Since the 5th century, yoga has benefited people by keeping the body and mind healthy. Most asanas make the body strong and flexible, and as health improves, the mind too is renewed with confidence. The practice of Pranayama regulates the purification of the internal system and organs, acting as a superior and capable complement to asanas. The energy that is generated in the body through these physical practices is then channeled into meditation or dhyan for stability, peace and calm. Yoga is known to boost our immunity and also to treat respiratory disorders. Pranayama or breathing exercises increase our oxygen consumption up to five times. Thanks to this rich oxygenation of the blood to the brain, heart, lungs and digestive systems, the functioning of our organs is greatly improved, thus improving our overall health as well. Here are some yoga asanas that help improve the immune system:
Trikonasana or triangle pose
This is one of the best yoga asanas to improve your immune system.
Stand up straight with your feet wider than your hips and your hands at your sides.
Now turn your right foot to the right and keep your left foot facing you.
Bend your body from the waist to the right side and try to touch your right foot.
Raise your left hand.
Hold the position for 5 breaths and return to the starting position.
Repeat the same on the other side.
It also strengthens your arms, legs, ankles and chest and improves blood circulation in your body.
Aids in digestion, burns fat and keeps your mind calm.
Bhujangasana or Cobra Pose
You can practice this asana in the morning or in the evening but leave some space after your meal.
Lie face down on the floor with your feet together.
Keep your palms under your shoulders and lift your upper body to resemble the raised hood of a snake.
Tilt your head back and roll your shoulder back. Hold this position for about 30 seconds.
Bhujangasana increases your metabolism and improves the digestive system.
It also boosts your immunity and elevates your mood.
Vrikshasana or tree pose
When performing this pose, you should keep your eyes open if you are a beginner and maintain your balance. Try this pose with your eyes closed if you are an advanced practitioner.
Start with your feet together.
Now shift your body weight onto your left leg and lift your right leg. Place your right foot on the inner thigh of your left leg.
Now join your palms in namaste in front of your chest and lift it above your head.
Hold this position for a minute and repeat on the other side.
Strengthens the lower body.
Tadasana or mountain pose
Practice this asana on an empty stomach. Its benefits include improving your digestion, blood circulation, and balance.
Start with your feet together.
Raise your hands to the sky stretching your body.
Now slowly lift your heels and stand on your toes. Hold this position for about 30 to 60 seconds.
It prepares your body and soothes your mind.
It improves overall body posture and creates self-awareness.
Matsyasana or fish pose
The fish pose or matsyasana has many benefits. It can boost your immunity and digestive system. It also helps you sleep better and relieves neck and shoulder pain.
Lie on the mat with your knees bent and your feet flat.
Straighten your legs and place your arms on either side of your ears/shoulders.
Exhale as you bend your elbows and push your upper body down to the floor.
Raise your chest and tilt your head back.
Place the crown of your head down.
Hold this pose for 5-8 seconds and inhale as you lower your back to the floor.
Strengthen the neck.
Stimulates digestive function.
Relieves neck and shoulder pain.
The power of pranayama
The breathing techniques in yoga are called pranayama, and when practiced regularly, they can have a powerful impact on your health and immune system. Bhastrika, Brahmari, Kapal Bhati and Anulom Vilom, help build your body’s defense mechanism and also aid in healing and recovery.
(The author is a lifestyle coach and yoga entrepreneur.)