Yoga Poses to Strengthen the Immune System
At the forefront of the immune system are your lymph nodes, collectors of waste and toxins and creators of the fluid which helps rid your body of viruses and bacteria. Performing inverted and twisted yoga poses keep a healthy flow of lymphatic fluid throughout the body, keeping the immune system fit to tackle the most severe flu season.
Wide-legged Standing Forward Fold with a Twist
- Begin standing with your legs wide apart, feet pointed forward.
- Inhale as you raise your arms above your head, going into a gentle back bend.
- Exhale and dive your arms forward toward the ground, bending your knees if needed.
- Breathe deeply and focus on bringing the crown of your head towards the floor. Resting your head on a block or some books can give extra support to the pose.
- After remaining in this pose for 3 or 4 breaths, bring your right hand to the floor in line with your nose. You can either remove the block at this point or place your hand on it to open the chest further.
- Inhale and reach your left hand to the sky, twisting your torso to the left and reaching your heart up.
- Take one full breath, then release on an exhale.
- Place your left hand in front of you, and inhale your right hand and chest to the sky. Remain here for one full breath before releasing to center.
- Bring your feet together and slowly roll up to stand.
Standing Forward Bend
- Stand with your feet touching or slightly apart. Inhale and reach your arms above your head, going in a gentle back bend before exhaling your upper body down to your legs.
- Take a moment to rock back and forth in the pose a bit, bending the knees as needed, and rocking the head.
- Remain still in the forward fold for 3 or 4 breaths with your hands either on the floor, around your legs, or clasping at the elbows.
Marichyasana—Twist over Bent Knee
- Sit with your legs outstretched and the feet flexed.
- Pull the right knee towards your chest, lifting the right foot to place it on the outside of the left leg.
- Inhale and raise your left arm above your head. Place the right hand behind your right hip.
- Exhale and twist your torso towards the right, holding your right knee with your left arm.
- Inhale to lengthen your torso, then twist deeper into the pose on the exhale.
- Inhale once more, then release to center on the exhale.
- Repeat with the left knee over the right leg, twisting towards the left.
Supta Virasana-Reclining Hero Pose
- Come to sit on the heels, with the tops of the feet flat on the floor.
- Spread your shins and feet so that your seat rests on the floor or on a folded-up blanket or towel.
- Remain here for several breaths, or for a deeper stretch, use your arms to lower your back towards the floor, holding the pose wherever you feel comfortable.