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10 Yoga Poses to Help Boost Your Immune System

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Most of us come to yoga for stress relief, strength, and spiritual connection. However, many yoga poses can help boost your immune system as well. A consistent yoga practice can improve your immune system, especially when dealing with stress. If you’re turning to yoga for stress relief, try incorporating these poses in your practice to give your immune system a much-needed boost.

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1. Supportive Fish Pose

A supportive yoga pose that helps open the lungs and relieve congestion. The fish pose can help boost your energy levels and reinvigorate your system.

How to do it:

  • Grab a yoga bolster or block, if you don’t have one of these, try it with a blanket.
  • Place the bolster beneath the back of your head, right beneath your heart.
  • Let your chest and shoulders melt over the bolster, place your arms by your side, palms facing up.
  • Take long and steady breaths and stay in this pose for 1-5 minutes.

2. Legs Up the Wall

Whenever you need a quick stress killer, go for this pose. This pose kicks up natural lymph drainage, which evens out blood circulation and releases pressure from your back. Bringing the blood back to your heart is an instant immune system booster.

How to do it:

  • Sit about 3-inches away from a wall.
  • Lie onto your back and bring your legs up the wall. The back of your thighs should be resting against the wall.
  • Make sure your entire spine is resting on the floor.
  • Stay here anywhere from 1 to 10 minutes.

3. Seated Spinal Twist

Any yoga pose with twists will support your immune system by decompressing the spine and the nervous system. Improper digestion can cause toxins to buildup in your body, which can lead to inflammation. Twists can gently compress or stimulate your digestive system to get rid of toxins and improve your immune system.

How to do it:

  • Start sitting with your legs straight. Plant your right foot on the outside of the left leg and make sure the sole of your foot is on the mat.
  • On an inhale, plant your right palm behind your low back and bring your left elbow to the outside of your right knee.
  • With every inhale, lift and lengthen your spine. On every exhale, keep pushing your twist and gaze over your right shoulder.
  • Take 5 deep breaths and then switch sides.

4. Forward Fold

Another inversion pose to boost your immunity. In most cases, our sinuses and mucus membranes are our first line of defense against infections; keeping them healthy is our best safeguard to protect our immune system. The forward fold pose brings blood flow to the sinuses, which is why it’s an excellent choice to help ease congestion.

How to do it:

  • Start standing by the front of the mat, feet hip-distance apart.
  • Hinge at the hips and bend your knees as you come into a forward fold.
  • Allow your hands to rest on the floor or grab your elbows to add weight. Let your head fall.
  • Stay here for 5-10 breaths. Remember to roll back up slowly and with control when you come out of this pose.

5. Downward Dog

Similarly to a forward fold, the downward-facing dog pose is another way to drain the sinuses and boost your immune function. It’s also an excellent pose to circulate white blood cells throughout your body to boost your defenses.

How to do it:

  • Start in a standing position, bend over placing your palms on the floor.
  • Walk your hands out until you resemble a downward “V.”
  • Spread your fingers and keep your legs shoulder-distance width apart. Bend your knees if it feels comfortable.
  • Stay in this position for 5-10 breaths.

6. Cobra

By opening up your heart and lungs, the cobra pose can help relieve the stress and increase flexibility of the spine. It also stimulates your core and boosts your energy level. This yoga pose can be a gentle way to release pressure from your lower back.

How to do it:

  • Lie flat on your stomach and place your hands by your shoulders.
  • Move your weight to your palms. On the inhale, raise your head and trunk. Elbows should be bent. This is a baby cobra, if you feel comfortable, stay here.
  • Then, press your hands onto the mat and raise your hips off the mat, pressing your feet to the floor.
  • Stay here for 15-30 seconds.

7. Bridge Pose

Bridge pose helps open up the thymus, an organ located in your chest responsible for the growth of white blood cells that support the immune system. This pose is vital to help your body have the defense mechanisms it needs to fight infection.

How to do it:

  • Lie on the mat with your knees bent over your ankles. Bring your feet as close to your buttocks as possible.
  • Place your arms by your side, palms down. If you’re advanced, interlace your fingers underneath your bottom.
  • Press your feet into the mat as you lift your hips. Bring your chin towards your chest.
  • Stay here for 5-8 breaths.

8. Big Toe Pose

A more advanced pose but with tremendous benefits. This pose can help reduce anxiety and stimulate your digestive system. Some believe this pose can help ease headaches, as well.

How to do it:

  • Start standing with your feet together.
  • Bring your right knee towards your chest and grab your calf.
  • Place your left hand on your hips, and with your right hand, open your knee to the side.
  • If you can, grab your big toe using your peace fingers.
  • Gently extend the leg to the side. If you can, open your left arm to the other side.
  • Stay here for 3-5 breaths. Repeat on the other side.

9. Chair Pose

The perfect yoga pose to work on your strength and balance. Chair pose stimulates your heart and gives a gentle massage to your abdominal organs to promote digestion and improve your immune system.

How to do it:

  • Start by standing straight with your feet slightly apart.
  • Bring your arms forward, palms facing down.
  • Bend your knees and push down your pelvis. Imagine you’re sitting on an imaginary chair.
  • Bring your gaze towards your palms, and continue to push your pelvis down the chair.
  • Stay here for at least 1 minute.

10. Savasana

Also known as corpse pose, this is usually the end of your yoga flow. Savasana gives you time to stay still, and it promotes calmness, which can help with stress and anxiety.

How to do it:

  • Lie down on your mat. Let the feet fall on each side as wide as the mat.
  • Bring your arms alongside your body, with palms facing up.
  • Relax the whole body, let it feel heavy, and start breathing naturally.
  • Stay here for 20-30 breaths.

The more we care for our body, the better prepared we’ll be to defend ourselves against diseases. Try to incorporate these yoga poses into your daily practice and boost your immune system and calm your mind at the same time.

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Stephany
GR8NESS Writer
Stephany is a GR8NESS Contributing Editor who writes about pet care, CBD, stress, self care, meditation, time management, brain training, and natural remedies with a focus on the science behind it all. She has three dogs, three cats, walks half marathons, and practices yoga and powerlifting. You can often find her training her dogs or experimenting with new flavors in the kitchen.
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