Yoga has been used for centuries to keep the body functioning holistically. However, the benefits of yoga are not just limited to stress relief and mental well-being. If practised properly, yoga can help to recharge the body, get rid of toxins and negative energy, and keep vital organs functioning properly.
Certain yoga positions can help support, balance, and boost the immune system and improve breathing. And if done regularly, yoga can help to reduce stress systemically in the body, which in turn cuts down on inflammation.
Here are some yoga techniques to recharge your immunity, strengthen your respiratory system, and boost your metabolism.
This position can detoxify you, strengthen your immunity, and boost energy levels.
Start by elevating your head and slowly raising your chest. Make sure the head is supported by the back, neck, and shoulders instead of pushing it into the mat. Relax your chest. The shoulders should be kept loose and arms wide. With palms facing up, extend your legs straight down. Stay in this position for two to three minutes for maximum benefits.
Seated forward bend pose:
This position can improve digestion, provide relief from nasal congestion, and reduce anxiety. Sit on the ground with your legs stretched out in front of you and your hands resting by your side. Take a deep breath and draw your back up. Stretch your hands towards the ceiling. Exhale while bending forward to touch your toes with your hands. Your stomach should be resting on your thighs and your nose should touch your knees. Stay in this position for four or five seconds and then go back to where you started.
This position can improve the flow of blood and help to boost immunity. It also puts pressure on the digestive tract to help it to digest food more easily. Lie down on your stomach with your feet apart and arms by your side. Bend your knees upwards and lift your heels up towards your behind. Hold the ankles of both legs with your hands. Inhale and lift your chest and legs off the ground. Keep your upper body straight and pull your legs as much as you can. Your body should be tight like a bow. Pause for four or five breaths and then go back to the starting position.
This position can enhance your immune system and lower the risk of several lifestyle-related diseases. Sit and stretch your legs out in front of you. Place your palms flat on the ground next to your hips. Flex your feet and extend out. Engage your pelvic, thigh, and calf muscles while maintaining a straight back and legs. Then relax your shoulders and keep your eyes forward. Hold this position for up to a minute.
This position can release tension from your lower back, reduce stress and fatigue, and boost your immunity. Kneel on the ground with your toes together and knees slightly apart. Place your hands on your thighs. Exhale and lower your torso. Your stomach should be resting on your thighs and your head should touch the mat between your knees. Stretch your hands in front of you down to touch the mat. Pause, inhale, and then come back to the starting position.
This position can help you to breathe better and calm your mind. Lie comfortably on your back with your hands and legs stretched out. Close your eyes and inhale slowly through your nostrils. Exhale and think your body into a relaxed state. Maintain this position for ten minutes.
This position can open your lungs, strengthen your spine, and increase your energy. It can also help to reduce the load on your immune system. Lie on your stomach with your feet close to each other and hands stretched out overhead. Join both your legs and rest your forehead on the ground. Bring your hands underneath your shoulders with the palms resting by the side of your chest while keeping your elbows close to the body. Inhale and gently lift the upper half of your body. Exhale and pause for four to five seconds before coming back to a normal pose.
* A version of this article appears in print in the 2 March, 2023 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly