Yoga: The Antidote to Chronic Fatigue
You got dressed for work and faked a commute from your bedroom to your study/desk. You’ve been logged in just a couple of hours and are already yawning as if it’s the end of the day. All you want to do is hit the bed. You’re eating healthy and believe you’re getting enough sleep — you should be roaring to go. So, what’s happening?
Anyone can feel exhausted after a long day at work. However, if you find yourself perpetually tired and too weary to carry out even your basic daily activities, it could be a sign of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Normal exertion-induced fatigue is short-lived and can be fixed with adequate sleep and nutritious meals. However, for those suffering from CFS, a good night’s sleep and eating well is not enough.
CFS is characterized by overwhelming exhaustion, frequent headaches, muscle and joint pain, difficulty in concentrating, low productivity, etc. It usually has an underlying trigger such as psychological stress, chemical imbalance, and can even be the after-effect of a viral infection (such as COVID-19). While there is no medicinal cure for CFS, it is important to follow a good diet and include regular exercise in your routine along with getting adequate downtime and sleep.
Yoga, especially, has proven benefits in helping reduce stress levels and chronic fatigue. According to a 2014 medical trial, yoga as an add-on therapy can successfully reduce persistent fatigue and pain even in patients who are resistant to conventional treatments. Practicing yoga for 20 to 30 minutes daily can help revive energy levels and is a great way to stay healthy.
Here’s how yoga helps those with chronic fatigue syndrome:
1. Helps stretch your body
Stretching increases oxygen levels in the body, improves blood circulation, reduces joint and muscle stiffness and tiredness, and makes the muscles supple, thereby boosting one’s energy levels. When you feel fatigued, it is advisable to do a few simple and quick stretching asanas.
2. Makes you stronger
Practicing yoga regularly makes our muscles stronger, enhancing agility and mobility. It enables our bodies to carry out daily tasks without getting tired easily.
3. Alleviates stress
Pranayama or breathing exercises, an integral part of yoga, helps increase the prana (life force) level in your body. It also helps alleviate stress, which is one of the biggest causes of fatigue.
4. Improves hormonal balance
Yoga and breathing exercises have the ability to improve hormonal balance in the body. A balanced state of hormones can help improve conditions such as thyroid and diabetes, which too can be underlying causes of fatigue.
5. Helps the body relax and meditate
Yoga offers great relaxation and meditation techniques that help us let go of control and anxiety. As we learn to relax, our body and mind release all the strain, tension, and stress we tend to hold on to in the course of our lives.
The best part is you can practice yoga in the comfort of your home, without having to make time to go to the gym. You can intersperse your workday with breathing exercises and stretches that you can do right at your desk. Yoga is also the key to connecting with your inner calm. For those with CFS, it is the answer to a healthier, more energetic life.