Online Yoga as Public Health Support in the time of COVID-19 Pandemic.docx

Ma Rosita Ampoyas Hernani, Emmanuel V. Hernani


This paper tackles yoga as a form of public health support during the pandemic. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, yoga has been used in different social contexts, from small groups to community-wide engagement; During the quarantine, telehealth platform was promoted and yoga was introduced online to the community. Researches on yoga have indicated positive effects on medical and psychological complaints. In the program, the yoga instructor collaborated with a mental health professional whose expertise is on gestalt therapy. Thus, gestalt awareness continuum exercises  enhanced the experiences of the participants who reported psychological complaints. The program affirms the viability of using digital technology in conducting yoga sessions. Benefits of  doing yoga online outweighs the challenges that are seen in the light of socio-cultural, gender and religious milieus. The paper draws a conclusion that yoga on an online is the better platform option in a crisis situation when in-person engagement is not feasible.  Recommendation highlights the need to address physical inactivity and sedentary behaviors using yoga and its inclusion to the government  health promotion and health campaign strategies.


Yoga, Public Health, COVID-19, Telehealth, Online Physical Activity, Community Support, Physical Exercise

Full Text:



World Health Organization COVID-19 Public Health Emergency of International Concern 2020. “Global Research and Innovation Forum, Towards A Research Roadmap.” (January 30), Accessed May 2, 2020

Steenstrup B, Le Rumeur E, Moreau S, Cornu JN. Sédentarité et incontinence urinaire chez la femme : une revue de littérature [Sedentary lifestyle and urinary incontinence in women: A literature review]. Prog Urol. 2018;28(17):973-979. doi:10.1016/j.purol.2018.07.006

Citko A, Górski S, Marcinowicz L, Górska A. Sedentary Lifestyle and Nonspecific Low Back Pain in Medical Personnel in North-East Poland. Biomed Res Int. 2018;2018:1965807. Published 2018 Sep 9. doi:10.1155/2018/1965807

Booth FW, Roberts CK, Thyfault JP, Ruegsegger GN, Toedebusch RG. Role of Inactivity in Chronic Diseases: Evolutionary Insight and Pathophysiological Mechanisms. Physiol Rev 2017; 97: 1351–402.

Gómez-Ambrosi, J., Andrada, P., Valentí, V. et al. Dissociation of body mass index, excess weight loss and body fat percentage trajectories after 3 years of gastric bypass: relationship with metabolic outcomes. Int J Obes 41, 1379–1387 (2017).

Rocha de Almeida, R.; Cândido de Souza, M.F.; Gama de Matos, D.; Monteiro Costa Pereira, L.; Batista Oliveira, V.; Menezes Oliveira, J.L.; Soares Barreto-Filho, J.A.; Almeida-Santos, M.A.; de Souza, R.F.; de Freitas Zanona, A.; Machado Reis, V.; Aidar, F.J.; Sobral Sousa, A.C. A retrospective study about the differences in cardiometabolic risk indicators and level of physical activity in bariatric surgery patients from private vs. Public units. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 4751.

Buenaventura, R.D., Ho, J.B. and Lapid, M.I. “COVID-19 and mental health of older adults in the Philippines: A perspective from a developing country.” International Psychogeriatrics, 2020, 1-5. doi:10.1017/S1041610220000757. Accessed June 26, 2020.

Lai, J., Ma, S., Wang, Y., Cai, Z., Hu, J., Wei, N., Wu, J., Du, H., Chen, T., Li, R., Tan, H., Kang, L., Yao, L., Huang, M., Wang, H., Wang, G., Liu,Z., Hu, S. “ Factors associated with mental health outcomes among health care workers exposed to coronavirus disease 2019.” JAMA Network Open. 2020 3(3), e203976. Accessed June 20, 2020

Shigemura, J., Ursano,R.J., Morganstein,J.C., Kurosawa,M., Benedek, D.M. “ Public responses to the novel 2019 coronavirus (2019‐NCOV) in Japan: mental health consequences and target populations.” Psychiatry Clinical Neuroscience. 2020, 74: 281-282. doi:10.1111/pcn.12988. Accessed June 20, 2020

Torales, J., O'Higgins, M., Castaldelli-Maia,J.M., Ventriglio, A. “The outbreak of COVID-19 coronavirus and its impact on global mental health.” International Journal of Social Psychiatry. 2020, 66(4):317-320. doi:10.1177/0020764020915212. Accessed June 25, 2020

Stanton R, To QG, Khalesi S, et al. Depression, Anxiety and Stress during COVID-19: Associations with Changes in Physical Activity, Sleep, Tobacco and Alcohol Use in Australian Adults. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020;17(11):4065. Published 2020 Jun 7. doi:10.3390/ijerph17114065

Li W, Yang Y, Liu ZH, et al. Progression of Mental Health Services during the COVID-19 Outbreak in China. Int J Biol Sci. 2020;16(10):1732-1738. Published 2020 Mar 15. doi:10.7150/ijbs.45120

Government of the Philippines Department of Health (2020)

World Health Organization (2020)

World Health Organization (2020)

Berger DL, Silver EJ, Stein RE. Effects of yoga on inner-city children's well-being: a pilot study. Altern Ther Health Med. 2009;15(5):36-42.

