10 Yoga poses to boost your immunity amid the COVID-19 outbreak
As a deadly coronavirus outbreak is taking all over the world, an individual’s health has never been this much important.
Immunity is the most spelled word at this time for a reason as the people having a lack of immunity are at major risk of virus infections.
So what is the immune system?
The immune system is a defense mechanism spread throughout our body for protecting vital organs from the outside attacks. It keeps our body functions safe from infectious bacteria and viruses just like fighters.
Furthermore, stress, poor lifestyle, unhealthy diet, and anxiety are some of the factors you’ve weak immunity.
Though, yoga is at the rescue. Regular practice of several yoga poses helps to boost your immunity as well as beat that immunity weakened hormones. These poses are simple yet effective and can be done at home easily.
Here are the 10 yoga poses to boost your immunity and stay healthy, both mentally as well as physically during the pandemic:
1. Inhale-Exhale (Pranayama)
Nothing is better than a calm and relaxed state and this is what exactly our first yoga pose does.
Inhale-Exhale is a basic yet effective yoga exercise to help you reduce stress and put you in a calming mode, which in turn, increases the immunity system.
Sitting and breathing deeply mainly focuses on your breath throughout the body.
How to Do:
- Sit straight in a comfortable position with legs crossed.
- Take a deep breath while concentrating on your inhale.
- Hold for few seconds or till you feel comfortable.
- Exhale slowly.
Repeat this for 5-10 minutes or till the time you feel okay.
2. Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)
Incredibly beneficiary in both therapeutic and revitalizing, this pose is a great practice to boost your immunity.
Furthermore, the forward-bend and upside-down posture of this asana increases the blood flow to the sinuses and the brain and also ease congestion.
As sinuses and mucus membranes are our body’s first organs to defense against infections, keeping them healthy is crucial and this yoga asana can do it for you.
Not only this, but Uttanasana also calms the mind and soothes nerves by reducing stress, anxiety, and depression. Additionally, it stimulates digestion, strengthens leg muscles, and relieve headache and insomnia too.
How to do:
- Stand straight with your feet hip-distance apart.
- Next, slowly lean forward from your hip than the waist.
- Doing that, bend your knees very slightly and keep hands on the floor, calves, ankle, or thighs, whichever comfortable.
- Bring your head possibly close to the knees as you can see through the gap.
- Stay here for 5-10 breaths.
- Get back to the standing position gently to prevent dizziness.
3. Tree Pose (Vrikshasana)
Vrikshasana or the tree pose is named this because it’s replicating a calming, stable, and balanced stance of a tree.
This is the simplest one beginners can do easily. Amidst the fast-running era and chaos of life, this pose helps to gain equilibrium and serenity at the best.
Moreover, the asana strengthens your legs and core muscles and also invigorates the entire body by a good stretch. It is also said to give relief from sciatica.
How to do:
- Get up to stand straight with your weight equally distributes on both feet.
- Place your arms by the sides of your body.
- While lifting your right leg off the floor, bend it from the knee.
- Land the sole of this foot on the left inner thigh, near the root of the thigh.
- Though, finding your balance keep the left leg straight.
- Being comfortable this way, take a deep breath and raise your arms over your head.
- Bring the palms together in a gesture of “Namaste” (hands-folded).
- With your back in a straight line, have a steady glimpse so you can have a focus on your balance.
- Exhale and nicely return to the initial position. Don’t quickly release the pose, do it in a soft manner.
- Repeat with another leg too!
4. Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
Cobra pose or Bhujangasana is best known for increasing the flexibility of your spine. Falling under a Suryanamaskar (sun salutation), this yoga pose looks much like a raised hood of a cobra.
With lung expansion and improved blood circulation, the pose is at the rescue to strengthen the spine, shoulder, and abdomen muscles.
Furthermore, reducing stress, fatigue, elevating mood, and useful in people with respiratory disorders are some of the other benefits you’ll surely get apart from great immunity.
How to do:
- Lie on your belly in such a way that your legs are extended behind you, few inches apart.
