With the changing season cold, cough and fever are common, but with the COVID-19 pandemic going on it becomes quite perturbing to even have a normal cold. We feel anxious that we might have contracted the virus. The solution to this? Yoga is the best practice to build your immune system.
Yoga for building better immunity at home
Yoga helps to strengthen your body and mind. It is an essential part of living which also helps in improving the body’s defense mechanism. Healthy life requires a healthy body, healthy eating, and a healthy mind. Yoga and meditation are crucial parts of healthy life.
Our system is a wonderful blend of mind, body, and soul. If our body is not working properly or our mind is disturbed we tend to get ill. Yoga through the various asanas helps our body to become flexible whereas, with the help of meditation and pranayama (breathing) it helps to relax our mind.
The cause of many diseases is stress. The stress hormone- Cortisol causes inflammation of tissues that surrounds our organs, bones, and ligaments. Yoga helps reduce stress, build your immune system, and helps you fight numerous diseases and viruses.
Consider our body organs and muscles like sponges, they absorb the energy in our body. The stretching and movement through yoga help to release the stagnant energy in our bodies.
Moreover, our blood requires oxygen which helps in building new cells and fighting pathogens. Yoga through pranayama regulates our breathing due to which our circulation system improves, thus leading to a stronger, better immune system.
Unhealthy eating, lack of a proper sleep cycle, laziness, and stress- all lead to the weakening of the body and reduces the ability of our body to defend itself. Doctors say that disease-causing bacteria and viruses are already present in our body, it is during these times when our body is weak, they attack our immune system. Certain yoga poses can build as well as support our immune system.
Cortisol- The hormone which is released when our body is under stress causes inflammation and degeneration of our cells. Stress more than anything leads to the breakdown of our body’s ability to defend itself. Yoga being a major stress-buster leads to a sickness-free body. It makes the nervous system stronger and also stimulates the lymphatic system.
Yoga relaxes the brain and helps the body to sleep. Better mental awareness, weight loss, breathing awareness and regulation, regular exercise, and discipline all helps in curing insomnia and also assists in sound sleep. Good sleep is a requisite for a disease-free body
A sick person can be cured with medicines and antibiotics. Medicines only cure, they do not build or improve our immunity. They can only heal us while it is yoga that can build us. Yoga has the ability to strengthen us and make us strong.
Yoga relaxes our bodies and mind. This helps in removing toxins and harmful oxides present in our body making it fit and well.
Yoga at home is easy, convenient, and most suitable during this pandemic. You can easily take out some time from your schedule for yoga. You can do it in whichever way you want, wearing whatever you like and feel the most comfortable in.
But it is necessary to fix a regular time for yoga, you should be regular and committed towards your daily yoga practice.
Yoga at home also releases you from the stress and responsibility of reaching your class at the correct time. You can experiment and discover your strengths in ways that are not very obvious at first. You can choose which style and way of practice you like.
When you have your own yoga space you can design it in a way that pleases your aesthetics and thus also helps your practice. Another benefit of yoga at home is that it is free. Obviously, life is expensive these days. You can easily practice yoga from youtube videos and what is better than the ability to choose from a wide variety of videos as well as instructors.
Yoga at home is the best and perfect way of building better immunity. We will tell you about 5 yoga poses that will help in improving your immunity and build your health.
Before starting with the yoga you can start with a gentle warm-up of 5-10 minutes. This can include
- Rotating your head clockwise and anti-clockwise.
- Stretching your arms and swinging them.
- Rotating your waist.
- Rotating your wrists and ankles.
- Doing 10 jumping jacks.
Now let’s learn about the yoga poses which can help to build a better immunity at home.
‘Tad’ means mountain whereas ‘asana’ means pose/poster. In Sanskrit, it is known as samasthiti. It is the foundation of all the standing poses and most of the standing poses of yoga evolve from this pose. Though Tadasana simple it still requires the engagement of the whole body and relaxation of mind.
Benefits for better immunity
- It strengthens the thigh, buttock, and leg muscles.
- It reduces tension from the face.
- It helps in improving your digestive as well as the nervous system.
- It helps the body by making it flexible and agile.
- In the formative years, it can increase your height.
- It reduces flat feet.
- It connects the body with the ground.
Steps to do tadasana
- Stand with your feet apart on the ground in such a way that your weight is equally distributed on both feet.
- Now inhale and raise your arms above your head interlocking your fingers, such that your palms are facing upwards.
- Now stretch yourselves up in such a way that you are standing on your toes. Fan your toes out a little.
- Your arms, shoulders, muscles, everything should be stretched.
- Breathe in this position.
- After this, return back to the normal position.
Though Tadasana is fairly easy and a safe pose, you should not do it if you are feeling lightheaded or dizzy. If you are pregnant you may need a wider stance (open your legs more) in order to feel stable.
By this pose, you try to achieve the balance of mind and body and become more aware of your senses. It calms you down and reduces stress which helps in immunity-building.
Garud the mystic vehicle of Lord Vishnu can be loosely translated in English to ‘eagle’. Garudasana is all that you define as crazy- being twisted like a pretzel. But this asana helps in maintaining balance and is a great shoulder stretch.
- It strengthens your thighs, ankles, calves, and hips as you build your balance and core strength.
- The eagle arms especially help you in relieving your shoulder strain.
- By squeezing the body it stimulates fresh blood flow throughout your body, giving it a boost of immunity-improving fluid.
- The squeezing motion in your limbs also helps to boost circulation and remove toxins.
- It improves concentration level as well as focus.
Steps to do garudasana
- First, stand in tadasana.
- Bend your knees smoothly and lift your left leg to cross it over your right leg.
