Yoga is great way to cultivate balance in our body and can help in nourishing and strengthening our immune system and quality of life.
Postures, breathing and mediation all lend a hand in supporting the immune system by reducing stress and anxiety and fostering positive states of mind.
Uttanasana (Forward fold) - Folding forward helps bring blood flow to the sinuses. Stand with your feet hip distance and fold forward from the hip. Completely relax your upper body, and stay here for up to 5 minutes or as long as feels good. Feel free to bend your knees to feel less pressure on the lower back or rest your head on yoga blocks or a bolster.
Matseyasana (Fish pose) - Back bends are great for boosting energy levels and opening up the heart and lungs. Lying on your back, lift yourself up on to your forearms and rest of the crown of you head on the floor. Stay here for 5 to 10 minute breaths. Modified version: use a block under your heart and one under your head, stay here for 1 to 5 minutes.
Vaprita Karani (Legs up the wall) - This is a very relaxing posture and inversions help the lymph move through the body picking up toxins and carrying them to the lymph nodes to be eliminated. Sit close to a wall, then lie on your back and take your legs up the wall. If your hamstrings are very tight you might have to move further away from the wall. You can also place a bolster or blankets under your pelvis for more lift. Stay here for 5 to 10 minutes
Pranayama (Breathing exercises) - KapalaBhati is very energising for the mind and has a cleaning effect on the lungs. Sit comfortably with the eyes closed and inhale and exhale through the nose to prepare. Begin to gently exhale with a contraction of the abdominal muscles. The inhale will happen automatically and be a passive recoil. Do this for 10 to 20 minutes exhales and increase this count over the next few days as you feel more comfortable. Do not practice if you have high blood pressure, heart condition, on your menstrual cycle or with a full stomach.
Meditation - Meditation can help the immune system by destressing the body and the mind. It increases endorphins and decreases cortisol levels to promote better health. Sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes and focus on your breathing through your nose. Feel the breath move into your nose and through your entire body and back out again. If this is difficult for you there are many guided meditations available on apps like insight timer.
Notes: If you feel any dizziness is any of the postures, sit down and take a few breaths.
If you are not feeling well, please consult your doctor and get some rest.
Inputs by Michelle Tam, Yoga Instructor.