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No-frills Yoga: Boost your immune system naturally

June 19 2020
Boost your immune system with Yoga 
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As life swings back to the new normal after the lockdown has lifted, we are faced with newer challenges. The biggest one is stepping out of our homes to resume our work life in times when COVID-19 cases in India have not even ceased to multiply. So what could be that one thing that can guard us against the COVID-19 pandemic other than wearing a mask, using a hand sanitiser, maintaining social distancing and getting a health cover? It’s our very own immune system! It is a pre-requisite to keep it strong and what could be a better way to do so naturally than through some easy yoga poses.

Yoga has proven time and again that it can help reduce our stress levels and keep us calm. Stress, on the other hand, is known to have an adverse impact on our immune system because of the chronic inflammation that it triggers. So when yoga has an anti-inflammatory effect on our body, in a way it ends up keeping our immune system intact. As a result, we are in a better position to defend our health from infections or flu.

Read more about how you can support your immunity against COVID-19

Now, yoga can’t do much for you if you only keep watching some amazing ‘How to do yoga to boost immunity’ videos all the time. Also, it won’t help to start practising yoga and then give up in 3-4 weeks. For yoga to work for you, you need to keep practicing it with consistency. Don’t be turned off thinking you don’t have a fancy mat, activewear, belts, or bricks to get started with yoga. Yoga, in its purest form as practised in ancient India, still proves to be equally fruitful to health. Hence, on the occasion of International Yoga Day, we have put together a yoga sequence that will help you reduce stress and boost your immune system without you having to depend upon any extra gears.

Start by doing a gentle warm-up of 5-10 minutes:

  • Rotate your head clockwise and anti-clockwise.
  • Swing your arms in circles.
  • Do some jumping jacks.
  • Twist your waist, stretch towards the left side and then right.
  • Move your ankles in circles.

Once you feel your heartbeat rising gradually, it’s about time to begin the yoga asanas.

1. Trikonasana (Triangle pose)

Known to strengthen your shoulders, chest, core and legs, this pose leaves you feeling relaxed.

Trikonasana (Triangle pose) 
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Duration: Hold the pose for 30 seconds. Take 5 to 10 deep breaths. Repeat 3 times on every leg.

Benefits of triangle pose: Releases the tension in your shoulders, reduces stress and anxiety, improves blood circulation, concentration and balance. It is considered to be one of the best yoga poses that boost your immune system.

2. Uttanasana (Forward Fold)

This is a powerful pose where oxygen reaches your brain since it is at a lower position than your heart, leaving your cells energised.

Uttanasana (Forward Fold) 
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Duration: Hold the pose for 15-30 seconds and take deep breaths.

Benefits of forward fold: Eases congestion in sinuses, thereby boosting your immunity. Relieves stress, anxiety and beats insomnia. Keeps you calm.

3. Bhujangasana (Cobra pose)

This pose falls under Suryanamaskar (sun salutation). It opens your lungs, strengthens your spine and increases your energy.

Bhujangasana (Cobra pose) 
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Duration: Hold the pose for 15-30 seconds and breathe normally.

Benefits of corbra pose: Relieves stress and fatigue, elevates your mood. Also helps with asthma and breathing problems.

4. Shishuasana (Child pose)

This pose will help you relax after you have nailed the earlier three poses. Unlike the others that must be done in the morning, you can do this pose whenever you need a break in the middle of a stressful day.

Shishuasana (Child pose) 
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Duration: Hold for 1 to 3 minutes.

Benefits of child pose: Works best for getting a sound sleep, eases back pain, relaxes your entire body and boosts your immune system by stimulating the lymphatic system.

5. Matsyasana (Fish pose)

When you get into this pose, the thyroid gland is stimulated, which further helps to boost your immunity. Matsyasana also eradicates toxins from your digestive system.

Matsyasana (Fish pose) 
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Duration: Hold the pose for 30-60 seconds. Breathe normally.

Benefits of fish pose: Combats anxiety and fatigue. Helps with respiratory problems, eases back pain, releases tension in your neck and shoulders.

6. Viparita Karani (Legs up the wall)

A fairly simple pose, but you can’t imagine a yoga sequence to boost your immune system without it. It relaxes your nervous system and thus helps to strengthen your immunity.

Viparita Karani (Legs up the wall) 
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Duration: Start by holding the pose for 5 minutes, then increase the duration with practice.

Benefits of legs up the wall pose: Relieves stress, headache, migraine, insomnia, anxiety and menstrual cramps. It is also known to help with fertility problems.

7. Anand Balasana (Happy baby pose)

It can help you end your yoga session on a fun note. It is a great pose to detoxify your hips and calm your mind.

Anand Balasana (Happy baby pose) 
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Duration: Hold the pose for 30-60 seconds. Breathe normally.

Benefits of happy baby pose: Releases tension from your lower back, increases vitality, reduces stress and fatigue, elevates mood and rejuvenates your mind. Thus, working wonders to boost your immunity.

5 health tips you should not miss to follow even on a busy day:

  • Meditate
  • Eat on time
  • Get enough sleep
  • Drink enough water
  • Add green veggies to your diet

While you resolve to switch to a healthier way of life with the help of yoga, it is also important to know that yoga is not a replacement for medication or treatment. It is only a preventive step that you can take to keep yourself safe during the COVID-19 outbreak. Our health insurance is another way to stay secure as it not only covers your hospitalisation during a pandemic but also pays for your in-patient AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani and Siddha) treatment.

The stress and anxiety you face trying to adapt to the new normal are for real, and yoga is an ultimate solution to combat them. So, take a deep breath, set the alarm to an early morning hour and practice your way to a stronger immunity!

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