Yoga for Immunity
What is Immunity?
All physiological systems helping a person’s body to defend itself against infections through alien materials which might result in harming the body can be defined as immunity.
The threat which could risk us of getting infected is present everywhere from our homes to office, in our transportation or coffee shops, etc. However, our body’s immune system has created its own shield to fight against such threats at the microorganism level. It is a sophisticated network of organs, tissues, and cells that work together to keep attackers out of your body. Attackers might include bacteria, viruses, parasites, and even fungus, all of which have the potential to cause illness to our body.
Why Boost Immunity?
The goal of strengthening immunity is simple: to live a healthy life. As winter approaches, we observe that many individuals suffer from the common cold or flu, while others manage to go on without contracting any sickness. Immunity is the secret to this mystery.
During winters, when cold and flu are prevalent, you have to pay greater attention to the health of your immune system. But the fact is that your immune system has to work hard all year long, whether it is providing protection from a flu virus or an illness that might occur at any moment.
The immune system defends the body by first protecting it from intruders or antigens. If these enter the body, the immune system produces white blood cells, chemicals, and proteins that fight and kill the foreign object. Antigens are usually targeted and removed before they can replicate. If that fails, the immune system begins to work even harder to eliminate the intruders as they grow.
How to Boost Immune System through Yoga?
The prospect of increasing our immunity is appealing but the capacity to do so has proven difficult for a variety of reasons. The immune system is, in fact, a system and not a single entity. It requires balance and harmony to work properly.
Following the basic good-health principles is the single most important action you can take to naturally keep your immune system in excellent functioning order. When you shield your body from environmental assaults and supplement it with healthy living practices, every aspect of your body, including your immune system, performs better.
Yoga has been practised in India for over 5000 years. It focuses on bringing the mind and body into harmony. It is a combination of physical activity, nutrition control, breathing methods, and focus that both strengthens and calms the body and mind. As a result, immunity improves. Practising some simple Yoga Asanas, Kriyas and Pranayamas assist to boost the immune system and strengthening overall health.
Here are some simple yoga practices that you should include in your lifestyle aiding your overall wellness:
Yoga Asanas for Immune Boosting and Stress Reduction:
- Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose) – This chest opening posture stimulates the thymus (a lymphoid organ where white blood cells grow), hence enhancing the general health of the immune system.
- Balasana (Child’s Pose) – This restorative posture stimulates the lymphatic system, which helps to boost immunity. It also benefits the neurological system and the adrenal glands, promoting total body relaxation and deep sleep.
- Setu Bandhasana (Supported Bridge Pose) – Bridge pose (whether supported or unsupported) opens the heart and lungs, improves blood circulation, stimulates the thyroid gland (a crucial hormone gland that governs how the body’s cells use energy from food), and boosts energy in the body to help fight germs.
- Matsyasana (Fish Pose) – Fish pose detoxifies and increases energy levels. It also helps to clear congestion by opening up the lungs and nasal airways.
- Savasana (Corpse Pose) – We activate the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest) which allows the body to absorb and repair. This type of rest is incredibly helpful to the mind, immune and digestive system.
Kriya Yoga for Strengthening Your Immune System:
- Kapal Bhati – The term Kapal (skull), Bhati (shine), and pranayama (breathing method) are all derived from Sanskrit. It is an excellent breathing technique that can help to enhance physical processes. Through the outgoing breath, this breathing exercise can eliminate up to 80% of the toxins in our bodies.
- Jal Neti – Jal Neti is a technique used by yogis to keep disease-free and, more significantly, to use their breath freely for their yoga activities. Jal Neti is nasal hygiene in the same way as cleaning your teeth is dental hygiene. Water is used in this approach to cleanse and clear the nasal tract, from the nostrils to the throat.
Boosting Immunity through Pranayamas:
- Anulom Vilom – Anulom Vilom, also known as alternate nostril breathing, is reported to offer several medical and psychological advantages, including stress reduction and enhanced breathing and circulation.
- Bhramari – Bhramari Pranayama makes a sound comparable to a bee’s humming. Bhramari is derived from the Sanskrit term ‘Bramar,’ which refers to a type of black Indian bee. Bhramari pranayama has a calming impact on the mind and has a relaxing effect on the brain.
- Bhastrika – Bhastrika strengthens immunity by improving thyroid function and tonsils resulting in common episodes of cough, flu, or cold.