Stretch and breathe while tackling lifestyle changes during the pandemic

What are the best ways to counter the impacts of sitting long hours in front of laptops? The biggest lifestyle change individuals faced is the encroachment of screen time.

Prema Nagesh is a yoga expert and instructor who feels these issues can be solved with stretch and breathing exercises.

“For more than six months everyone is at home for most of the time whether they are young or old with each one looking at the problem differently,” she reflected.

On the personal front, she said she took the opportunity to learn many new skills.

“But for children, it is a completely different story. All their classes are online including physical fitness. They cannot waste their academic year because of Covid-19. However, it has been noted that staying glued to the screen and being exposed to the heat emitted out of the screen is creating hyperactivity and anxiety. Also, there is a lack of movement and an added stress of not being able to meet their peer group,” she pointed out.



These are this yoga teacher’s suggestions:

Parents should be taught eye exercise and simple candle gazing techniques to relax their eyes and mind. They should include the children in these sessions and increase family time.

In the growing stage, children should be taught stretch exercise so they learn to relax their back as during the growing stages a strong spine is important.

Breathing exercise is important to improve the immunity especially lung capacity, which is a top priority when the school reopens. Families should decide weekly once to go through digital fasting to rejuvenate the mind and body.

Here is a look at some of the exercises both children and parents could practice:

Yoga asanas for children during the lockdown:

Hamstring stretch and Prasarita paduttanasana exercises improve the flexibility of the back, groin and increase circulation towards the head.

Ushtrasana or Chakrasana for a healthy spine especially for the neck and the shoulders.

Adults can take care of themselves by practising the postures using props like chairs to facilitate and they should learn under guidance.

Breathing exercises called pranayama are the best to improve immunity and to develop more strength to face the upcoming situations.

Deep breathing is extremely important and this is how to do it – while inhaling allow the stomach to go out and when exhaling let your stomach go in.

Practice deep breathing in a ratio of 1:2.

If inhaling is for three seconds then exhale should be performed for six seconds or more.

Slowly develop the lung capacity by increasing the inhalation and exhalation and then practice e for five minutes.

Prasarita paduttanasana is excellent for tired eyes and increased blood flow towards head and shoulders and the lower limbs which are sedentary as children not able to play outside.

Ustrasana is excellent for tired neck and back and lower core as the pooling of blood happens again due to lack of movement.

More so children are used to eating continuously due to boredom which will lead to more fat deposit at a young age and for this sun salutations are the best.

These 12 steps are helping many to stay fit and get over many diseases.

“Children should be taught at a young age about how to respond to different situations in life and these lockdowns we have been going through are examples,” she added.