Yoga for a strong Immune System
meditation are powerful tools for helping to stimulate or calm the
depending on the situation.
diet, lack of
drugs, and toxins in our environment are all factors that can weaken our
Our immune system consists of cells, tissues,
and organs that work together to protect the body and fight off infections and
diseases. These defensive cells are located in our white blood cells. They are
transferred around the body by the lymphatic system. The lymph nodes move
through the body by muscle
contractions, unlike blood, which is pumped naturally by the heart.
Allergy like a stuffy nose, ears and sinus,
inflamed eyes, headaches, sore throat and difficulty in
breathing are all
caused by the mucus-producing process of the immune system attacking innocuous
invaders. Through relaxation, the nervous system can tell the immune system to
settle down and stop attacking the foreign bodies, which are naturally cleared
out in a non-allergic person by sneezing once or twice a day. When the immune
system backs off, inflammation and mucus decrease and symptoms diminish.
If the immune system is weak, the bacteria can
go into the lungs and cause bronchitis or pneumonia. Viruses go deeper into the
system, causing chills, fever or pain and aching in the joints.
Here are 6 yoga postures that should be practiced on a regular basis
to build a strong immunity.
Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward facing Dog)
This pose sends out energy throughout the body. It provides a great
inversion, by increasing circulation. It's a great lengthener and strengthener.
It stretches the calves,
Come to your hands and knees with the wrists underneath the shoulders and
the knees underneath the hips.
Curl the toes under and push back raising the hips and straightening the
Spread the fingers and ground down from the forearms into the fingertips.
Outwardly rotate the upper arms broadening the collarbones.
Let the head hang, move the shoulder blades away from the ears towards the
Engage the quadriceps strongly to take the weight off the arms, making
this a resting pose.
Rotate the thighs inward, keep the tail high and sink your heels towards
Check that the distance between your hands and feet is correct by coming
forward to a plank position. The distance between the hands and feet should be
the same in these two poses. Do not step the feet toward the hands in Down Dog
in order the get the heels to the floor. This will happen eventually as the
Bala-asana (Child Pose)
This pose boosts immunity. Your head is lower then you
therefore you receive more circulation to the
Sit on your knees with your feet together and buttocks resting on your
heels. Separate your knees about the width of your hips. Place your hands on
your thighs, palms down. (This is the
Inhale deeply, then exhale as you bring your chest between your knees
while swinging your arms forward.
Rest your forehead on the floor, if possible, and then bring your arms
around to your sides until the hands on resting on either side of your feet,
Breath gently through your nostrils as you hold the posture. Hold for
about one to two minutes. Then return to asana upright kneeling position with
your back straight and your hands on your thighs.
Repeat the posture at least one more time.
Prasarita Padottanasana (Straddle forward bend)
Forward Bending poses are very soothing. They encourage the face to
drop, therefore the head receives more blood, oxygen and vital nutrients.
Step the feet apart into a wide straddle. The feet should be slightly
pigeon-toed so that the outside edges of the feet stay parallel.
Deepen the hip creases as you come into a forward bend.
Bring the hands directly underneath your shoulders. Then begin to walk the
hands back, bringing your wrists in line with your ankles, if possible.
Bend the elbows. Try bringing your body weight forward into the balls of
your feet to keep the hips
in the same plane as the ankles.
Engage the quadriceps and draw them upwards.
Stay here for 5 to 10 breaths, lengthening the spine on the inhales and
deepening the forward bend on the exhales.
To come out, bring your hands onto your hips and keep your back flat as
you come up to stand.
Sirsasana (Head stand)
This pose is an energizing inversion. It stimulates the pituitary gland,
which governs blood
pressure, regulates water in the body,
function and thyroid
Interlace fingers to form a cup with palms. Place forearms and wrists on a
Place crown of head on floor with slight emphasis of weight towards
Walk feet towards head and lift knees gently upward.
Straight legs extended.
Lengthen both sides of ribcage.
Tailbone extends towards heels.
Shoulder blades wide and floating towards kidneys to decompress neck.
Shoulderstand or Child's pose.
Always maintain a calm and even breath. (You can do this pose against a
Halasana (plough pose)
This pose stimulates the spinal nerves and and strengthens your spine and
back. It increases the blood supply and provides healthy nourishment for your
internal organs and improves overall blood circulation within the body.
Bring the knees into the chest rapidly, raising the pelvis and lower back
up. Straighten the legs when the lower back begins to rise.
Take the legs slowly down behind the head and place the hands into the
lower back for support.
If possible allow the legs to come all the way down to the mat.
The tops of the feet can be on the mat if you point them but for a deeper
back and leg stretch push through the heels and allow the ballpoint of the
feet to touch the mat.
Create space around the neck for the elements to flow.
Chakrasana (Wheel Pose)
This pose strengthens your abdominal muscles and opens up the hips. It
stimulates the thyroid and pituitary glands, therefore improving your overall
Lying on your back, bend both knees and place the feet flat on the floor
hip width apart.
Press the feet into the floor, inhale and lift the hips up, rolling the
spine off the floor. Engage the thighs, buttocks and mula bandha.
Place the palms underneath the shoulders with the fingers pointed towards
the head and the elbows shoulder width apart.
Inhale and press into the palms and straighten the arms to lift the
shoulders and head off the floor.
Keep the legs and arms as straight as possible to lift the hips and chest
Breathe and hold for 2-4 breaths.
To release: exhale and slowly bend the elbows to lower the head, neck and
then shoulders to the floor. Bend the knees to slowly roll the spine and hips
back to the floor.
By practicing yoga regularly and building a
strong immune system your body can frost the invaders within a few days,
preventing more extreme manifestations of the illness and in fact strengthening
the immune system.
Another way to build the immune system and
improve sinus-related conditions is to focus on the thymus gland. Located in the
chest, the thymus gland is the locus of the immune system. Thus both the thymus
gland and the immune system are stimulated by any posture in which we open the
chest and breathe deeply into it. The most beneficial postures for this purpose
are the Cobra, the
Pigeon, the Fish, the
Boat, the Bow and