Yoga and the immune system
Before talking about how yoga helps our immune system, let’s first look at what is the immune system is!
What is the immune system
The immune system is defined as “the set of organs, cells and tissues that have the function of preserving the organism by destroying or blocking any external agents, such as bacteria, viruses, parasites”
It works as a sort of ‘surveillance service’ to eliminate abnormal body tissue, as well as cancerous tissue in the early stages of growth.
Amongst the most common symptoms that signal a malfunction of this system we mention constant colds and sore throats, chronic fatigue, allergies, skin rashes and intestinal problems.
How the immune system works
The most important immune cells are the white blood cells; the other components of the immune system instead belong to the lymphatic system which acts as a transporter of fluids towards the circulatory system.
In addition to filtering and draining (which is why lymphatic drainage massage is so popular as an anti-cellulite) the lymphatic system plays a very important role in delivering foreign agents to those organs capable of defending our body such as the spleen, lymph nodes and lymphatic vessels.
It is therefore clear how the immune and lymphatic systems are closely interconnected and why it is so important to take care of them.
Yoga and the immune system
The combination of constant exercise, healthy eating, breathing exercises and meditation allows us to keep ourselves in balance on all levels, naturally and effortlessly improving our immune system.
In fact, the yogic lifestyle allows us to promote the regularity of the lymphatic system and with it obtain better blood circulation and good detoxification.
By practicing yoga consistently, we reduce the harmful effects of stress, ensure the proper functioning of all our organs and improve respiratory health.
Yoga and the immune system, how does it work?
Through meditation and concentration exercises we can also improve our level of stress management in everyday life, taking the right distances from the impact that emotions have on us.
Yoga is therefore recommended not only for sports lovers or to optimize the results of professional sportsmen, but for anyone who wants to take care of their health in the long term. By practicing constantly, you will get prevention from the most common physical and mental diseases.
How to boost immunity with yoga.
Among the main asanas that can increase immunity and improve breathing we find some of the simplest positions such as sukhasana or simple sitting, or balasana position of the child which, thanks to the release of tension in the lower back, promotes relaxation.
Great poses could also be:
- Bhujangasana or Cobra pose (cobra position) which together with Dhanurasana or Bow pose (bow position – inverted bridge) allow an intense opening of the chest, the strengthening of the back muscles and the stimulation of the thyroid gland. They are both ideal after a sedentary day. They improve blood flow and putting pressure on the digestive tract also help us in cases of slow digestion, relieving pressure on the liver and reducing the load on the immune system.
- Savasana or Corpse Pose Position of the corpse). It reduces anxiety and blood pressure and is effective in treating insomnia. In fact, in this position we must completely relax the mind and body by focusing only on breathing. It is always practiced in closure for 5-15 minutes in order to make the body register the benefits of the practice at a deep level.
- Paschimottanasana or Seated Forward Bend pose. This pose, when done well, also improves digestion, also provides relief from nasal congestion and reduces anxiety. Like all forward bending positions, both standing and sitting, it counteracts the compression of the vertebrae, so they should be performed with caution in cases of specific problems. This position also allows us to work on the hamstrings and the most often shortened hamstrings. For this reason, we recommend always gradual work, bending the knees if necessary to allow the back to stretch as much as possible.
These positions can also be performed alone, possibly after having practiced them under the guidance of a teacher; Each asana must be maintained for five, maximum ten complete breaths each. The most important thing is always to listen to yourself.
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