Health

How to improve immunity as Covid-19 cases rise, suggests yoga expert

Health, according to the World Health Organization, is “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity”.[1] A variety of definitions have been used for different purposes over time. Health can be promoted by encouraging healthful activities, such as regular physical exercise and adequate sleep,[2] and by reducing or avoiding unhealthful activities or situations, such as smoking or excessive stress. Some factors affecting health are due to individual choices, such as whether to engage in a high-risk behavior, while others are due to structural causes, such as whether the society is arranged in a way that makes it easier or harder for people to get necessary healthcare services. Still other factors are beyond both individual and group choices, such as genetic disorders.

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As Covid-19 cases witness an upswing in India, it’s time for you to swing into action to boost your immunity and stay strong.

India reported over 27,000 new Covid-19 cases on the first Sunday of the New Year, signalling the dire need for everyone to step up and follow safety protocols. Besides that, strengthening the immune system must take top priority. Practising yoga can help you to maintain the immune system of the body, thereby preventing diseases and keeping you healthy.

Yoga asanas lead to a fit body, calmer mind; reduces anxiety, and removes stress. That can give a steady boost to your immunity, which is also driven by what you eat. But doing yoga allows the toxins to be released and helps you enjoy a healthy life.

5 ways to boost your immunity:

  1. Having an early supper:

    Avoid eating anything after 8 pm. Eat light and do not push it too late in the night as this does not give your body sufficient time to go through the process of digestion, and it can be extremely taxing on your body.

  2. Get enough sleep:

    Getting adequate sleep is imperative for good health. Sleep occupies a significant portion in our lives helping the body to generate the required energy to function properly. Regular and routine sleep can also improve your digestion, eliminate any stomach or digestive disorders and boost immunity. Pranayama and meditation can be done at night to remove toxins from the body and help you feel relaxed.

  3. Exercise to improve immunity:

    Practicing even some of the simplest yoga asanas can be life-changing. It will not only calm your mind from the Covid-19 related stress and anxiety, but also boost your immunity.

    yoga asana for immunity
    The vajrasana is the a simple and effective yoga asana. Image courtesy: Grand Master Akshar

    Vajrasana – Thunderbolt pose

    * Drop on your knees and rest your pelvis on your heels
    * Keep heels slightly apart
    * Place palms on knees
    * Straighten your back

    Dhanurasana-Bow Pose

    * Lie on your belly
    * Bend knees and hold ankles with palms
    * Inhale and lift up legs and balance on your stomach

    dhanurasana
    This is how you should perform Dhanurasana. Image courtesy: Grand Master Akshar

    Chakrasana- Wheel Pose
    * Lie on your back
    * Fold your legs and place your palms reversed and next to ears
    * Inhale, and lift up your entire body
    * Relax the neck

    Padahastasana
    * Begin in Samasthithi
    * Exhale and fold forward bringing the trunk closer to the thighs.
    Initially, you can bend your knees slightly
    * Gradually try to straighten your knees and place palms down beside feet

    Paschimottanasana
    * Sit down and stretch your legs out in front of you
    * Gently reach forward and hold your ankles, or toes
    * Hold as long as you are comfortable

  4. Chew your food properly:

    Studies show that chewing your food can be one of the easiest ways to ensure that your body absorbs all the nutrients and vitamins. Chewing for a minimum of 24 times can help to improve digestion and does ensure that the body can be enriched through the nutrients present in the food. This also helps to improve blood circulation, immunity, and improve the functioning of all your organs.

    sleeping
    Don’t sleep immediately after consuming a meal. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

  5. Avoid napping after a meal

Try not to sleep just after a meal and you can practice sitting in poses like vajrasana. Vajrasana is considered to be the only asana or yoga pose which can be done immediately after consumption of food. This is because sitting in this particular alignment is very helpful in aiding digestion, and boosting strength and immunity. You can also take a walk after a meal after having waited for about 10 minutes.

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