I started getting into yoga four years ago, and though I wasn’t doing it regularly, I could feel its great effect on my body, emotions, and mental health. I am a sports addict, and by this I mean I cannot imagine my day without doing any kind of sports! But yoga wasn’t on top of my list till quarantine came and I couldn’t go out to the gym or stables, so I had two options yoga and running. That said, I started to run one day and do yoga the other, and I can’t start to explain how much it helped me during the lockdown. I was able to stay calm and survive quarantine in the best way ever. What I never knew before is that there is actually a connection between yoga and immunity, and this is what we’re going to delve into in this article.
How Can Yoga Support Your Immune System?
Studies have shown that there is a strong connection between stress and weak immunity. And as you might know, yoga helps lower our stress hormones and calms the nervous system, which compromises our immune system. Through relaxation, the nervous system can tell the immune system to settle down and stop attacking the foreign bodies, which are naturally cleared out by sneezing once or twice a day. When the immune system backs off, inflammation and mucus decrease, and symptoms diminish.
on another note, Yoga is one of the main tools for maintaining the health of our respiratory system. Breathing technique and asana (posture) help improve the mechanical efficiency of our lungs by conditioning the repertory tract that increases the elasticity and strength of the whole lung. This in turn helps prevent infection.
Also, sitting at a desk all day without getting proper circulation to our organs can cause blockages and buildups of toxins and mucus that stimulate breakdowns in the body and its systems. Yoga poses supply our organs with fresh blood for optimal function.
In your next class, focus on postures that open the chest, and breathe deeply into each one. Some beneficial postures include pranayama, half-moon, cobra, bow and camel. With a strong, focused, and revitalized immune system, you’ll find you’re able to resist those everyday common sicknesses and effectively fight off infections.
Yoga Poses To Boost Your Immunity
Sit well and bring one hand to your heart, one hand out like you are waltzing. Start to pump your breath out in kapalabhati—short, sharp exhales through the nose. Don’t worry about the inhale; it’s automatic. As you pump your breath, switch hands and tap your chest, the seat of your thymus gland. This will stimulate your immune response. Practice for 1-2 minutes.
Bring your left arm over and around your right arm as many times as you can into an eagle wrap. Turn your chin and fit it over your left shoulder. Lift your elbows high and swallow a few times as you breathe deeply. This will flush the thyroid gland at the base of your neck. Repeat with the right elbow on top and head over the right shoulder.
Grab your opposing elbow, cupping the tip of the elbow into the center of the palm. Place forearms into the pit of the belly as you fold over your legs into a child’s pose. Breath deeply into the back body for 1-2 minutes.