With this article we want to do our bit and bring some health and well-being during these days where we must stay at home. So we thought to give you some tips on how to take advantage of this moment of isolation to connect with yourself and to find the inner peace and serenity that comes from accepting reality without dramas. Here are some yoga exercises that will help you to enforce your defenses.
Strengthen your Immune System
Pranayama (Control of Vital Energy)
Yoga practitioners knows, from a very long time, that the practice of voluntary breath control helps to strengthen and purify the body so we can feel better and with more energy.
“…During the Pranayama, literally, You’re drinking gallons and gallons of vitality and immunity. Blood overloads with extra oxygen… When you hold the breath, literally, you are injecting more oxygen into the bloodstream. Oxygen is the life, so that means you’re enriching your blood with a lot of life. And you are not only taking more oxygen but you are receiving more Prana. Every cell in your body vibrates with new life…”The Breath of Life: Integral Yog Pranayam, Swami Satchidananda
Breathing Exercise: ¿How?
Ahora siéntate cómodamente en una silla o en el suelo, endereza la espalda y el cuello, relaja los hombros, tu rostro, mandíbula y empieza a observar tu respiración, sin cambiar nada, solo observa la calidad del aire que estás tomando y a continuación:
Sit comfortable in a chair or in the floor, spine and neck straights, relax the shoulders down, relax the face muscles and start to observe your breath, don’t need to change anything, just observe the quality of the breath your taking in; and now:
- Inhale deep slowly through the nose, in about 7 seconds and notice how the abdomen is expanding (leave the chest and the upper chest immobile).
- Hold the breath counting 7 seconds.
- Exhale slowly through the nose, during the some 7 seconds and observe how the abdomen soften inwards (leave the chest and the upper chest immobile).
- Hold the breath with empty lang the some seconds that you have done during the other respiratory stages.
PS: You can only breathe with the nose, the mouth remains closed and relaxed all the time.
Repeat this pattern of: “inhale – hold – exhale – hold” during 7/10 round (around 3-5 minutes).
Once we are grounded and mindful, we move on to physical practice:
Simple Practice of Yoga
It’s a semi-passive style which differs from the other styles because it comes from Chinese medicine, the body is worked without previous heating to prevent muscles from absorbing all the stress that we’re going to put on the connective tissue, organs and especially, in this case, lymph nodes. Tissues that we are working on require a reasonable amount of traction (stretching), holding the pose for an extended period of time, to receive the appropriate stimulation.
For a good practice consider the following aspects:
- Posture until you feel stretching tension (never feel pain).
- Commit to remaining still(take advantage of this time to stay with yourself in the present moment, remember that we do not use the body to enter in the pose, we use the pose to enter into the body).
- Hold the pose for a very long time (the benefits of the practice are derived from remaining in this area of discomfort, even though the mind will begs you to urgently leave the pose!).
8 Easy Postures to Strengthen the Immune System
1. THE CATERPILLAR ON THE WALL
Use a mat or a towel on the floor close to the wall, sit down next to the wall and lift the legs up, lye the rest of the body down. Maintaining the contact between the glutes and the wall. We want the lymphatic flow circulate from the ground up and for that reason we start with an inversion.
2. THE DRAGONFLY ON THE WALL
From the previous pose slide the heels sideways and let the legs open to their limit, try to relax the inner groins. To get out of the pose help the legs with your hands and just for a moment hold the pose again with legs straight against the wall, give to the body some time to rest.
3. SQUAT ON THE WALL
With straight legs against the wall, flex the knees and slide your feet down glued to the wall. Feet must have a comfortable separation. Try to keep the sacrum on to the ground. Relax the shoulders and the neck. To release the pose bring the knees together and move to the right side of the body, stay here for a while before you sit down.
4. THE WINGED DRAGON
From 4 supports with hands and knees, bring right foot to the side and outside your right hand, open the knee to the right side until the outer side of the right foot touches the ground, flex the trunk down and to the left side. You can rest the forearms on the floor or you can use a cushion, you have to stay as still as possible. Once you have done, come back in 4 supports and do some free movement with the spine before to complete the other side Come on, you can do it!
5. THE HANGMAN
From standing, flex the knees just a little, inhale deep and with the exhalation very gentle start to bend forward with the upper body, looking for contact between thighs and belly. Relax every single muscle of the body, grab the elbows and keep doing deep and long breaths through the nose. Release the pose inhaling deep and lift the trunk up, vertebra after vertebra.
6. COW FACE
From 4 supports, place the left knee behind the right and sit back between the heels. Try not to sit between your feet. Take your right hand up and bend your elbow, now bring the left hand behind the back and try to reach the hands together, if you can’t, use a belt. Try to keep the chest open for 3 minutes. Gently release the hands and remember to do both sides by changing arm and leg.
7. LATERAL BENDING OF THE NECK
Sit comfortably with the spine straight and the shoulders relaxed. Drops the right ear towards the right shoulder, help yourself with a slight pressure with your right hand. Find the right limit that allows you to feel the stretching. To change side use your hand to accompanies your head back to the center.
Lie down on your back, slightly separates legs and arms, las palmas de las manos hacia arriba. It’s time to rest the body to become stronger and healthier. Mind should remain alert and conscious but relaxed, pay attention to your body, relax every single muscle, this is the moment to develop the ability to feel your energies, to understand your body a little deeper. Coming out of the pose stay for a moment on your right side, than sit down, thank your body. Namaste!
Note: You can repeat this Yoga sequences every time you need it. If you have chronic health problems, those that includes e blood pressure, problems at the digestive system, nervous system, spine, lymph nodes or serious knee problems, you should check with your doctor or health care professional before starting a yoga practice for the first time.
Written by Eva Babbini,Corralejo, Fuerteventura