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yoga to boost the immune system for older adults
By
Suchi Rajput

 

Adding yoga in our routine can significantly help to strengthen the body's ability to fight sickness and diseases. Age is really a number when it comes to adopting healthy habits into our lives. With the deadly pandemic preying on our lives, maintaining greater immunity is the ultimate goal. 

 

The focus of the world right is on staying healthy - both physically and mentally. With numerous helpful yoga poses to boost the immune system, we all can take one powerful step towards staying fit. 

 

For people unaware of the immunity system, it's a defence mechanism of our body that's reliable for protecting us from all kinds of infections and viruses. It not only functions in protecting our bodies from severe illness but also a vital factor that helps us to keep mentally happy and healthy. 

 

A strong immune system leads to the body's overall strength to perform daily chores and remain relaxed as well as reduce stress. The best possible way of developing and maintaining a strong immune system is by doing yoga exercised every day. 

 

How Yoga fights sickness?

With the modern world, stress is a common problem we all carry with ourselves. We get stressed about every little thing in our life. Stress is a leading cause of sickness in older adults. When we get chronically stressed, the deep tissue (fascia) that covers the organs, bones, muscles, ligaments and tendon is severely compromised.  

 

Since fascia is made up of nerves, our body needs to move and stretch for the tissue to run out. Think of our organs and tissue as sponges, that absorbs whatever we put into our body. Through stretching and movement, the stagnant every residing in the tissue gets released within our cells, allowing us to remove the toxins from our body. 

 

Also, the blood requires oxygen to maintain the body's health and promote cell growth. When we do exercises that intentionally release the breath, it gives our blood a boost of oxygen needed for a new circulation. Doing Yoga, you can help bring this healthy circulation process in the body which will give you healthier and stronger immunity. In simple words, yoga is a movement that's conned with breathing. 

 

Here are some of the easiest and effective yoga poses that would de-stress your body and improve your immunity by supporting you to fight illness. Take a look - 

 

1. Dhanurasana

Dhanurasana or the Bow pose is one of the potent yoga poses to boost the immune system. It's the first one in the list and the most effective one. It works as the best stress buster as it improves the flow of white blood cells by putting pressure on the digestive system.  

 

Doing Dhanurasana requires you to put pressure on your belly, which in turn helps to build up the digestive system. The term "Dhanu" means bow in Hindi while the asana means "position", asking you to form your body into a bow shape as you lie on your stomach. 

 

Here's how to do Dhanurasana -

  • Lie on the floor, on your stomach.
  • Slowly, fold the knees up and hold the ankles using your hand.
  • Try to lift your chess of the ground and pull your legs up and stretch it out.
  • Hold the pose for 10 to 12 seconds, and breath long and deep.
  • Now, slowly release your chest and legs back to the ground.
  • Repeat it for 3 to 4 times every day.

 

2. Tadasana

Probably the most simple yet helpful for the nervous system, Tadasana is the most sought after yoga exercise to boost immunity. It improves body posture and creates flexibility in the thighs and joints. Apart from being the best yoga poses to boost the immune system, it also helps to tone the abdomen and body muscles. 

 

In Sanskrit, "Tada'' means "mountain" while asana means "pose". So, it's also known by another name, called Mountain Pose. It's an ideal yoga for seniors with weak back muscles and rounded backs as it helps to restore the body's natural alignment.  

 

Here's how to do:

  • Stand on your yoga mat, and place your feet slightly apart from each other.
  • Hands in perfect alignment with your body.
  • Inhale deeply, and slowly raise the arms upward then interlock the fingers.
  • Lift your heels and stand on the toes.
  • Stretch your body while looking in an upward direction.
  • Place your body weight on the toes and strength the rest of the body up.
  • Hold this pose for few seconds.
  • Exhale and return to the initial stage.

