Everybody is familiar with the effect physical exercise has on their overall health.
Having this in mind, it comes as no surprise that yoga doesn’t just serve to keep your body in shape, but also to solve many health issues you might have with pain, your back, malfunctions of many organs – the list is endless.
Did you know that it is also a fantastic way of boosting your immune system?
However, many doubt the effect yoga can have on your overall health, whereas many others find the poses too challenging to be done right.
We will show you several simple poses everyone can do and point out the benefits they have on your immune system. If you don’t trust us, try them, see what happens. We are sure you will feel better in no time!
What is Yoga?
Many are intimidated by yoga because they know little about its true essence. But, if they familiarized themselves with all the benefits this activity can bring, nobody would doubt it, and everybody would do it. You don’t have to be an expert to do it, you just need to find proper motivation.
Yoga is a combination of physical and mental exercises. This combination is perfectly described with its name – yoga. It comes from the Sanskrit word “Yuji”, which means union. The point of the exercises is to bring the mind and the body in a state of symbiosis – to make them work in harmony which would benefit them both.
There are many types of yoga, however, in order to achieve the balance between your mind and your body, the basic one, called the “Hatha” yoga will do just fine. Of course, if you grow to love it, nobody can prevent you from exploring the wondrous world of yoga further.
Benefits of Yoga
1) It Improves Strength, Balance, and Flexibility
Even though some yoga poses may seem simple and impossible to do, every single one of them can influence your body’s strength in amazing ways. And as you get more advanced, you will have more strength to further progress.
In addition, you will learn how to achieve balance and you will become flexible like you have never been before. There is nothing better than setting your body free, making it capable of achieving anything!
2) It Provides Stress Relief
Multiple studies have shown that, when a person does yoga, their cortisol levels go down. And cortisol is a hormone that increases stress levels in the body. So, the more cortisol your body produces, the more stressed you are. Less cortisol, thus, means, less stress.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to come home from work and relieve all that stress with a series of simple exercises?
Yes, we know, pouring a glass of wine is much simpler and more fun, but it wouldn’t have the same effect. You can always pour that glass of wine after half an hour of yoga and double on your enjoyment, drinking your liquor completely stress-free. Much more satisfying, don’t you think?
3) It Provides Anxiety Relief
There are things even a bottle of wine cannot solve. Yes, stress can be a short-term problem, but what to do with anxiety? It is a state that requires much more attention and sometimes even medication.
Why not try to deal with it in the most natural of ways? By doing a couple of simple yoga poses, you can solve the problem with anxiety for good. Or, at least deal with the strength of its manifestation. You have to agree it’s worth a try.
It has to do with yoga emphasizing the importance of completely immersing yourself in the present moment, finding that sense of utter tranquility. Achieving that moment of peace could help you treat your anxiety successfully.
4) It Reduces Inflammation
When your body decides to react to something endangering it, it causes an inflammatory process. However, if the process of inflammation becomes chronic, you may end up with many other health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes or even cancer. Many skin concerns, in addition to the skin aging process, are also triggered by inflammation.
Scientific research has shown that people who practiced yoga had lower levels of inflammatory processes than the people who didn’t. This means that yoga influences your entire body on a much deeper level than just purely physical.
5) It Does Wonders for the Heart
The benefits of yoga for people with heart problems are endless. It lowers cardiovascular risk factors – by practicing yoga regularly, you can decrease your cholesterol levels and triglycerides significantly. Doing regular yoga exercises can mean the world to your blood pressure.
It has to do with deep breathing – it lowers your heart rate, makes your heart restore its regular beat. That way, you can improve your circulation which can be beneficial to many other aspects of your health.
6) It Reduces Pain
Chronic pain is something many of us endure during our entire lives. It is very difficult getting up in the morning, pain being the first thing you have to feel. Whether it is chronic back pain, knees, or any other type of pain, it can be quite exhausting.
Having to take painkillers every day is not a preferable solution, now, is it? It can bring you more harm than good. Why not resort to a natural way of relieving the pain, if there is one at hand?
Practicing yoga, the movements, the breathing, can help you reduce the levels of your pain considerably, if not eliminate if completely. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? Getting up in the morning, not feeling pain? It only takes you a couple of minutes a day.
Which Yoga Poses Can Boost Your Immune System?
