Stressed About Coronavirus? Here’s How Yoga Can Help.


By now you’re getting office notices about staying home if you so much as sneeze, or suspicious side-eyes when you stifle a cough on the subway during rush hour. Your pantry may be stocked with extra pasta, toilet paper, and Purell. You’re already taking the most important precautions—washing your hands well, staying home if you’re sick (don’t worry, with loads of events getting cancelled you won’t miss much!), and keeping a safe distance from people who are coughing. It’s hard to avoid the noise and notifications as we contemplate the threat of a pandemic. According to the latest news reports, more than 89,000 people worldwide have been infected by a novel coronavirus, which causes a highly contagious respiratory disease named COVID-19. And we’re starting to see confirmed cases, community spread, and six fatalities (at press time) accrue stateside.

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We can expect the number of infections in the U.S. to rise—possibly along with our anxiety about what’s to come. But the stress related to uncertainty, anticipation, and fear can also wreak havoc on our health, so we reached out to Ayurveda, yoga, and mindfulness teachers to help us get a handle on how our practice can fortify our bodies and minds, which may help give us an edge to ward off the common cold, flu, and, yes, coronavirus. “It’s all about keeping stress levels low and your immune system healthy,” says Larissa Hall Carlson, an Ayurvedic Practitioner and the former dean of the Kripalu School of Ayurveda. Here, she and other experts share their top tips for staying healthy.

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