Meditation and breathwork for indoor wellness: A pollution-resistant approach | Health - Hindustan Times

Meditation and breathwork for indoor wellness: A pollution-resistant approach

ByZarafshan Shiraz, New Delhi
Jan 16, 2024 08:07 PM IST

Wellness routine: Breathing exercises and meditation tips as indoor pollution in India is 13 times higher than outdoor, causing respiratory issues and allergies

Undoubtedly, indoor wellness has become as much essential as outdoor wellness because while pollution from vehicles, construction sites and industrial waste affects us outdoors, household pollution—generating and affecting us indoors—is often overlooked. Indoor pollution can be extremely concentrated and as a matter of fact, Indians are exposed to pollutants 13 times higher inside their homes than outdoors.

Meditation and breathwork for indoor wellness: A pollution-resistant approach (Photo by Unsplash)
Meditation and breathwork for indoor wellness: A pollution-resistant approach (Photo by Unsplash)

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Shobha Shrivastava, Associate Professor - Dept of Biotechnology at Manav Rachna International Institute of Research and Studies, revealed, “Increased household pollution is leading to poor respiratory health in children, while causing skin allergies and lifestyle disorders among adults. To combat pollution and its effects – both indoors and outdoors – it is essential to follow an indoor wellness routine. This involves simple mindfulness and breathing exercises that will not only help elders but youngsters, too, in combating the effects of household and external pollutants.”

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She suggested, “Ensuring proper ventilation and pathways for heat and humidity is the foremost measure to prevent pollution accumulation. Next, people should start with Pranayama which is a deep breathing exercise that dates back to thousands of years and comes from Indian yogic traditions. It involves regulating your breath in different lengths, frequencies, and durations. The goal is to connect your body and mind through pranayama. Apart from cleansing your body of toxins, it also supplies the body with ample oxygen and is intended to have physiological effects that promote healing.”

Adding to the list of tips, Dr Shobha Shrivastava said, “Easy breathing exercises like Kapalbhati and Bhastrika are some of the effective breathing techniques . It boosts metabolism and improves respiratory health. To reduce the mental effects of pollution, one should also meditate for at least 10 minutes every day, while gradually increasing the tenure as per convenience. The benefits of meditation are manifold. A calm mind, focussed attention, healing powers, relaxation, rejuvenation are all the natural effects of regular meditation practice. I believe that following a mindful routine, packed with consistent workouts and meditation will go a long way in maintaining your physical and mental fitness.”

Sharing insights on meditation and breathwork for indoor wellness, Paras Maheshwari, Director at Gravolite, said, “Delhi's air can feel like an invisible enemy, but here's the secret weapon: your breath. Yes, with meditation and breathwork, you can build an inner fortress against pollution's invisible grip. Think about it: 70% of Delhiites face respiratory issues due to poor air. Scary, right? But meditation acts like a stress shield, lowering those nasty hormones that worsen pollution's impact. And breathwork? It's like a lung workout, boosting oxygen and pushing out toxins with each mindful inhale and exhale.”

He recommended, “No fancy equipment is needed, just you and your yoga mat. Find a quiet corner, unwind, and breathe. Feel cleansing prana fill you, and worries melt away with each exhale. Just 15 minutes daily and you'll find a calmer, clearer you, even amidst the city smog. It's like building an inner castle against pollution, bricked by mindful breath. So, take a deep one, step onto your mat, and embark on this journey. Let meditation and breathwork be your armor, navigating the challenges of Delhi's air with grace and strength. Remember, the power to breathe easy lies within. Now go conquer, one mindful breath at a time!”

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