As the year slowly proceeds, more and more communities and events are returning to their normal ways of functioning. This is incredibly exciting for many people, but it can also be intimidating. It’s especially concerning if you’re worried about getting sick or whether your immune system is strong enough to handle a return to normal socializing. If you’re feeling some nerves, you can shore up your yoga practice with some specially selected poses that will help to support your immune function. Add these key yoga poses into your practice today and harness the immune system benefits you need as you get ready to transition into the fall season.
What Types of Poses Work Best
Many yoga poses that support immune system function are poses that support your lymphatic system. The lymphatic system circulates lymph fluid throughout the entire body, makes sure that the fluids of your body are in balance and supports your immune system as it functions. Your lymphatic system does not have a ‘pump’ that propels the lymph fluid through your body, so yoga poses that involve movement on a grand scale will help the lymph fluid to flow and help your immune function. For this reason, many of the yoga poses that help your immune system are poses that involve inversion (putting your head down below the level of your heart or folding over to a certain extent).
Example 1: Wide-Legged Standing Forward Bend
Wide-Legged Standing Forward Bend uses a forward fold to place your head below the level of your heart. The motion within the pose offers you opportunities to stretch and for your lymphatic system to circulate. To perform this pose, begin in a standing position. You will want your feet to be more than hip-width apart (about 4 feet apart). Join your hands together behind your back by lacing your fingers together, keeping your arms straight. Next, bend forward at the waist, getting your head as close to your toes as you can. Let your arms continue to stay behind your back, where they will dangle as you perform this pose. Remain in this pose, breathing deeply for at least 5 to 10 breaths.
Example 2: Plow Pose
Plow Pose provides another opportunity for inversion by lifting your feet up above and over your head. This change in your body’s position provides ample opportunity for your lymphatic system to do its job. In order to do Plow Pose, you will need to gather a couple of folded blankets to cushion below your buttocks and your legs. Lay on your back with your buttocks and your legs resting on the folded blankets. Using your core muscles, move your legs and feet up and over your head and torso. Continue to move them until your toes and the balls of your feet are resting on the floor behind your head. Clasp both of your hands together for a very effective added stretch.