1) Sphinx Pose
How to do it:
First, you have to lie down flat on the stomach. Then you need to start lifting your shoulders slowly. Extend the hands in front of yourself, not all the way, they need to be slightly bent at the elbows. Relax the lower part of the body while lifting the neck. Go back to the initial position. You need to keep breathing the entire time – breathe in through the nose and breathe out through the mouth.
This pose is perfect if you have troubles with anxiety or depression. It is best done in the morning, since it gives the body the energy it needs to start the day, while at the same time soothing the mind. This is a perfect pose if you have stomach pain – it will go away faster than you can say yoga!
2) Standing Backbend
How to do it:
First, you need to stand up straight – then you need to use your core muscles to move your body upright and back. Put your hands on the lower part of your back, while breathing in. That way, you allow your body to lift and extend backward. You need to remain in this position for a couple of deep breaths, then go back to the initial position.
This exercise is perfect for balancing your adrenal glands out, which can be under a lot of pressure due to the amounts of stress you are enduring throughout the day. It helps your lungs get more oxygen and opens the nasal passage. After a couple of days of doing this exercise, you will see that you don’t have that much difficulty breathing while doing your everyday chores.
3) Triangle Pose
How to do it:
You need to put your front foot toes facing forwards and back foot toes at a 45-degree angle. Move your hand towards the mat, on the underside of your body, next to your ankle. Then you put your other arm way up while making sure your chest is in line with your hips, and then lift the chest. Repeat the procedure several times while inhaling and exhaling deeply.
It is said that we carry a lot of tension in our hips and this pose is excellent for relieving our hips from tension. It is good for releasing all the negative energy that has been building up. It is also beneficial for your respiratory system, and it helps with breathing.
4) Eagle Pose
How to do it:
Reach your arms to the side, while opening up your chest. Move your arms back and exhale. Wrap them by putting your left elbow underneath, and then wrap up the wrists. If you can’t do this, you can try holding on to your shoulders. Bend your knees as you are going to sit on a chair, putting your bottom behind. Put all the weight into your left foot, move the knee towards the chest and then wrap the leg around the one on the floor. Lower your body further, to extend all the muscles and to feel your sore muscles working.
This pose is a unique way of boosting your circulation and your immune system. The point of the movements lies in the squeezing of your arms and legs while wrapping them. That boosts circulation and helps your body release toxins.
5) Happy Baby Pose
How to do it:
You first need to lie on your back and bend your knees towards your torso while exhaling. Grab your feet with your hands and open your knees wider than your upper body and bring them towards your armpits. Now you have to create resistance by pulling your hands down and pushing your feet up. You can also try and do a rocking motion from side to side for some extra perks.
This position is ideal for nourishing your body with gentle movement. It is yet another pose that helps release toxins from your body, while also stimulating your kidneys and digestion. Isn’t it amazing how a simple movement can heal your body in such a way? Truly inspiring.
6) Half Lord of the Fishes
How to do it:
Sit on the mat and put both of your legs straight in front of you. Then raise your right leg and put it over your left leg while bending it in the knee. Your foot needs to be fully on the mat. While you inhale, you need to put your right palm behind your lower back and move your left elbow outside your right knee. Lengthen your spine and look over your right shoulder while exhaling.
Twists like these are believed to relieve the body of the surplus of toxins that have been building up through poor diet and improper digestion. These toxins are a real fertile ground for many possible inflammations, so it is best to get rid of them in any possible way. This pose is also good if you have problems with back pain, since it decompresses and nourishes the spine. All in all, it is perfect for boosting your body’s immune response, making you stronger every day.
7) Forward Fold
How to do it:
Sometimes the simplest exercises are the most beneficial ones. This pose is direct proof you need not be a yoga instructor in order to help your body be healthy. It is pretty basic and can be done by anyone, with huge benefits to the body.
Put your feet hip-distance apart, move your body downwards while slightly bending your knees. Put your hand on the floor. If you can’t reach the floor, put them on a block, or any kind of surface, or your ankles. If this is too demanding, don’t worry, you can grab your calves or thighs instead. Stay in that position for as long as you can, inhaling and exhaling slowly.
After you are done, you need to go back in an upwards position very slowly, in order to prevent any dizziness or nausea. So, be careful, no sudden movements.
This pose is excellent for making your blood flow. It boosts circulation and nourishes the whole body. It is also favorable for your sinuses, as it relieves them from congestion. We all know that sinuses and all our nasal passages are the first in line for preventing outside irritants from getting in and causing an infection. That is why it is essential for them to remain healthy, and there is no better way than doing yoga.