At this time of year it seems like everyone around us is sniffling and sneezing right? With colds and flus going around like crazy it is so important that we do everything we can to stay healthy and keep our immune systems strong!
Remember the saying: "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure"? Well it's true! The more that we can do on a regular basis to keep our vitality high the better, which means we will get sick less often and recover more quickly when we do.
Since it effects our body on many levels simultaneously, Yoga is an extremely powerful tool for boosting our immunity and keeping us feeling great. The key of course is to practice it on a regular basis to get maximum benefits and keep everything running optimally.
Curious how taking Yoga Breaks can help you avoid the sniffles, aches and fevers of cold and flu season?
- Yoga helps to bring stress levels down to reduce inflammation and reduce stress hormone levels that compromise the immune system.
Deep, slow diaphragmatic breathing which is practiced in Yoga is a powerful way to shifting ourselves out of Fight or Flight (ie: the stressed state) by activating the Parasympathetic Nervous System. This lowers the levels of stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline and helps to shift us into a state of healing and recovery.
- The many breathing techniques we use in Yoga helps to keep the respiratory system strong by increasing the elasticity and strength of the lungs, which in turn helps to prevent infection.
The same breathing technique mentioned above, as well as the many other forms of pranayama (or breath control practices) used in Yoga have a strengthening effect on the lungs. This in turn helps them expand and relax normally to make sure that they are function their best.
- Practicing the different poses (or asanas) allows the organs and glands to be supplied with fresh blood, gently massaged, relaxed, toned and stimulated, which helps to maintain their function and health.
The many shapes of the asanas practiced in Yoga takes the body through a full range of motion and stimulates the multitude of organs and glands throughout the body. This is a potent way to make sure that you inner systems such as your endocrine, digestive and cardiovascular systems are all functioning their best.
- By working your muscles, the asanas also squeeze and stimulate your lymph nodes which flushes out toxins and bacteria to helps keep you healthy.
So while the Yoga asanas are also helping you to build strength and deepen your flexibility by activating a variety of muscles, they are simultaneously rinsing out the nearby by lymph nodes. This is key for strong immune function since the lymph fluid collects waste material, and other things (like viruses and bacteria) that are in the body tissues. Maintaining the health and function of the lymph nodes is also essential for a healthy immune system since the lymph carries white blood cells which are key for fighting off infection.
Powerful stuff isn't it? And that's not to mention the long list of other benefits that Yoga has such as ease tension, improving range of motion, increasing flexibility, boosting strength, improving sleep quality and lots more!
Given how many benefits it has incorporating more Yoga Breaks into your week is an excellent idea for current and long term health!
Want an easy way to reap the benefits of Yoga anytime, anywhere? Check out the Yoga at My Desk Online Course. This course will teach you how to take Yoga Breaks right at your desk, in work clothes, with no extra equipment. Learn how to release tension, activate and tone, boost energy naturally and lower your stress levels by integrate the powerful tools of Yoga into your workday! Each lesson is only 10 minutes long so you can easily incorporate them into your schedule, whenever it works best for you.
Click here to try a 10 Minute session designed to ease your Neck and Shoulder tension that you can do right at your desk!