5 Yoga Poses to Boost Your Immune System

The cold and flu viruses are our seasonal friends. We’re not getting rid of them anytime soon, so we’ve got to do our best to live with them. You may have your nutrition game on lock but if you’re over-stressed, under-rested and stiff as a board, you’re more likely to take on the deleterious effects of either virus.

What’s the best way to enjoy relaxation while staying energized and healthy? Yoga. In fact, one study showed that yoga positively alters gene expression to boost immunity. These five poses are the perfect way to boost your immune system during this often stressful and vulnerable season.

Legs Up the Wall

If you’re already feeling fatigued, then start with restorative poses like Legs Up the Wall. Restorative poses are easy to get into and out of while allowing your entire body to rest and relax.

While this is a mild inversion, any inversion provides a major benefit for the body. Inversions allow blood flow to be reversed. Normally veins and lymph tissue work to circulate fluid from your feet back up towards your torso. Inversions give your veins and lymph tissue a boost which helps to purify your body and keep your immune system in tip-top shape.

This pose is exactly how it sounds. You’ll lay on your back with your hips at the edge of the wall and floor. Sit at less than a 90-degree angle so blood continues to flow. Your legs are straight up into the air against the wall with about one or two inches of space between your butt and the wall.

You may immediately notice your lower back release and a slight stretch on the back of your legs. It’s okay to rest in this position for about 10 minutes. If your legs begin to tingle, then gently exit the posture and reset in Shavasana (corpse pose), lying flat on the floor.

Cobra

If you’re prone to respiratory infections or have asthma, then cobra pose is perfect for you. Cobra opens your heart and lungs, stretches your abdomen and strengthens your lower back.

Lie flat on the floor on your stomach. Place the palm of your hands on the ground beneath your shoulders and pull your elbows in, next to your rib cage. Gently press the tops of your feet into the ground, strengthen your legs, and use your lower back to elevate your chest and head. There should be no weight in your hands.

Spinal Twist

Yoga poses work by strengthening and stretching the muscles and gently massaging the organs. Spinal twist provides movement to stimulate your kidneys, bladder, intestines, stomach and other internal organs. The squeeze and release motion allows for fresh blood to pulse into the organs and cleanse them of toxins and other build-up.

Lie flat on the floor with your arms at your sides and your legs hip-width distance apart. Gently bend one knee up with the toes gently hooked behind the other knee. Use the opposite hand to assist your knee to the floor over the other leg. Lift the other arm straight into the air and twist into the opposite direction. Your hand may or may not reach the floor. And your shoulder may or may not reach the floor. Feel the twist first in your hips and lower back as it spirals up through your torso, neck and head. Your gaze should be in the direction of your outstretched arm.

You can relax completely into this pose. Or you can tighten your abs and keep the straight leg flexed and strengthen to deepen the stretch.

Bridge

The thymus gland acts as a hub for the immune system and rests between the lungs in the middle of the chest behind the sternum. Bridge pose allows the lungs, heart and thymus gland to be stretched and stimulated. At the same time, you’re building strength in your hips, butt, legs and pelvic floor muscles which alleviates stress and tension commonly held in these areas.

Lie on the floor and bend your knees up with your feet flat and hip-width distance. Your arms are straight down your side. Your fingertips should just barely touch the back of your heels. Flatten your neck and spine along the floor. Use your glutes, legs and feet to lift your hips off the floor. Reduce pressure in your neck by distributing weight into your shoulders, glutes and feet. You can gently roll your shoulders under and clasp your hands beneath your body to open your chest and lungs even more.

Child’s Pose

Another restorative pose, child’s pose, alleviates stress and tension in your entire body. Your nervous system becomes quiet as you ease into the pose deeper and deeper. Such deep relaxation allows your body to switch from a stressful state to a healing and restorative state.

Kneel down and sit on your feet with your knees hip-width distance apart. If you find it difficult to sit directly on your feet, you can use a pillow, blanket or other cushion to prop you up. Then slowly round down. Tuck your chin to your chest and then one vertebrae at a time. Leave your arms on the ground at your side. Or, for a shoulder stretch, reach your arms straight out in front of you. Rest your forward on the group. Take several deep breaths in and out as you release tension throughout your body.

Don’t let stress beat down your immune system. Work hard but take care of yourself, too. Use these five poses as a start to keep your immune system healthy.

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Photo Credit: Stocksnap

280 comments

Tania N
Tania N2 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Tania N
Tania N2 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Sonia M

Interesting post thanks for sharing

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Marie W
Marie W3 months ago

thanks for sharing

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Sandra Vito
Sandra Vito8 months ago

Thanks

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Aries N
Aries N9 months ago

Thanks for sharing

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joan silaco
joan silaco9 months ago

TYFS

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Julia S
Julia S9 months ago

Thank you!

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Peggy B
Peggy B9 months ago

Noted

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Patrice Z
Patrice Z9 months ago

Yoga is healthy in so many ways. For those interested, consider some of the philosophical teachings of Yoga, too--not just the poses.

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