5 YOGA POSES TO BOOST IMMUNITY
Winter is coming! And with it, the threat of pesky colds and flus.
So what could be that one thing that can guard us against sickness other than better that wearing a mask, using a hand sanitizer, and maintaining social distancing…… it’s our very own immune system!
There are lots of ways you can boost your immune system quickly and naturally.
Of course, we know filling up on vitamins, minerals, sunshine, ginger, garlic, turmeric and all those good things help.
Some other things you can do to support your immune system long term are:
- Get adequate sleep (ideally at least 7 hrs)
- Eat a whole food based diet with nutrient dense foods
- Drink plenty of good water
- Exercise regularly
- Cut back on sugar and alcohol
- Minimize stress
- And last but not least, practice yoga!
Yoga has been used for centuries in keeping the body functioning fit and fine, holistically. However, the benefits of yoga are not just limited to stress relief and mental wellness.
If practised properly, yoga can recharge your body, get rid of the toxins, negative energy and keep your vital organs functioning well. It can help us to build resilience both inside and out.
It can also help us fight oxidative stress which poses a risk to the healthy cells. If done regularly, yoga reduces stress in the body and regulates the nervous system. The result is reduced inflammation and degeneration, and an increased sense overall wellbeing.
Certain yoga poses, or asana, are especially great when it comes to supporting the immune system. Let’s take a look at some now!
SUKHASANA WITH SIMPLE PRANAYAMA BREATHING
Two simple and effective yogic practices to boost immunity and instil some vigour and positive energy into your body include Sukhasana (easy seated pose) and pranayama (breath work).
Sukhasana and pranayama both promote deep breathing, which alleviates stress hormone, smoothen the heart rate and any nervous distress - all of which benefit immunity.
Physically, this pose brings strength to the legs and core, while also opening the hips and releasing tension in the shoulders. Triangle pose astretches the fascia around the lungs, helping with breathing.
It also helps toransport blood flow throughout the body, thereby ensuring the optimal functioning of the organs. Hence, it is also considered as one of the effective yoga poses for improving immunity.
MATSYASANA (Fish pose)
An invigorating and immunity strengthening pose, fish pose, or matsyasana, stimulates the thyroid gland, which helps to detoxify the body and boost energy levels.
Fish pose is thought to break up congestion in the lungs and sinuses.
This is one of the best poses to access a deep diaphragmatic breath, and helps balance an agitated nervous system.
UTTANASANA (Forward Fold)
Inversion exercises like this yoga pose is a great way to relieve congestion and protect the sinuses and mucus membranes, and are one of the easiest ways to rejuvenate the immune system.
Uttanasana also calms the brain by allowing the head to drop below the heart, easing headaches, stress, fatigue, anxiety and insomnia.
BHUJANGASANA (Cobra pose)
Bhujangasana is believed to stimulate the thymus, an organ located behind the chest bone that is responsible for the growth of T-cells, your body's first response to the cold or flu.
This pose is great for opening your lungs, strengthening your spine, and increases your energy.
Like other back bending poses, it also reduces stress and fatigue, elevates your mood.