- Let your toes and forehead rest flat on the floor.
- With your palm facing towards the mat, place your hands underneath your shoulders near the torso.
- Inhale as you slowly lift your head, chest as well as abdomen off the floor with the help of your hands. Keep in mind to put equal pressure on both palms.
- Keep your lower body on the mat itself.
- Do a conscious breathing and without overstraining your neck and back, draw the shoulders back away from ears and gaze up.
- Stay in the pose for few breaths or about 30 seconds.
- Breathing out, release the pose by gently bringing your upper body back to the floor.
- If you’re a beginner or have neck pain, avoid to tilt the head back and keep eyes on the floor itself.
- Don’t overstretch. Instead, slowly increase flexibility each day.
5. Fish Pose (Matsyasana)
Widely famous as the “destroyer of all diseases”, Fish Pose is the asana which can give you a range of benefits for the immune system.
Matsyasana also acts as a detoxifying pose as it wipes out all toxins from your digestive tract. Moreover, it may help to releases tension in the neck and shoulders and fight off anxiety and fatigue.
You’ll be happy to hear that it also opens your lungs, alleviates any clogging, and regulate the respiratory tract. And, all this leads the path to boost your immunity!
How to do:
- Begin as you lie down flat on your back.
- Use your forearms to lift your upper body i.e. abdomen, chest, and shoulders.
- Arc your back, place both palms on the thighs or mat. Your thighs and legs will remain on the mat itself.
- You can keep your feet straight together or in a Lotus position.
- Push your head towards the floor so that your top of the head can rest on the mat.
- Take long deep breaths.
- You can stay in this position as long as you feel comfortable.
- Now, return to a very first posture slowly and relax.
6. Downward Dog Pose (Adho mukha svanasana)
Though the name sounds different to you, this yoga pose is named after the way dogs naturally stretch their whole body.
Additionally, known in Sanskrit as Adho mukha svanasana, the pose is also an essential component in sun salutations. It is a very basic posture you’ll be taught in most of the yoga classes.
It’s useful because, it strengthens your whole body while giving flexible stretching to ankles, calves, hamstrings, spine, shoulders, hands, and legs.
Also, the head down than heart posture transfers more blood to the brain. Which results in a calming mind and more energy with less stress or depression.
Furthermore, this asana is a great way to boost your immunity. It clear sinuses and with that also improves digestion and diminishes any headache, back pain, or fatigue.
How to do:
- All you need to do is, come onto the floor on your hands and knees. That means, wrists underneath your shoulders and knees underneath your hips. Just like a dog posture.
- On exhale, tuck your toes little and take your knees off the floor.
- Push your hands forward away from the hips. At the same time, move your pelvis towards the ceiling while straightening your legs.
- You will see your body is now in an “A” shape.
- Do not lock your knees, keep them straight. Your head will be in the middle of your upper arms.
- Firm the muscles of your outer thighs and arms to equally distribute the weight while in the position.
- Bring chest towards thighs as you continue to set pressure on the floor.
- Wait for 30 seconds and come back to the starting position.
7. Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)
As your body takes the shape of an extended triangle, this pose is called Triangle pose or Trikonasana.
Trikonasana involves the whole body as it stretches the muscles and helps the regular functions of organs to get better.
This is one of the great yoga poses to boost your immunity as it stimulates blood circulation in the body and aids digestion too.
Besides this, performing this asana enhances the flexibility of the spine and alleviates backache. It also builds strong legs, knees, chest, and arms.
Because balance is the main concern of the pose, it improves your mental stability too despite physical one by helping with the stress and anxiety.
How to do:
- Take a standing position to place your legs comfortably apart, about 3-4 feet.
- Place your right foot at 90 degrees outside on right while the left foot should be facing forward at 45 degrees inside.
- By doing this, the heel of the right foot will face to the center arch of the left foot.
- Inhale, and while maintaining a balance, spread both the arms parallel with the ground. Make sure if both hands are in one line.
- Start the asana as you exhale and bend your body sideways to the right. Here, you need to bend from below your hips and not the waist.
