Yoga Every Day Keeps the Flu Away
This article appeared on Yoganonymous.com.
A regular yoga practice will decrease your stress and anxiety. But did you know that your practice can also help keep flu at bay?
If you maintain a steady yoga practice, chances are you won’t be taking an extra trip to the doctor this winter.
We all know that yoga energizes your body, helps increase your energy, and gives you a light, fit physique—but what about it keeps you from falling ill?
It’s not that practicing yoga helps maintain a balanced frame of mind, or that it helps reduce mental stress (though these factors surely don't hurt)—it’s that the practice sends more oxygen to your muscles and clears out harmful toxins.
Here's how it goes down: The poses in your yoga practice twist and squeeze your muscles, allowing toxins, residues, and chemicals to ring out of the muscle tissue, like a sponge squeezing out dirty water. When this release happens, you actually make room for fresh, nourishing fluids to enter into your muscle fibers—like a dry sponge being dipped into clean, fresh water. This recharges your muscle fibers, and sends out the unwanted elements that would otherwise drag you down.
But it’s not enough to just practice yoga—you have to help your body out by drinking liberal amounts of water. Why? If you don’t send fresh fluid in to replace the toxic fluid that was just squeezed out, those toxins will re-settle back into your body.
It’s best for you to hydrate consistently throughout the day, but it never hurts to have an extra glass of water right before, or during, your practice.
So, as you sip your water, remember this: As you release the toxins, residues, and chemicals that were once sitting in your body, you increase the effectiveness of your immune system and the efficiency of your body’s metabolic functions—and these benefits are what will keep the doctor away.
Your yoga practice is immensely beneficial to your health, well-being, and vitality—but you should never compromise your body in order to make it to a class. If you are feeling sick and need to rest, honor that need, and take a short 1–2 day hiatus from your practice.
If you still can’t kick the sick and are eager to get back to your mat, try gentle inversions that put you upside down. The increased blood flow to your head will break up congestion and help ease your sinus pressure.
Try these 5 easy poses for relief:
- Forward Fold (or Widespread Forward Fold)
- Crow (Bakasana)
- Legs Up the Wall (Viparita Karani)
- Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
- Hare (Shashankasana)