The raging Coronavirus pandemic has made personal health and wellness the utmost priority for many of us. At-home workouts, a nutritious diet and a well-rested mind go a long way in making sure your immunity is at an optimum level.
And, one such fitness routine that promises that is the practice of Yoga.
"Yoga techniques assist in lowering stress hormones in your body, this is what enhances the immune system and prevents it from weakening. Apart from this, Yoga conditions the lungs and respiratory tract, stimulates the lymphatic system removing toxins from the body, and ensures the optimal functioning of your organs," says celebrity Yoga expert and Himalayan Siddha, Grand Master Akshar.
He also adds that many types of research have proven that practising even 20 minutes a day can increase endorphins. These are feel-good chemicals within the body that aid in decreasing cortisol levels which cause stress. This in turn leads to a positive state of mind that improves overall health. Yoga and meditation practices are known to improve your immunity.
He suggests practising the following routine to improve your immune system:
• Begin on your stomach
• Fold your knees to grab onto your ankles with your palms
• Inhale and lift your legs and arms up as much as you can
• Balance on your stomach
• Look up and hold the posture for a while
Word of Advice
• Avoid if you have injured your shoulders, wrists, back and/or neck
• Pregnant women must not perform this posture
• Avoid this posture if you have had any recent abdominal or neck surgery
• Fold your legs at your knees and ensure that your feet are placed firmly on the floor
• Place your palms next to your ears, with fingers pointing forward
• Inhale, and lift your entire body up
• Allow your head to fall gently behind and try to keep your neck relaxed
• Distribute your body weight evenly between your feet and palms
Word of Advice
The posture is not recommended if you are suffering from any kind of back injury or spinal problems. Those who have a condition of glaucoma, and/or high blood pressure should avoid this pose.
• Begin in Dandasana stretching your legs out forward
• You can keep your knees slightly bent
• Reach your arms up and keep your spine straight
• Exhale as you bend forward from the hip
• Hold your big toes with your fingers
• Hold the asana for a while
• Begin in Samasthithi
• Exhale and fold forward with your upper body
• Drop your head and relax your shoulders and neck
• Try to bring the trunk closer to the legs
• Place palms on either side of feet
• Try to keep the legs and knees straight throughout the practice
• Hold this asana for a while
• Kneel on the yoga mat and place your hands on the hips.
• Simultaneously, arch your back and slide your palms over your feet till the arms are straight.
• Do not strain or flex your neck but keep it in a neutral position.
• Stay in this posture for a couple of breaths.
• Breathe out and slowly come back to the initial pose. Withdraw your hands and bring them back to your hips as you straighten up.
• Lie down flat on your stomach with your palms placed under your thighs
• Inhale completely (Purak), hold your breath (Kumbakh) and then lift your legs up together
• Ensure that your knees remain straight and feet are together
• Place your chin or forehead on the ground
• Hold the posture for 10 seconds, slowly bringing your legs down and then exhale breath (Rechak) – This breathing technique is therapeutic
By practising asanas like Chakrasana, Dhanurasana and Ustrasana, the chest expands and the lungs get more oxygen. This is especially important to increase oxygen levels in the body. This makes the pose beneficial to prevent respiratory diseases like Coronavirus. Yoga also reduces the stress and tension in the body which affects your immunity positively. You can also modify your diet to add healthier, and natural foods to them. Work on your immune system by consuming fruits and vegetables that provide you with Vitamin C.