- Let your right palm touch the floor while the left hand is stretched out towards the ceiling in a straight line with the right one.
- Based on your comfort you can place the right hand on ankle or shin. Set your eyesight on the left hand’s palm on top.
- Try to stretch the maximum you can. Though, be aware to not crunch.
- Relax, hold for few seconds, and inhale while coming up to the normal state.
8. Legs Up the Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)
A quite simple pose yet one of the most relaxing yoga poses for the whole body as a means to boost your immunity.
The posture of a Legs Up the Wall pose tends to raise blood flow to the spine and abdomen and energize your body.
Its restorative effect and enhancement in breathing calm and reset our nervous system completely which is necessary for the optimal immune system.
Additionally, it also said to be good to release any pressure in your back or feet and allow their muscles to restore.
How to do:
- Find a wall and lie down on your back close to it with your legs face the wall.
- Now, roll your feet up onto the wall so that they rest and swing on it.
- By doing this, your upper body will remain on a mat while the back of your legs and hips will stay against the wall.
- Your hands will go by your sides, on the belly, or extended over your head with palms facing up for relaxation.
- Now, your body is at 90 degrees.
- Close your eyes, feel the breaths, and put the body in a resting mode.
- Stay for about 10 minutes.
- To come out, bend your knees, lift your hips with the help of arms and gently get into sitting position.
- If you’ve back problems, you can place a pillow or rolled blanket below your back for the support.
9. Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
Also known as Tadasana, serves the foundation for almost all the variations of yoga asanas. Although it can be used as an initial posture for others poses, it can be done alone to revitalize your body’s natural alignment.
Apart from this, Mountain pose can give you strong back muscles and improve your posture in a good way. In fact, It’s also known to increase children’s height during the formative years.
However, the pose is not just about standing, it is also about feeling calm and composed. Because it clears your lungs as well, you can breathe fully and deeply.
How to do:
- Get up on your feet and be sure to bring them together.
- Straighten your back.
- You can keep and stretch your arms with a variation of your comfort. For example, stretching upwards, palms facing inward, perpendicular to the floor with palms facing ceiling or parallel with each other.
- Now, breathe deeply, firm your inner thigh as you lift your body and stand on your toes.
- Stretch your hands upward or away from your torso.
- Place the whole body weight on the toes and feel the stretching.
- Take 5-10 breaths in this position, exhale and return to starting position.
10. Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)
Resembles an archer’s bow, Dhanurasana is a good asana for your back as it opens the chest and stretches the entire front body. A deep chest stretch is good to ease respiratory ailments.
If your job is to hunch over a computer or sit all day, bow pose can alleviate any discomfort in your back by a deep stretch and relaxation.
Read more: 10 common habits you don’t know are causing back pain
Though we look for increasing immunity, the posture of this yoga puts pressure on your stomach which further stimulates the digestive organs.
How to do:
- Lie flat on your stomach with hands resting at your sides and chin on the mat.
- While exhaling, bend your knees and try to bring your heels as close as you can to your hips.
- Maintain knees distance equal to buttocks width.
- Now, take your hands back and hold your ankles with palms.
- Breathing in, lift your heels up towards the ceiling and thighs away from the mat. Similarly, your head, chest, and upper torso will also go off the mat.
- See in a straight line, breathe and keep a smile on your face.
- You can release after 15-20 seconds by exhaling and gently carry your body to the mat.
Freaky Thought’s upshot
A weakened immune system makes you more vulnerable to catch infectious bacteria and viruses which is terrible in this global epidemic.
As no vaccine are there for COVID-19 right now, all you can depend on is your own defense system – the immune system. Therefore, keeping it healthy and finding ways to boost your immunity should be a top priority.
Yoga is one of the best ways to keep your immunity level high and also benefits the mind and body very well.
The above yoga poses will only take half an hour of your day, but the effects will stay longer. They are easy and ready to get started for beginners efficiently. You should surely give these healthy immune-boosting yoga poses a chance!