Yoga, heat and coronavirus

The best way to boost your immune system (in my opinion) is to practice Yoga and Hot Yoga regularly, and to maintain a really healthy diet. That’s pretty much it! But there’s more – Hatha Yoga offers practices from way back that directly work on your health, and I described three of them in a recent blog. Keep an eye on the Yogafurie online videos to: very soon, there’ll be one showing you Bristol (and beyond!) how to do the practices described in the blog.

information arrow leading truth

And there’s more again, because we live in a technological age of information and study. Now, we’re aware that there’s a lot of misinformation around, not just about coronavirus, but about all sorts of important things going on in the world. Thankfully, there’s also a lot of hard fact to be had as well. My thanks to a facebook friend who posted a link to a central repository of research articles, all about coronavirus. There are lots! Depending on what you’re interested in, you can look at the virus and its spread from lots of different angles through this research. However, here at Yogafurie in Bristol we love Hot Yoga, so I’m going to dive in on the question: does heat affect coronavirus?

It’s a complex picture. In short, I feel that the research indicates that heat does affect coronavirus. But there’s quite a story behind that, and I want to share it (as I understand it) with you.

coronavirus hot yoga heat coronavirus can handle the heat

The first article I would suggest looking at is here.

Here’s an excerpt from it:

“CONCLUSION Temperature is an environmental driver of the COVID-19 outbreak in China. Lower and higher temperatures might be positive to decrease the COVID-19 incidence.”

The researchers correlated temperature and humidity with reported cases, taking account of the incubation period. Remember that, in China, extensive testing was done and so the reported cases could be relied on as a good indicator of the actual cases.

The next one you might like to look at is this article here.

And a headline extract:

“The analysis showed negative correlations between temperatures with the number of daily confirmed cases. Maximum correlations were found for 6-day lagged temperatures, which is likely reflecting the incubation period of the virus. It was postulated that the indoor crowding effect is responsible of the high incidence of 2019-nCoV cases, where low absolute humidity and close human contact facilitate the transport of aerosol droplets.”

Amongst other things, it highlights that close proximity in low-humidity conditions is ideal for transmission of the virus. (I’m going to write again in a few days about the distancing, because it has implications for the Heart Chakra – but that’s for another day!)

creation of adam with social distancing fingers not touching

And there’s more…

This is an extremely interesting article. It plots the outbreaks on the surface of the globe, overlaid by average temperature maps. There is a clear banding of outbreak around different latitudes.

“Interpretation: The distribution of significant community outbreaks along restricted latitude, temperature, and humidity are consistent with the behaviour of a seasonal respiratory virus.”

So, is that it? Adjust the temperature and humidity to kill coronavirus? Well, that would be right up our street! Yogafurie’s are probably the hottest Hot Yoga classes in town to be honest. And Bristol is a big place! Also, we strictly control humidity at 50% – the optimum for your skin and lungs to perform. However, there’s more to this story.

hot yoga sweat humidity

WARNING: this one is way complicated

Basically, a very similar virus from mice is sensitive to UV, leading some to suggest that it’s UV, not temp, causing the variations in global spread and the latitude banding effect. But check this other article out.

UV disinfection is in use in China. The article describes its use, and the kind of power output needed to be sure to kill the virus in surfaces. But temperature and humidity still play a role:

“Longer exposure to radiation is needed when the temperature indoors is below 20C or above 40C and relative humidity is over 60%.

A room should be ventilated after UV disinfection, and people are suggested to enter the room half an hour later.”

The article is clear that UV disinfection cannot be used directly on skin.

CONCLUSIONS?

I advocate practice primarily. Practice will help your body find the strength to deal with whatever physical challenges it meets. It will help your mind stay calm and alert, to deal with these difficult times. Read the blog about health practices and check out the video instructions. And – while we are still allowed out: get into the sunshine and soak up the rays. Get out on cloudy days too (assuming we are not asked to strictly stay in) – there’s precious sunlight out there, and we all need it anyway. Open doors and windows – don’t let rooms become dusty and dry, keep the humidity buoyant. It would seem that there is evidence that simple measures like this make a real difference, although Yoga practice is our first line of defence.

This article was written by Ed, who works at Yogafurie in Bristol. It reflects his research and opinions.

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