Yoga is an exercise for your mind, body and soul. It is known to boost immunity, expand your breathing capacities and promote general physical, emotional and mental well-being. And as India grapples with the realities of living with COVID-19 for a considerable time to come, yoga has never been seen with such importance as it is being seen today.
Yoga, a lifestyle regime that’s been tried and tested for centuries, insulates you against a COVID-19 infection by improving your inner immunity, and by improving your breathing. Laboured breathing and chest pain are two of the most prominent symptoms of corona virus infection.
Since no vaccines or sure-shot cures have yet been developed and many countries are not facing more lockdowns sure to second waves of infections, we must then look at things like yoga which can help us build better immunity against these infections.
Here are a few great yoga poses that are known to build immunity.
- Seated Forward Bend Pose or Paschimottanasana
The paschimottanasana is one of the best yoga asanas out there for boosting immunity. Also, it is great to target belly fat and offers relief from stress, depression and anxiety. Though the pose looks easy to do when one watches a video or reads up on the instructions, it is one of the most difficult ones to execute, especially if you have tight hamstrings or low flexibility.
To do the asana, just bring you arms straight out from the sides and over your head to reach the ceiling as you seat yourself firmly on a mat. As you inhale, elongate your spine. Exhale slowly and bend forward, hinging at your hips. Go as low as you can without bending your knees and hold the pose for a few minutes. You can find detailed instructions in the video below.
- Shoulder Pose or Kandharasana
Though kandharasana is better known for its benefits for better menstrual health in women, it is a great immunity booster. The asana works on the thymus gland, which produces T cells or immune cells that are responsible for our body’s defence mechanisms.
To do this asana, lie down flat on your back and then bend your legs at the knees. Leaving your hands on either side of your body reach down to hold your ankles. Inhale and slowly raise your hips up ensuring that other than your flat feet and shoulders every part of your torso is raised above the ground. See video below for a real demo.
Raised Hands Pose or Hasta Utthanasana
One of the best asanas to strengthen your lungs is the hasta uttanasana or raised hands pose. Other than promoting overall good health, it specifically promotes enhanced blood flow to the lungs, granting them the strength to stand up to respiratory infections.
To do this asana, stand straight with your hands loosely by your side. Now bring your arms forward and cross your arms over each other with the right arm overlapping the left. Inhale and raise your arms to shoulder level. Exhale and take them higher, above your head. Tilt your head up and look at your interlocked palms and maintain this posture for a few minutes. The video below gives better, visual instructions.
Lying Locked Angle Pose or Supta Baddhakonasana
The supta baddhakonasana is another great meditative pose that promotes sleep and general wellbeing. It is also a fantastic immunity booster that works on the brain to activate the immunity functions of your body. Meditative poses such as this one have proven to increase the level of immune cells in your body.
To do this pose, lie down flat on your back. Keep your feet together by connecting the soles of your feet, while your hands lie palms up by your side or flat on your belly, whichever you prefer. Close your eyes and savour the relaxing posture for at least 5 minutes if not more. See the video below to get the pose perfectly right.
To get the best benefits of yoga for immunity, endeavour to practise it daily for at least 30 minutes. To build immunity against COVID-19 try to pick yoga poses that strengthen the lungs and respiratory system on the whole, such as chest opener poses and backbends. There is no immunity-boosting yoga pose better than pranayama since it acts on your breathing while relaxing you both internally and externally. Yoga is truly your best bet in COVID-19 defence.