Yoga for Immunity
Anytime you stimulate the lymphatic system, we help to flush out toxins in the body that could potentially make you ill. Our body has lymph nodes all over- in our throat, arms, even our intestines! When we stimulate the lymph nodes with massage or exercise, we help to boost our immune system. Here are some yoga poses for giving your immune system a hearty boost.
Anytime you do twisting or forward folding, you help to stimulate lymphatic drainage in the lymphatic follicles on the inside of the intestines known as Peyer’s Patches. This gentle twist helps to squeeze those follicles, while also being gentle on the spine. Just make sure that instead of “crunching” into the twist, you find length through the crown of the head on the inhale and then , from that feeling of extension and space between the vertebrae, rotate into your twist.
Shoulder Stand or Headstand
Getting upside down helps to increase circulation and reduce fluid retention. Just be careful doing either of these postures if you have any neck issues or suffer from chronic neck pain. If performing headstand, start by practicing against a wall to promote safety. Extra added benefit: my yoga teacher in India would say that a headstand a day keeps the plastic surgeon away (!) as it increases blood flow in the face and is essentially a free facelift!
Any “Sun Salutation” on Youtube will do! Modify it as you need! Moving through these dynamic breath-to-movement postures will help to get your sweating out toxins and help boost the immune system by activating increased circulation and release of endorphins by getting that sweet heart beating.
Chill the heck out with Savasana
When our nervous system is in “fight or flight”, even low level anxiety can cripple our immune system as our body says, “oh, hey. I need to be ready to fight? I’ll allocate more energy to muscles and explosive energy than to digestive organs or immunity”. Moving from the “fight or flight” nervous system to the “rest and digest” nervous system can help boost immunity, improve digestion, help with IBS, and relieve anxiety in the body. To move into this sunny side of the nervous system, relax in savasana (corpse pose) and get comfy. Cover yourself in a blanket. Light a candle. Put on relaxing music. Follow the sound of your breath or let yourself drift off. Relaxxxxx…. Feel better?
Make sure to drink lots of water to help flush out the system after doing these postures so your body can flush out the toxins released.
Other practices that help increase immunity are massage (including self massage), dry brushing, any kind of exercise, drinking lots of delicious water, and eating lots of fruits and veggies. We intuitively know this, but putting it into practice can sometimes be a struggle. Is there one thing you can change today? What are you drinking? Go get some water!
You’re on your way to hearty immunity.