The pandemic is slowly creeping into the physical and mental health of people. Yoga must be made an integral part of one’s daily routine, especially when outdoor exercise or gymming is restricted. Yoga helps you stay focussed and mentally as well as physically fit while indoors. It improves balance, strength and flexibility while making the mind alert and positive. Pranayama to boost immunity and slow movements maximizes blood circulation and warms the muscles. Below is a list of 5 yoga asanas to improve immunity.
1. Uttanasana – The Forward Fold
Uttanasana is also known as The Forward Fold asana. It is a powerful pose optimizing oxygen flow to the brain. The pose lowers the head below heart level, energizing the cells. The inverted posture pushes blood flow and prana to the sinuses, boosting the immune system as this is the body’s first line of defence against bacteria and infections. This asana could be an immunity booster yoga for COVID 19.
- Soothes congestion, clears the sinuses and boosts immunity.
- Relieves tension, eases stress and optimizes sleep.
- Calms the mind and eradicates insomnia.
How to perform
- Stand straight and spread your feet apart, at hip-distance.
- Bend from the hips and fold down gently, keeping your knees slightly bent.
- Fold yourself (bring your face) as close to the legs as possible.
- As options, You can rest your hands on the floor or hang a ragdoll for support. You can also tie yoga blocks to the thighs, calves or ankles for added pressure.
- Remain in that position for 5 to 10 breaths or as long as you are comfortable.
- Roll yourself back up slowly to a standing position. This needs to be done slowly to avoid dizziness.
2. Garudasana – The Eagle Pose
The name Garudasana is derived from the Sanskrit words garuda meaning “Eagle”, and asana meaning “Seat” or “posture”. According to Hindu mythology, Garuda is the king of birds and the vehicle of God Vishnu, fighting demons. This asana is known as The Eagle Pose in English and is a great asana for immune system and the mind.
- Stretches the upper back, shoulders, thighs, hips, calves and ankles.
- Optimizes concentration.
- Improves balance.
- Maximizes breathing efficiency, relieves asthma discomfort.
- Increases focus and calmness
How to perform
- Stand upright.
- Bend slightly, balance on the right foot and lift the left foot up.
- Cross the left thigh over the right thigh tightly.
- Pointing the left toes to the ground, press the foot backwards.
- Hook the top part of the foot behind the right calf for balance.
- Keep the shoulder blades stretched wide, opening up the torso.
- Stretch the arms forward, parallel to the ground.
- Cross your arms keeping the right arm above the left.
- Raise the forearms perpendicular to the ground, facing the back of the hands to each other.
- Rotate the hands gently so that the palms face each other.
- Press the palms together as much as possible, keeping the elbows up and fingers stretched towards the ceiling.
- Hold the position for 15 to 30 seconds, inhaling and exhaling.
- Slowly unwind the legs and hands and stand erect.
- Repeat with legs and arms reversed.
Also Read : 7 Best Yoga Mats for the Yogi in You
3. Bakasana – The Crow Pose
Bakasana or Crow Pose comes from the Sanskrit word “Baka,” meaning “Crane” as the pose resembles that of a crane. This pose teaches you about your centre of gravity, balance and increases arms, abdomen and thigh strength. It also enhances the mental balance of the body. It is an asana for immune system and the mind.
- Stretches the upper back.
- Strengthens core, abdomen, forearms and wrist.
- Enhances balance
- Increases control over body
How to perform
- Stand erect
- Bend the knees slightly and fold forward to touch the palms on the floor, shoulder distance apart and a foot away from the feet.
- Spread the fingers pressing down the fingertips.
- Bend elbows backwards.
- Lift your feet to the feet-balls and open the knees to line with the upper arm.
- Place the knees on the back of the upper arms.
- Bring your weight forward onto your hands, looking forward.
- Come onto the toes and lift the feet off the ground.
- Balance yourself with the inner thighs for support and knees on the arms.
- Keep the body lifted and breathe.
- To release from the pose, exhale and roll back slowly onto your feet.
4. Trikonasana – The Triangle Pose
Trikonasana or The Triangle Pose is one of the recommended yoga asanas for COVID 19. This pose not only strengthens the core, legs, arms and shoulders but the breathing also relaxes the mind. The pose strengthens and lengthens, stretches and opens up the body muscles.
- Stretches ankles, knees, thighs, hamstrings, groin, calves, spine, chest and shoulder.
- Strengthens legs
- Minimizes stress
- Increases blood circulation
- Enhances digestion
- Soothes menopausal symptoms
- Relieves backache, especially during pregnancy
- Therapy for anxiety, neck pain, flat feet, osteoporosis, infertility, and sciatica
How to perform
- Stand erect with legs separated.
- Slide the right arm down along your right leg till the fingers reach your ankle.
- The left arm must be horizontal and the head should be tilted to the right.
- Keep the elbows and knees straight and hold the pose.
- Inhale and hold the pose for 30 seconds
- Slowly bring yourself up and repeat asana with your other hand.
5. Bhujangasana – The Cobra Pose
Bhujangasana or The Cobra pose is a part of Surya Namaskar. It is beneficial for those who are slim and boosts physical and mental energy and strengthens the core. It is also considered one of the best yoga asanas to boost immune system.
- Opens up the lungs
- Strengthens the spine
- Optimizes energy
- Relieves fatigue and stress
- Relieves breathing problems and symptoms of asthma
- Curbs depression
How to perform
- Lie flat on your stomach.
- Spread the hips and legs evenly.
- Place your palms in front of you aligned with your shoulders, palms touching the ground.
- Keep the toes backwards and the legs straight.
- Place the weight of your body on the hands and lift up your torso.
- Bend the spinal cord backward while breathing in.
- Slowly lift your head off the ground, keeping the chin up and looking straight.
- Hold for 15 to 30 seconds.
- Exhale while coming down.
Q) Can yoga improve immunity?
Yes, some yoga poses support and boost the immune system. It balances the bodily functions and fights oxidative stress. It stimulates healthy cells and curbs inflammations and degeneration of the organs and skeletal system.
Q) Which yoga asana is best for immunity?
A few asanas like dandayamana dhanurasana, Trikonasana, Yog Nidra, Ustrasana and Garudasana are considered best to boost immunity. Surya Namaskar is also a good yoga ritual consisting of 12 poses which increases immunity.
Q) Does surya namaskar increase immunity?
Yes, daily 10 minutes of Surya Namaskar can boost the body and mind and provide an all-rounded boost in mental and physical energy and immunity. It is one of the best yoga asanas to improve immunity
If you are looking for special yoga asanas for COVID 19, the above list of 5 yoga asanas to improve immunity is sure to help.