- Ensure that your right foot is firmly placed on the ground to maintain your balance. Your left thigh should be over your right thigh while your left foot should be facing downward.
- Bring your arms forward in such a way that they are parallel to your body.
- Now cross your right arm over your left arm and bend your elbows in such a way that your arms are perpendicular to the ground.
- The back of your hands should be facing each other.
- Now slowly turn your hands in such a way that your palms are facing each other.
- Stretch your fingers upwards while pressing your arms together.
- Maintain this posture for a couple of breaths.
- Now, slowly release your arms and bring them back to the side of your body.
- Now remove your left leg from your right leg and place it back on the ground.
Avoid this pose if you are having any knee, shoulder, or elbow injuries.
This posture may feel tough because of the less center of gravity but it helps your immunity in wonderful ways.
The word ‘Matsya’ means fish. It is said that doing this posture in water can make you float in it.
Lord Vishnu took the avatar of a Matsya when a massive flood was supposed to wipe down humanity on earth. By taking the avatar of a fish he was able to maintain a balance between both sea and earth.
Similarly, Matsyasana asana helps a person to maintain balance and increase resilience in a person. When a person is doubtful or shaken, this asana works wonders.
- If performed properly it can cure constipation, menstruation problem, and breathing problem.
- It also helps in toning of the pituitary gland, pineal gland, third eye, or parathyroid gland.
- It stretches the neck and opens the chest area, thus releasing the tension there.
- The digestive tract and throat also get a good massage.
- It improves the nutrition absorption of the body.
- By controlling your breathing in this posture, you can cure your respiratory problems.
- It stretches the deep hip flexors and the muscles between the ribs.
- It improves your body posture by stretching the muscles of your back
Steps to do Matsyasana
- Lie on your back with your feet together and hands alongside the body.
- Now place your hands underneath your hips, your palms facing downwards.
- Breathe in and while doing so lift your head and chest up.
- Now touch the top of your head to the floor by lowering it. Do this while keeping your chest elevated.
- Your head should lightly touch the floor, while your elbows must be placed firmly on the ground so that most of the weight is on your elbows and not on your head.
- Lift your chest up from in-between the shoulder blades. Press your thighs and legs firmly to the ground.
- Hold this pose as long as you can. Keep on breathing while doing so.
- Now lift your head up and bring your chest back to the floor and arms on the side of your body. Relax.
People having lower back problems are not recommended to do this. You should also avoid this if you suffer from migraines or insomnia. It is advisable to stay away from this problem if you experience blood pressure problems.
This pose is more beneficial in a padmasana. Also, it has many variations. This pose is an immunity-booster as it involves most of the parts of the body.
Trikonasana is for strengthening your legs and core. According to the name (TRI-three KON-angles), your body points towards three different directions in this asana. This pose is a simple standing pose which unlike other poses requires your eyes to be open.
It firms your grip on the ground, there is an element of overall release in the body which makes it therapeutic. Most people carry a lot of tension in their hips and this pose helps in the opening of hips.
- It reduces stress and relieves anxiety from the body.
- It helps during menstruation and provides comfort during cramps.
- It cures indigestion, gastric problems, acidity. It stimulates your digestive system.
- The triangle pose by bending your body to both sides improves flexibility.
- It helps to treat neck strain.
- By perfectly aligning your shoulders it corrects your posture.
- It strengthens the legs, hamstrings, groin, and hips.
Steps to do trikonasana
- Stand straight in tadasana.
- Now open your legs for about three-fourth of your height. Your right leg should face towards the right while your left leg slightly facing forward.
- Now spread your arms parallel to the ground.
- Start bending your right hand towards the ground and try to grip your right foot up to your capacity. Make sure your left hand is in line with your right leg.
- Face towards the sky. Keep the exact posture, don’t look down
- Try to hold this pose for a minute.
You should avoid this pose if you have diarrhea, migraine, or neck and back injuries. If you have blood pressure problems then avoid this posture.
The child pose or balasana resembles the fetal position. It is a resting pose and can be done between the challenging asanas.
It calms and rejuvenates the whole body. It relaxes your body and thus it is an appropriate pose to end your workout.
- This pose stimulates the kidneys and digestion.
- Since knees are involved. It helps to massage the muscles and joints.
- It releases tension in the back neck and chest area.
- It especially helps if you are feeling dizzy or tired.
- It encourages the right breathing practice and calms the body.
- It helps in blood circulation.
- It lengthens the spine and stretches it.
Steps to do balasana
- Sit on your heels.
- Now open your thighs hip-width apart.
- Gently start lowering your head, touch it to the floor.
- Keep your arms on the side of your body, palms facing upwards.
- Now open your arms towards the front, palms facing downwards.
- Hold this position for a minute.
- Inhale and pull your navel towards your spine, exhale and relax your body.
- Put your arms under your shoulders and get up in the sitting position. Slowly uncurl your spine while doing so.
Do not practice this asana if you have diarrhea or you are pregnant. Practice this under the supervision of a teacher if you are having a knee injury.
This asana can be practiced to give your body some rest. Proper practice of this pose will teach you how to listen to your body.
Yoga is one of the best measures which can help to build better immunity at home. The yoga asanas are easy and once you learn how to them you can always practice their variations, thus keeping room for something new.
The asanas mentioned above triggers such points in your body which makes your body even stronger and helps it to fight diseases. These poses also directly target your organs thereby providing a holistic approach to your overall development.
But only yoga is not sufficient to keep you healthy. You should also take a healthy diet, avoid junk food and try to meditate for some part of the day.
During these times, when there is a pandemic and you are advised not to step out of your homes, it is necessary that you work on improving your immunity. Make your body strong to fight the virus. And what better way to do so than yoga for better immunity at home.