As cold and flu season hits, you probably want to be prepared. You want your immune system to stay strong so you can fight off any infections that spread around. Exercise, in general, may be a great way to improve your immune system but specifically, yoga is a great exercise to try. Doing yoga lowers your body’s stress response, strengthens your nervous system and stimulates the lymphatic system which gets rid of toxins and waste.1 All of these factors can help build an immune system strong enough so hopefully, you won’t get sick. Here are some of the best yoga poses to try to help boost your immune system:
Sit on your heels and bend forward. You’ll want to keep your hips on your heels and your forehead to the floor. Then stretch your arms outward and press your chest on your thighs. Hold for a few seconds and then slowly come back up. This is also a great pose to come back to any time a yoga sequence gets too difficult.
Lie on your back and fold your knees. Keep your feet hip distance apart. Place your arms next to your body with your palms facing down. As you inhale, lift your back up slowly, starting with your lower back. Roll in your shoulders and touch your chest towards your chin while keeping your chin up. Your thighs should be parallel to each other and to the floor. Hold for a few moments and then gently and slowly release and lay back down.
Lie on your back. Your arms should be beside you with your palms facing downwards. Inhale and lift your feet off the floor, raising your legs at a 90-degree angle and using your abdominal muscles to lift them off the ground. Breathe and support your hips and back with your hands and lift them up off the ground as well. Now your legs should move to a 180-degree angle over your head until your toes touch the floor. This is a more advanced pose, so practice and ensure you don’t strain your neck and avoid jerking your body. Move slowly and gently.
Lie on your stomach with your toes flat and your forehead rested on the ground. Keep your legs close together and place your hands with your palms facing downwards under your shoulders. Take a deep breath in and slowly lift your head, chest and upper abdomen off the floor for a great chest stretch. Keep your shoulders relaxed and away from your ears. Hold for a few seconds and then slowly lower back down.
Lie on your stomach with your feet hip-width apart and your arms by your side. Fold your knees and hold your ankles, then lift your chest off the ground slowly. Take deep breaths while relaxing in this pose for about 15-20 seconds. Then slowly lower back down and release your ankles.
Lie on your back, place your hands underneath your hips with your palms facing downward. Take a deep breath in and lift your head and chest up towards the ceiling. While keeping your chest up, slowly lower your head back down and touch the top of your head onto the floor. Next, press your elbows firmly into the ground, place weight on your elbows and lift your chest up even higher. Keep your thighs and legs pressed firmly to the floor. To get out of the pose, lift your head back up, lower your chest and head back down and relax.
Do you practice yoga regularly? Do you feel that it keeps you healthy during cold and flu season? Share your thoughts below!
1 – From the Art of Living