"The art of war teaches us to rely not on the likelihood of the enemy's not coming, but on our own readiness to receive him; not on the chance of his not attacking, but rather on the fact that we have made our position unassailable." - Sun Tzu, The Art of War
Do we really stand a chance against a global pandemic? Is the human race going to be decimated? Do I have enough toilet paper?
When it comes to disease, there are generally speaking, two approaches - prevention and cure. Since the cure seems to be questionable at this point and fear therefore rules our minds, everyone seems to be focused on prevention.
Prevention itself can be further divided in my opinion, into two types - Precaution and Preparation
The first category, precaution, is what everyone today is focused on. Buying surgical masks, avoiding travel, washing their hands before touching their face etc.
Not many are focusing on "Preparation". If we truly prepare ourselves, we can overcome literally any infectious disease, and Yoga is probably the best way to do this.
It is a widely accepted truth that regular practise of Yoga can boost immunity levels. However, it is important that this doesn't remain just a statistic but becomes an individual experiential reality in your own life.
Unfortunately, we live in a time where society has become so polarised with regards to traditional wellness methodologies and depending on which side of the left/right political spectrum one falls on, everything ancient is either rubbished as 'unscientific' or 'religious' or blown out of proportion to appear mystical and unrelatable.
Fortunately, yoga is an experiential and subjective science that doesn't require understanding, just plain and simple practice. If approached like an experiment, one can see the results that emerge from using postures and breath to activate subtler dimensions of our being. A little commitment and focus can go a long way.
We have all heard of yogis living in the icy Himalayan ranges with barely any clothing not just surviving but performing remarkable physical feats. This may inspire us or intrigue us but unless we step out of our comfort zone and challenge ourselves, we may never discover what we are capable of.
The most common reason people hesitate when it comes to yoga is because they think it requires one to be flexible. This is probably one of the biggest misconceptions concerning yoga. Flexibility is neither a requirement, nor a goal, while practising yoga. What yoga can do for you within is far more profound than whether your hands are able to touch your toes.
It is arguably the most sophisticated system of wellbeing which brings fitness to the body, calmness to the mind, pleasantness to the emotions and an exuberance to the energies. When one experiences the harmony within, then naturally one is in a state of true health and therefore immune to any sickness or suffering.
I clearly recall a day during the Isha Hatha Yoga Teacher Training program when I woke up quite sick, body in pain, with a mild headache. At the time, we were learning Angamardana. I asked a teacher whether I should rest or attempt the practice that day and she asked me to decide by myself as I was the best judge. I hesitated but eventually threw myself into the practice and by the end of it I was feeling much better. The fever itself went away as quickly as it appeared, and to my pleasant surprise, I was perfectly normal by the end of the day as if I never fell ill at all.
I suppose reading something like this would either make you judge me as blessed or whacked. To be honest, I think neither stance is really helping you or me.
But if it intrigues or inspires you to try and see for yourself, you would be better off experiencing it, and then making your own unbiased opinion.
As compassionate beings in a struggling society, we are at a threshold of being able to truly bring forth the essence of one of the greatest ancient technologies of wellbeing to impact ourselves and those around us.
Thanks to our modern/western education and its obsession with logic/science, it is becoming far too easy to ignore our roots and jump on the bandwagon of whatever solution governments and experts in medicine today offer. But if we can look beyond our artificial prejudices, we can discover and bring about something truly powerful and valuable to humanity today and for generations to come.
Disclaimer: Please note that this article does not offer a substitute for medical advice you may receive from a qualified health professional. We understand that immunity is a very complex aspect of human physiology and is influenced by multiple factors.