Did you know practicing yoga can help your body naturally defend against sickness? If you do find yourself sick (because let’s face it, some things are just unavoidable) yoga may even shorten the length of many illnesses.
Lack of rest, poor nutrition, dehydration and excessive stress are all factors that increase the body’s vulnerability to sickness. When an illness is contracted, antibiotics and other medications are often prescribed to help the body recuperate from the ailment. What those medications fail to do, however, is increase the body’s immunity. That’s where yoga comes in!
Yoga boosts immunity by:
Conditioning the lungs and respiratory tract
Lessening inflammation throughout the body
Eliminating toxins from the body by stimulating the lymphatic system
Increasing oxygenated blood to various organs, ensuring their optimal function
Lowering stress hormones that compromise the immune system
“Yoga is unlike other forms of exercise that focus only on certain parts of the body,” says Kathleen Fry, M.D., president of the American Holistic Medicine Association in Scottsdale, Arizona. “Yoga works on everything.”
Here are some simple poses to aide in keeping your immune system in tip top shape:
Seated Spinal Twist – Activates the secondary organs of the immune system
Child Pose – Effective in decongestion and relaxation
Downward Facing Dog – Encourages movement of white blood cells that help prevent infection
Bridge Pose – Boosts energy by improving blood circulation
Seated Forward Bend – Diminishes lethargy and anxiety
Plow Pose – Stimulates the thyroid gland and strengthens the nervous system
If the threat of sickness is weighing on your mind, grab your mat and give your immune system a well-deserved boost!
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