your mind also immediately and breathing becomes easier, thereby preventing the onset of Asthma.
Patients of nose bleeding,severly blocked nostrils, due to inflammation or abnormal growth in the nostrils, polyps or during a bout of runny nose one must not try to attempt Neti Kriya
Rubber catheter no. 3 can be easily obtained from any drug store. The rubber neti catheter must be sterilized before its use and should be thoroughly cleaned afterwards also.There is no mention of rubber Neti in our ancient/original Hatha Yoga texts however it has been found to be not only easier & non scary but also an intelligent way to prepare your nostrils before preforming Sutra Neti.
In case of practicing Sutra Neti / specially designed string on must soak Sutra Neti in water for 10 minutes before use whereas in case of Rubber Neti/catheter there in no such condition.
Catch hold of one end of the catheter by your right hand index finger, while the middle finger and the thumb catch hold of catheter on top. Bend the top end slightly, insert a few inches of the catheter into the right nostril first, keep pushing it till it reaches your throat and catch it with the first two fingers of your left hand and pull it out through the mouth. Then wash the catheter thoroughly with water and insert it into the left nostril in the same manner. After having practiced Net Kraal this way for the first two weeks, you need to move the catheter into the nostrils several times in and out very gently – to obtain the real good results of Neti.
It is common to get sneezing during Neti Kriya for a first few days however, the sneezing subsides with a few days practice. A few days’ practice, with the help of a teacher can be quite helpful to get perfection in this technique.
As has been elaborated earlier our nose is intricately connected with our eyes, ears, throat, jaws, lungs and brain, therefore regular practice of Neti Kriya can play a crucial role in boosting the immunity of aforementioned organs to fight against all sorts of viruses ,allergies & pollution in the atmosphere besides providing a right kind of temperature to the air before the air gets into your system.
Even if Neti has got proven innumerable advantages, it must never be attempted merely by reading a book or watching a TV show, and it must be learnt only from an experienced Yog Guru.
In cases of D.N.S (deviated nasal spectrum), polyps, blocked nose, severe sinusitis,rhinitis or nose bleeding Neti should not be attempted at all.
As cautioned earlier Sutra Neti (a string made of threads which is especially prepared by the Yogis for this purpose), should be practiced only after having practiced a rubber neti/catheter for atleast three weeks, to avoid any injury to the nostrils.
Sutra Neti strengthens your entire respiratory system, especially the the inner nasal passages & the connected nerves of eyes,ears,throat,lungs and brain, boosting your immunity to fight against all sorts of viruses and allergies affecting your respiratory system . To assist nature in cleaning such foreign matter in the nasal passage and the mucous membranes, Jala Neti,Sutra Neti, and various Kapal Bhattis are advised by our Yogins of yore.
The nose needs to be kept properly moisturized and lubricated in order to protect you from the attacks of foreign matter which take place because of the rampant pollution we have around us.
Surprisingly Yogis were perhaps aware of this need of the nostrils. That is why, several thousand years ago, they devised Ghrit Neti i.e to pour lukewarm clarified butter / almond oil into the nostrils.
You should procure pure clarified butter of cow or fresh and pure almond oil, warm it up and with the help of a teaspoon or a dropper pour lukewarm ghee / oil into both of your nostrils.
Keep lying down for 5 minutes before you get up.
Ghrit Neti has been found to help those people who start sneezing or catching cold, or get wheezing whenever there is a change of weather, or there is a smell of pets, paints, flowers etc.
Even the people who feel stressed up, experience dryness in the nostrils, or whose eye sight is deteriorating or are finding their memory fading find this Ghrit Neti quite helpful.
Kapalbhati is one of the Shatkarmas (inner cleansing process) for the purification of the nasal passages, sinuses and lungs which is one of the best inner cleaning processes to stimulate each and every cell of the body. It is also useful for decarbonizing the system & purifying the mind.
There are three kinds of Kapalbhati, the first one is Vatkram Kapalbhati, the second one is Vyutkram Kapalbhati and the third one is Seetkram Kapalbhati.
1. VATKRAM KAPALBHATI
Sit in any comfortable position or on a chair or stand up straight. Inhale a number of deep breaths. Now you need to throw your breath out vigorously and rapidly through both the nostrils, followed by short and quick inhalation. Repeat this kind of breathing in and out, at least for 10 times, followed by taking a very deep breath and holding it for a while, simultaneously rubbing your hands and placing them softly on your forehead, eyes, cheeks, chin , neck and chest as if you were loving yourself gently – to relax you for a while.
After pausing for a while, you should repeat the above referred process of Kapalbhati 3 rounds in the first 15 days of practice- to obtain good results from this inner cleansing process.In this kriya the diaphragm is pushed down as one exhales and it returns back to its normal position as one inhales a short breath.
Now a days people are generally hammering their abdomen in while doing this kriya and they are calling it as one of the Pranayamas which is completely wrong and can be dangerous also. Particularly hammering of the abdomen has been found to cause aggravated blood pressure, headaches, cervical spondylitis, back ache, diverticulitis, bloated feeling, hyper acidity, upset stomach and skin rashes etc.
2. VYUTKRAM KAPALBHATI
In this Kriya you need to take a specially designed Neti pot, fill it with salted lukewarm water and fit the nozzle of the Neti pot into one of your nostrils, holding your head straight and letting the water come out through your mouth.
After having done this you need to repeat Vatkram Kapalbhati, as explained above, again so that not a single drop of water stays in the sinuses or in the nostrils. Afterwards perform the same Vyutkram Kapalbhati through the other nostril also, followed by Vatkram Kapalbhati to complete the Vyutkram Kapalbhati process, to obtain the desirable results.
3. SEETKRAM KAPALBHATI
Take mouthful of salted lukewarm water, bend your head down in the manner that your chin comes close to the throat, roll back your tongue to touch your palate.
Now try to force out the water through your nostrils with a little exhalation. In the first few days you may not succeed however after a week you might start seeing good results.
Even after performing this Kapal Bhati you need to perform Vatkram Kapal Bhati several times so that not a single drop of water remains in the nostrils or sinuses.
You may need to attempt this kriya several times every day in the morning or in the evening – either empty stomach or after 3 hours of your meals.
The regular practice of this kriya protects you from frequent attacks of cough and cold and prepares you for learning Pranayama rather easily and successfully.
It can also help you improve your vision and hearing. In the ancient yoga texts it is stated that one becomes very attractive who practices this kriya.
People with running nose and cervical spondylitis should avoid this Kriya.
SINGHASANA (LION POSE)
Sit in Vajrasana or if you can’t sit then you sit in a chair, place your hands on your knees or thighs. Take a deep breath through the nose and exhale forcefully through the mouth simultaneously by throwing your tongue as much out as possible.
Extremely useful for building immunity by strengthening our throat, lungs and heart.
It can also work as an anti ageing exercise for the wrinkles on the face and the neck.
The author is the Pradhan Yogacharya of Chandigarh and Haryana Yog Sabha (Regd.), for free consultation please call: 9818804299, 9811884465