 

3. Vrikshasana

Vrikshasana or the Tree pose is a simple yoga practice that packs plenty of benefits to the immune system. Easily the best and effortless done yoga poses to boost immunity which you do at any location. Vrikshasana helps us attain a state of balance and strength in our body. It also reflects calmness and serenity to our mind and the body, if you had a hectic day, then this yoga would work wonders.  

 

Here's how to do:

  • Stand straight and put your arms alongside the body.
  • Bend the right knee and lift the right leg.
  • Place the leg on the inner thigh of the left leg.
  • Raise your arms over your head and inhale.
  • Maintains a straight back posture and hold for a few breaths.
  • Exhale and return to the first position.
  • You can exchange the legs.

 

4. Shalabasana

Shalabhasana is one of the easy yoga asanas that improves and strengthens the spine, hip joints, lower back, legs and pelvic organs of the body. It is widely used as the prime yoga pose to boost the immune system by boosting the blood flow to the spinal area. It creates an adequate amount of pressure on the abdomens and improves the body's circulation. 

 

Here's how to do:

  • Lie flat on your stomach and gently, stretch your arms outward.
  • Maintain the knees straight and the feet together.
  • Raise your legs and arm up together.
  • Also, lift your head and try to slowly raise your chest off the floor.
  • Hold this posture for few seconds.
  • Exhale and relax, then repeat the first step.

 

5. Anjaneyasana

This yoga pose is popular after the name of Lord Hanuman mother's name "Anjani". It's considered as the best yoga to boost the immune system that strengthens you both, physically and mentally. Regarded as the simple yoga poses for older adults that helps them to heal from muscles and joints pain. It also adds a great balance and positive impact on your knees.  

 

Since it greatly helps and improves tension in the joints, it's quite powerful yoga poses for seniors that not only help with boosting immunity but also helpful in joint and muscle pain. Practising Anjaneyasana supports in releasing tension from the hips, stretching the hamstrings, quads, groins, improving the knees and building a strong mental focus.  

 

Here's how to do:

  • Position your body straight.
  • Place your left leg back and drop the knees while extending the toes out.
  • Align your right knee with the right ankle.
  • Push the pelvis downward and lift the arms over your head.
  • Bend the upper body backwards and form an arch-like shape.
  • Stay in such posture for few seconds.
  • Release and repeat the first step.

 

6. Utkatasana

Utkatasana or the Chair Pose is also an effective yoga asana that helps to increase our immunity and provide a big relief from stress. This yoga pose is widely popular for shooting up strength and stamina, while also balancing the inner power. 

 

Performing Utkatasana helps mostly with the muscles, and joints by offering relief from any sort of pain. The benefits of Utkatasana are strengthening the ankles, thighs, spine and calves, stretching in shoulders and chest while stimulating the abdominal organs, heart and diaphragm. A must-do yoga poses to boost the immune system this winter, that makes your life a lot healthier and active.  

 

Here's how to do:

  • Stand in Tadasana.
  • Bend the knees, and move your hips backwards as if you are sitting on a chair
  • Raise your hands in an upward direction
  • Touch your eyes and soften the shoulders
  • Hold this pose for 5 -10 seconds and gently, keep on stretching
  • Release your hands and return to the first step

 

7. Paschimottanasana

Don’t know if you could pronounce it or not, but performing it every day would leave you baffled with its glorious benefit. Paschimottanasana is known as the best method for maintaining the body and mind strength while also boosting the immunity levels.  

 

Also known as the Seated Forward Bend, this yoga exercise helps to keep the brain calm and relaxed while the body stretches and functions actively. Doing this yoga every day, no matter what age group brings great relief from headache, stress and anxiety. It applies a healthy amount of pressure on the spine, hamstrings and improves the digestive system as well.  

 

Here’s how to do:

  • Start with Dandasana. Slightly bend your knees and stretch the legs to outwards.
  • Keep the spine erect and lift your hands upward.
  • Bend forward at the hip.
  • Put your upper body on your lower body, as if it’s folded.
  • Lower the arms and grab your toes by your fingers.
  • Do it gently for 15-20 sends and repeat.

 

 

 

 

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