Yoga helps refresh the mind and body, allowing you to destress
Practising yoga asanas can help keep you safe from a number of ailments
You can practise specific postures in yoga for immune system boost
The ancient practice of yoga, which combines certain poses, meditation and breathing techniques, provides multiple physical and mental benefits. Here’s a look at a few of these benefits that yoga offers.
The simple answer is, yes. Yoga and immunity go hand-in-hand as yoga helps by calming the nervous system and lowering the stress hormones, which affect the immune system. It also strengthens your lungs and respiratory system, as well as stimulates your lymphatic system to get rid of toxins from the body.
Yoga also helps bring oxygen-rich blood to all your organs thus ensuring that they function optimally. All of these factors lead to an overall stronger, healthier immune system. When it comes to conditions such as COVID-19, while yoga cannot prevent it altogether, it does help fight off viral and bacterial infections to a certain extent. For instance, studies have found that yoga has a positive impact on the immune system and that increasing the intensity and duration of your practice can gradually enhance immunity. In fact, the recommended way to boost the immune system is by combining asanas with pranayama and meditation.
Additional Read: Importance of Yoga in Modern Life
Here’s a look at some immunity booster yoga poses that you can try at home; however, it is best to do these for the first time under the guidance of a teacher or experienced practitioner.
This asana helps with improving posture, toning the abdomen, aiding digestion and blood circulation and also boosts immunity.
How it’s done: Stand upright with your feet together and back straight. Interlock your fingers in front of you and inhale as you lift and stretch your arms upwards with the palms facing outward. Gently look up. Hold this pose for 5-10 seconds and then slowly release.
This is a resting pose and it helps lengthen your spine, decongest your chest, and brings about a calming feeling. It is also one of the best yoga asanas for immunity.
How it’s done: Begin by sitting on your knees. Spread your knees wide as you bring your upper body down in front of you. Let you stomach rest in between the thighs as you stretch your arms forward, palms facing the ground. Let your forehead touch your mat. Relax your shoulders and breath in and out.
This pose helps improve balance and flexibility, and strengthens the spine.
How it’s done: Stand upright with arms at your side. Bend the right knee and place the sole of the foot on the inner high of the left leg, as high as you can go comfortably. Join palms together, bringing them over your head pushing upwards. The back should be straight. Hold for 10 seconds before releasing. Repeat with the other leg.
This asana helps strengthen the lower back, hip, spine, and pelvic organs.
How it’s done: Lie flat on your stomach. Keep your feet and knees together. Arms can be stretched out in front of you. Now simultaneously lift your legs and arms off the floor and try and raise your chest slightly, creating an arch in the spine. Toes should be pointing out and stretched too. Look straight in front of you. Hold for 10 seconds before releasing.
This pose not only helps strengthen the back, but also the digestive system. It is one of the highly recommended yoga poses for immunity.
How it’s done: Lie face down on the floor. Inhale and bend your knees as you take hold of both ankles. Gently raise your upper body and chest and as you stretch the legs up as well. Hold this pose for 10-15 seconds before you release. When it comes to conditions such as COVID-19, while yoga cannot prevent it altogether, it does help fight off viral and bacterial infections to a certain extent.
This posture increases your strength and stamina, relieves stress and also boosts your immunity.
How it’s done: Stand upright. Now lower yourself as if about to sit in a chair. Push the hips backwards and raise your arms above your head, stretching them out. Relax the shoulders. Tuck your tailbone in, keep the knees slightly behind the toes and let your body weight rest on your heels. Hold this asana for 5-10 seconds before releasing.
This asana stretches the chest and abdomen, strengthens the quadricep muscles (thigh muscles), and improves digestion and immunity.
How it’s done: Begin by kneeling. Keeping hands on your hips, feet should be flat with the soles facing the ceiling. Inhale and gently reach backwards, arching your back as you reach for your heels with your palms. Hold this position for 10-15 seconds and then release.
This specific posture tones the abdomen and buttocks and strengthens the spine. When it comes to yoga for immune system, this posture helps the thymus gland in the chest release white blood cells and thus, helps the body fight infections.
How it’s done: Lie face down on your stomach with the feet flat and soles facing upwards. Place palms on the ground in line with your shoulders, with the elbows tucked in. Gently lift the upper body off the ground, ensuring the navel still touches the floor. If the back arches further, you can stretch your arms fully. Breathe in and out. Hold for 10 seconds before releasing.
This asana relieves aches and pains of the back muscles, stretches out the neck and chest, helps with menstrual pain and also aids in digestion. Try this pose in yoga to increase immunity.
How it’s done: Lie flat on the floor on your back. Bend the knees and keep slight distance between the knees. Lift your hips towards the ceiling with shoulders still on the floor. Keep hands flat by your side. Hold this pose for 15-30 seconds and then gently lower the hips to the starting position.
Additional Read: Immunity Booster Yoga Poses you can try at Home
With these 9 poses, you can start to enhance your immunity as well as flexibility and strength. Daily practice of yoga helps to combat stress and inflammation, which also helps improve overall immunity. Complement yoga with naturopathy or Ayurveda, especially to address chronic or other illnesses.
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