Dai CL, Nabors LA, Vidourek RA, King KA, Chen CC. Evaluation of an afterschool yoga program for children. Int J Yoga. 2015;8(2):160-161. doi:10.4103/0973-6131.158488

Frank J, Seifert G, Schroeder R, et al. Yoga in school sports improves functioning of autonomic nervous system in young adults: A non-randomized controlled pilot study. PLoS One. 2020;15(4):e0231299. Published 2020 Apr 13. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0231299

Cheema BS, Marshall PW, Chang D, Colagiuri B, Machliss B. Effect of an office worksite-based yoga program on heart rate variability: a randomized controlled trial. BMC Public Health. 2011;11:578. Published 2011 Jul 20. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-11-578

Cheema BS, Houridis A, Busch L, et al. Effect of an office worksite-based yoga program on heart rate variability: outcomes of a randomized controlled trial. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2013;13:82. Published 2013 Apr 10. doi:10.1186/1472-6882-13-82

Govindaraj R, Karmani S, Varambally S, Gangadhar BN. Yoga and physical exercise - a review and comparison. Int Rev Psychiatry. 2016;28(3):242-253. doi:10.3109/09540261.2016.1160878

NIH National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, 2020.

Park, J., McCaffrey, R., Newman, D., Cheung, C., Hagen, D. The effect of Sit ‘N’ Fit chair yoga among community-dwelling older adults with osteoarthritis, Holistic Nursing Practice: July/August 2014 - Volume 28 - Issue 4 - p 247-257 doi: 10.1097/HNP.0000000000000034

Harner, H., Hanlon, A.L.; Garfinkel, M. Effect of iyengar yoga on mental health of incarcerated women, Nursing Research: November-December 2010 - Volume 59 - Issue 6 - p 389-399 doi: 10.1097/NNR.0b013e3181f2e6ff

Park, J., Krause-Parello, C. A., Barnes, C.M. Anarrative review of movement-based mind-body interventions, Holistic Nursing Practice: January/February 2020 - Volume 34 - Issue 1 - p 3-23 doi: 10.1097/HNP.0000000000000360

Greysen, H.M., Hong, O.S., Katz, P. The association between yoga use, physical function, and employment in adults with rheumatoid arthritis, Holistic Nursing Practice: March/April 2019 - Volume 33 - Issue 2 - p 71-79 doi: 10.1097/HNP.0000000000000296

Okonta, N. R. Does yoga therapy reduce blood pressure in patients with hypertension?: An integrative review, Holistic Nursing Practice: May/June 2012 - Volume 26 - Issue 3 - p 137-141 doi: 10.1097/HNP.0b013e31824ef647

Kupershmidt, S., Barnable, T. Definition of a yoga breathing (pranayama) protocol that improves lung function, Holistic Nursing Practice: July/August 2019 - Volume 33 - Issue 4 - p 197-203 doi: 10.1097/HNP.0000000000000331

Bryan S., Pinto, Zipp G., Parasher, R. The effects of yoga on psychosocial variables and exercise adherence: a randomized, controlled pilot study. Altern Ther Health Med. 2012;18(5):50-59.

Perls, F. Gestalt therapy verbatim. 1959. Bantam Books

Naranjo, C. Present centeredness: techniques, prescription and ideal. 1970. In J. Fagen

and I. L. Shepherd (Eds) Gestalt Therapy Now. New York: Harper Colophon Books.Nevis, E. (2000)

Birdee G.S., Legedza A.T., Saper R,B., Bertisch S.M., Eisenberg D.M., Phillips, R. S. Characteristics of yoga users: results of a national survey. J Gen Intern Med. 2008;23(10):1653-1658. doi:10.1007/s11606-008-0735-5

Park C.L., Braun T., Siegel T. Who practices yoga? A systematic review of demographic, health-related, and psychosocial factors associated with yoga practice. J Behav Med. 2015;38(3):460-471. doi:10.1007/s10865-015-9618-5

Cramer H, Krucoff C, Dobos G. Adverse events associated with yoga: a systematic review of published case reports and case series. PLoS One. 2013;8(10):e75515. Published 2013 Oct 16. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0075515.

Cramer H, Ostermann T, Dobos G. Injuries and other adverse events associated with yoga practice: A systematic review of epidemiological studies. J Sci Med Sport. 2018;21(2):147-154. doi:10.1016/j.jsams.2017.08.026

Cramer H, Quinker D, Schumann D, Wardle J, Dobos G, Lauche R. Adverse effects of yoga: a national cross-sectional survey. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2019;19(1):190. Published 2019 Jul 29. doi:10.1186/s12906-019-2612-7

Asena, R., Guazzi, M., Lianov., L., Whitsel, L., Berra, K., Lavie, C.J., … Shurney, D. ealthy lifestyle interventions to combat noncommunicable disease -a connectivity model for key stakeholders: a policy statement from the American Heart Association, European Society of Cardiology, European Association for Cardiovascular Prevention and rehabilitation, and American College of Preventive medicine. European Heart Journal, 2015, 36, Issue 31.

Stanton R, To QG, Khalesi S, et al. Depression, Anxiety and Stress during COVID-19: Associations with Changes in Physical Activity, Sleep, Tobacco and Alcohol Use in Australian Adults. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020;17(11):4065. Published 2020 Jun 7. doi:10.3390/ijerph17114065

Lavie CJ, Ozemek C, Carbone S, Katzmarzyk PT, Blair SN. Se dentary behavior, exercise,and cardiovascular health. Circ Res. 2019;124(5):799-815. doi:10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.118.312669



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2020 Emmanuel Villoria Hernani, Ma Rosita Ampoyas Hernani

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.