By Claire Bostock
With the H1N1 virus becoming a global epidemic just after the SARS scare a few years ago, people are starting to find ways to build up their immunity system from taking tablets to drinking herbal tonics and elixirs. However a simple way to help build up one’s immunity system is actually through a practice of yoga.
Stress has been shown to be a great contributor to weaken the immune system greatly. With a combination of asana practice, pranayama, meditation and relaxation, yoga can help to balance and strengthening the immune system as it reduces the stress hormones that compromise the immune system. A daily practice that combines breath with movement will also help strengthen the respiratory & circulatory systems stimulating the lymphatic system to move toxins out of the body and bring more oxygenated blood to the various organs ensuring their healthful function. Yoga also generates a balanced energy which is the key energy required for the immune system.
Looking closer at the immune system, it consists of the thymus glands, the spleen, lymph node and other organs. These organs are involved in generating & circulating immune cells and antibodies. Yoga poses that twist and compress these organs will help to massage & stimulate these organs allowing more immune cells & antibodies to be generated. A few postures that will help stimulate the immune system are the Tortoise pose ( Kurmasana) that helps stimulate the thymus glands, Inversions & forward bends such as Downward Facing Dog ( Adha Mukha Svanasana) help to drain the sinuses, Chest & lung openers such as Camel pose (Ustrasana) and Cobra Pose ( Bhujangasana) which also help to flush out the lungs & Restorative yoga poses such as Corpse Pose (Shavasana) and Shoulder Stand (Shasangasana) which help calm the nervous system down and strengthen the body’s immune response.
The thymus gland also corresponds to the fourth chakra and these postures if combined with fourth chakra sounds such as its mantra sound of “yum” or vowel sound of “ay” will improve the immune response. Yogic breathing practices such as Kapalbahti (breath of fire) or just slow deep Ujjayi breathing done in chest opening postures will not only help to stimulate the thymus gland but also induce a sense of calmness and relaxation that will help boost the immune system further.
Combining a yoga practice with a diet rich in antioxidants such as Vitamin C & E which help protect the body against free radicals, and also antibacterial agents such as finely chopped or grated fresh garlic will go a long way to help strengthen your immunity system. Start taking charge of your health today by doing a little yoga practice to help boost your immunity especially in these times of raging flu pandemics.
https://www.absolutesanctuary.com Claire Bostock a former banker turned yoga instructor & counselor is a Thailand-based writer who is the Executive Director of Absolute Sanctuary, Thailand’s Premier Detox & Yoga resort. https://www.absolutesanctuary.com