In reality, Yoga processes require one to be physically present to learn these from a teacher but the times are such that it is almost impossible to venture out of your confinements due to virtual worldwide lockdown. So, in this article, I will try to hand you out extremely simple, easy to do processes from Yoga that will augment your capacity to fight this virus through your own heightened immunity however without touching upon the Ayurvedic concepts of Immunity it will be rather futile to discuss Yogic processes because Yoga’s efficacy can be directly visualized if we are aware of concepts of Dosha / Tattvas / Dhatus / Malas and Vayus etc. So let me put things in perspective before I give out exact Yogic Processes for boosting immunity.
IMMUNITY: MODERN AND AYURVEDIC PERSPECTIVE
In modern biology or medical science, immunity has been defined as “the balanced state of multicellular organisms having adequate biological defenses to fight infection, disease, or other unwanted biological invasions, while having adequate tolerance to avoid allergy, and autoimmune diseases.” In humans, there are two main systems (innate and adaptive), comprising of bonemarrow cells and lymphatic cells working in tandem balancing each other critically to identify (what is foreign to our body) what should be disposed-off and what (belongs to self i.e. to our own system) should be spared. This is a definition of Immunity as per Modern Biology and is well accepted by everyone. Here two things need to be taken note of – Bonemarrow and lymphatic System.
Now you may be wondering if there exists any concept of immunity in Ayurveda. Yes, it does! In Ayurveda, this capacity of the body to fight the disease is called “VyaadhiKshamatva“. Strikingly, there are also two parts of this Immunity. As per Charak Samhita this phenomenon of VyaadhiKshamatva is also composed of the following two components –
1. Vyaadhibala-Virodhitvam (strength to withstand/resist the advancing disease) and
2. Vyaadhi-Utpaadak Pratibandhakatva (Capacity of the body to resist the occurrence or recurrence of the disease).
Now this second point of Ayurvedic concept is rather more interesting because it says that we just don’t need to fight the disease when it occurs but should also develop strength so that it does not occur or re-occur.
WHO IS AT HIGHER RISK OF LOWER IMMUNITY
As per ancient scriptures, there are types of bodies that are prone to the condition of lower immunity. As per Ayurveda following nine types of people are prone to lowered immunity.
- Excessively Obese (Excess body weight)*
- Excessively Imanciated (Extreme low weight)
- People have an unbalanced muscular structure
- People having defective bone tissues
- People having a defect in blood
- Weak People (weakness does not always mean skinny structure)
- People having an unwholesome diet**
- People having extremely less food
- People with weak mind***
More the number of stars higher is the contribution in lowering immunity that means the weak (uncontrolled, restless, negative, anxious and stressed) mind is the biggest contributor in damaging your immunity. You can notice that there are some types of bodies where defects in its structure and composition are responsible for lower immunity and if someone has such issues only treatment/medication can help. You can not reduce your weight instantly more so now because you are in a lockdown situation but you can definitely work on your diet and mind. Unwholesome food is one of the major contributors so this must be checked and worked upon.
HOW STRONG IS MY IMMUNITY
Suppose you are not suffering from any defects in your body and you are also taking good care of your body then the question arises ‘What are the factors that govern my immunity?’ This is a very common question that ancient rishis answer in detail. As per them to maintain your health and immunity, there are three types of forces (Bala) at work.
The first one is known as Sahaja Bala (saha=with , ja= born so sahaja meas the one you are born with). The second force is known as Kaalaja Bala (kala=time, ja=born so kaalaja means the one that depends on time). There are two factors here in the domain of time or Kala. One is related to own time (age) of body and another is temporal (season) time. So as per age and seasons, each one of us experiences an enhanced or lowered immunity. Children and Older people have lower immunity while it is highest in youths. The third and last one is the most important. It is known as Yuktikritaja ( yukti-kritja = born of a method or system). This force is acquired through our own actions and choices. If we adopt a healthy system of diet and exercise we can improve upon our existing (sahaja) immunity.
WHAT CAN I DO TO IMPROVE MY IMMUNITY
You should understand that the physical body is referred to as Annamaya Kosha i.e. sheath made up of the food we eat. Food is not enough, as per Tattva Shakti Vigyaan and Ayurveda out of 5 Tattvas, Agni (Fire) in the form of digestive fire is needed the most to be able to assimilate the food. So as a general rule, we must have wholesome food rich in nutrients, maintain a proper regime of exercise to ignite the digestive fire for gaining physical strength and immunity.
But in general, unfortunately so, there is a large chunk of the population today that is suffering from digestive issues, food allergies etc. despite all possible personal efforts and medication. And therefore such questions are obvious, “How do I improve my digestion? How do I get rid of food allergies?”
The problem of food allergies can definitely be sorted out through Yogasana, Pranayama, Tattva Shuddhi, NadiShuddhi and other related Tantric processes however needless to say it is a very long drawn process. Further, this requires the affected person to be physically present in front of the teacher to get helped. Owing to these limitations I will not be able to cover the subject of food allergies here. However, we will definitely see how we can improve our digestion in general.
As per ancient wisdom, there are many factors responsible for achieving higher immunity and sound health but out of those, there are three most important factors that one must work upon. They are as following –
- Mental Excellence
- Cheerful and Loving Coexistence with fellow men
In the coming posts, I shall discuss various Yogic processes that will help you boost your health and immunity. We shall cover the yogic ways of how to improve digestive fire, which asanas we must do, dharanas, mudras, and pranayamas to have sound mental health, excellent immune system and also necessary modifications in thinking to achieve a cheerful disposition.
-Acharya Agyaatadarshan Anand Nath
In the wake of COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak many people have asked us to share with them simple yogic methods to improve their immunity. We feel, as the teachers of Yoga and Tantra it is our duty to help one and all in these times of distress. While we at The Shakti Multiversity are doing our bit to support you in your #FightAgainstCorona we request you all to observe social distancing and follow every other prescribed methods of hygiene and isolation to stay away from the possible infection of coronavirus.