July 22, 2021
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Yoga To Increase Immunity During Covid

Here are five simple asanas and pranayamas that everyone can perform to boost their immunity

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Yoga To Increase Immunity During Covid
Bhrahmari/Humming bee breath 
Yoga To Increase Immunity During Covid
outlookindia.com
2021-06-20T14:48:25+05:30

We have been taken over by coronavirus twice since it emerged in December 2019. During the second wave, more serious health concerns and post-Covid complications were observed. The virus is known to cause fatigue, dizziness and weakness of certain organs in the body. In some cases, a patient also continues to experience the symptoms long after recovery.

Everyone’s doing everything one can to avoid contact with these deadly organisms. Many are going back to the basics as they try to increase their immunity through natural resources. Further, lifestyle changes like eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, consuming juices and coconut water have already been accommodated in many households. Amid such changes, adding some simple yoga and pranayama practices to your routine can be the icing on the cake.

Here are five simple asanas and pranayamas that everyone can perform to boost their immunity:

Bhrahmari/Humming bee breath 

The humming bee breath or the bhrahmari pranayama is an excellent way to relax the eyes, soothe the mind and strengthen the lungs. It also helps alleviate symptoms of migraine and improves concentration and memory. 

How to do it:

● Sit up straight in a comfortable, relaxed posture with eyes closed. 
● Sealing the ears with the index fingers, raise the elbows slightly out on either side. 
● Inhale deeply through the nose then exhale and ‘hum’ loudly, as if emulating a bee. 
● Repeat 5-10 times.

Tadasana/Tree Pose

This simple posture gives a good stretch to the body, especially useful if your lifestyle includes long hours of sitting. Along with increasing immunity, it also strengthens abdominal muscles and improves alignment and posture.

How to do it:

● Plant both feet firmly on the ground to distribute body weight evenly
● Raise arms over the head, interlocking the fingers and turn the palms upward.
● Inhale and stretch the arms up, coming up onto the toes.
● Stay so and breathe, stretching the entire body from top to bottom, without losing balance and remaining grounded. Hold this position.
● Then exhale, come down onto the feet.

Kapalabhati

The Kapalabhati pranayama improves blood circulation and increases oxygenation, thereby calming and uplifting the mind. It also strengthens the lungs and stimulates the digestive organs while toning the abdominal muscles, thereby increasing the immune functioning. This practice is not recommended during pregnancy, or to people with respiratory disorders, circulatory disorders, hernias or gastric ulcers. 

How to do it:

● Resting both hands on the knees, bring together the thumb and forefinger in Gyan mudra.    
● Inhale deeply (only when you begin) and contracting the abdominal muscles, exhale through both nostrils, forcing the air out. 
● Inhalation should take place passively by automatic relaxation of the abdominal muscles. It should be spontaneous recoil, involving no active effort.
● Complete 20 rapid breaths this way, then relax.

Dhanur Asana/Bow Pose

Dhanur asana is an excellent practice to boost the immune system. It also works in relieving menstrual cramps, gas and constipation. The pressure on the stomach massages the digestive organs and helps resolve digestive issues of any kind. It is a great posture for women especially due to its vast benefits on the endocrine system! (Note: not recommended during pregnancy or recent abdominal surgery)

How to do it:

● Lie flat on the stomach.
● Raise the legs and grab the ankles with the palms so the body is in the shape of a bow. This is Saral Dhanurasana.
● If you feel comfortable, lift the thighs off the ground. This is Dhanurasana.
● Stay here and breathe.

Ardha Matsyendra Asana/Lord of the Fishes Pose

This particular posture does an excellent job in massaging the liver and kidneys, which proves as a stimulant for detoxification of the body. The twisting and stretching also stimulates the spinal cord, which is a key part of the central nervous system. The Ardha Matsyendra Asana acts as a great aid to the immune system this way.

How to do it:

● Sit up straight with the legs extended in front of you.
● Bending the right knee, bring the right foot on the outside of the left thigh.
● Inhale and twist to the right bringing the left arm by the right leg.
● Place the right hand on the floor behind you and gaze over the right shoulder.
● As you inhale, straighten the spine, and exhale, twist even further.
● Repeat on the other side.

Yoga postures and pranayama exercises naturally support and boost the immune system. They relieve stress and supply the organs with fresh oxygen and happy hormones (endrophins). A strong immune system is attained by combining a healthy diet, physical activities, relaxation and breathing exercises. So, it is a great idea to start your day with a simple yoga routine to attain life-long benefits.

(The writer is a best-selling author and award-winning journalist. She is also a Yoga Acharya. Views expressed are personal and do not necessarily reflect those of Outlook Magazine.)


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