How Can Yoga or Pranayam Be Helpful for COVID-19 Recovery?

Juthika Baruah

Is Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev’s herbal medicine and yoga practice really helpful to cure COVID-19 or is the Indian Medical Association who slapped a 1000 crore defamation case against the spiritual leader for making derogatory remarks on allopathic treatment trying to mislead people just to sale their medical equipments?

Yoga or pranayam is not an invention of Ramdev but it has been practiced since ancient times by the saints. Ramdev’s latest rant against allopathy at a private yoga function has made those who detest him go ballistic once again.

But it is interesting to note where the most vicious attacks on him are coming from this time around. Who are the people attacking him? What is their background? Where are they trying to hit? Do they have an agenda beyond what is visible?

And finally, are the attacks disproportionate to his utterances?

Claiming Ramdev’s allopathy statement a vague one, the Indian Medical association had said that the Yoga Guru  has claimed that allopathy is a “stupid science” and medicines such as remdesivir, faviflu, and other drugs approved by the Drugs Controller General of India have failed to treat COVID-19 patients.

The doctors” body also quoted Ramdev as saying that “lakhs of patients have died after taking allopathic medicines”.

These remarks were even denied as “false” by the Haridwar-based Patanjali Yogpeeth Trust.

Ramdev has also been asked to withdraw his statement on allopathy and said the remarks disrespects “corona warriors” and hurts the sentiments of the country.

“When allopathic doctors saved lives of crores during Covid, your comments that allopathy is responsible for the death of lakhs is extremely unfortunate. We should not forget that the Covid battle can be won only through joint efforts,” the IMA said.

How far do you know about IMA? What is its duty?

The Indian Medical Association is a national voluntary organisation of Doctors of Modern Scientific System of Medicine in India, which looks or cares after the interest of doctors or the well being of the community at large.

Currently headed by Dr Johnrose Austin Jayalal, the main motive of the organization is to look after the doctors’ problem rather than to sale medical equipments which they are currently involved in.  In a recent interview to Christianity Today, the deeply problematic parts of which were quietly edited out after a massive uproar, Dr Jayalal admitted to using secular spaces like hospitals to proselytize.

“My primary concern when I work as a Christian doctor is to ensure that I have time to talk about the mental well-being and spiritual healing of the person. We need more Christian doctors to work more in secular institutions, mission institutions, and medical colleges,” he said. “I am working as a professor of surgery in a medical college, so it is also a good opportunity for me to carry on the principles of Christian healing there. I also have the privilege of mentoring graduates and the interns.”


Dr Jayalal has also been at the forefront of protests against the Narendra Modi government’s decision to integrate Indian medical systems like Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha, homoeopathy, yoga and naturopathy with western allopathic healing.

This angers Dr Jayalal. For him, only allopathy blended with Christian conversion talk should be administered. He is blunt about proclaiming that Indian healing systems are inferior.

“The most common system is modern medicine based on scientific evidence. The government of India, because of their cultural value and traditional belief in Hindutva, believes in a system called Ayurveda,” he said in the interview. “They want to make it one nation, one system of medicine. Next, they will want to make it one religion. This is also based on the Sanskrit language, which is always traditionally based on the Hindu principles. This is an indirect way for the government to introduce the language of Sanskrit and language of Hindutva into the minds of the people.”

It is unsurprising that the below-the-belt attack on Baba Ramdev is coming from the organisation he heads and uses as cover to try and convert people, by his own admission.

There are also powerful pharma lobbies whose interests are hurt by Ramdev’s rant. It is not new of such lobbies to use influential medical associations.

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) also lambasted yoga guru Baba Ramdev’s claims on Patanjali’s Coronil as the “first evidence-based medicine for COVID-19”, made in the presence of Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan. The top medical body has questioned how the Health Minister, who is also a doctor, could promote a “falsely fabricated, unscientific product” before the country.

It is not Baba Ramdev who practices yoga or asked people to practice yoga or take herbal medicines to cure COVID-19 but here are some examples which people believed that it is only through yoga or pranayam that the immunity could be boost up and you can avoid having infected with the virus.

Delhi’s first corona survivor recommends to practice yoga saying that it is very useful to recover from the infection fast. Rohit Dutta, 45, said that pranayama, the practice of breath control in yoga, was very effective for him while being treated for COVID-19. “I recommend pranayama for COVID-19 patients. It is very useful in the course of recovery. It helps in reducing anxiety levels,” he said.

It is not only Rohit Dutta but the world famous author of Harry Potter J K Rowling said that she had all COVID-19 symptoms but has fully recovered without being tested only by practicing pranayam or asanas.

Also Read: IMA Slaps Rs 1,000 Crore Defamation Notice On Ramdev

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