You know we are all about the immunity boosting elixirs and herbal supplements. You should definitely take those but today we want to talk about adding movement to your immunity routine. I know, its winter and hibernation is your first instinct but we gotta keep moving to stay healthy. Just move, stagnation can create an infection. Move that energy around and out. Create heat in your body to help buffer the immune system, clear congestions, and stimulate building ojas (physical vitality, mental clarity, and overall health).
Yoga helps calm the nervous and endocrine system which results in more energy that can be used to directly combat a stubborn virus. Twisting poses will help stimulate the organs aiding in digestive function. Taking deep breaths will aid the respiratory system, which is one of the first areas affected by cold and flu. Deep breaths also relax you which lowers stress and inevitably makes you an all around more healthy person.
Here are our favorite immunity boosting yoga poses. Start any practice with meditation. Close your eyes, get your breath moving to keep respiratory pathways clear. Pro tip: burn sage during your practice to clear negative energy and bacteria in the air.
Increases circulation, promoting good circulation can help allow immune cells to flow freely so they can more effectively fight off infection. It also allows your sinuses to drain.
Start in a tabletop position, hands on the floor underneath shoulders and knees on the floor beneath the hips. Gently lift knees pressing the seat up and back and straightening legs, keeping weight in both arms and legs. Expand in the chest, making a V shape from your hands to feet, your pelvis being the highest point. See here.
Opens chest to stimulate the thymus, a gland that produces white blood cells that help the body fight off infection. Think of your white blood cells as emergency first responders. They catch wind of the flu and they hustle!
Start laying down chest facing the floor. Bring elbows in line with shoulders, allowing your forearms to touch the floor. Inhaling rise up expanding in the chest creating a gentle backbend, pressing the hips in the floor. Broaden your collarbone and keep the weight light in the hands. Exhale release down, repeat. See here.
3.Twisting Poses (Any)
We like our immunity boosting cocktails with a twist. Twisting poses are great because they stimulate your organs to get rid of toxins in the body. It's like twisting out a wet rag to remove all the dirty water.
Ardha matsyendrasana is an especially effective twisting post.
This one really opens up your chest to allow for full, deep breaths to take your stress levels from a "I could punch a brick wall" level to a "laying in a bubble bath with a cup of tea surrounded by fluffy puppies" level. It also helps to clear any congestion in your chest.
Start seated on floor legs straight out, bend at knees bringing right heel to your seat (side of foot on floor) bring left foot to the outside of right knee bottom of the foot on the mat. Extend right arm up in the inhale, exhale bringing the right elbow to the outside of left knee. Straighten spine twisting to the left, gaze over the right shoulder. Repeat opposite side. See here.
Its no goat yoga but we hope it makes a difference in your life. Keep moving. Keep taking care of yourself!