We all know that stress itself can wreak havoc with our immune systems so lets start by focusing on de-stressing. There are a variety of yoga, mindfulness and ayurvedic practices that are proven time and time again to help relax the nervous system, so this is a great place to begin. The lower your stress levels are, the higher your immunity is.
BREATHE. Daily pranayama practices are perfect for boosting immunity and it only has to take 5 minutes. Check out the Full YogaBellies Breath breathing practice on YogaBelliesTv, our youtube channel. It helps to calm the monkey mind, bring calm to the body and mitigate stress and boost your immunity. By breathing deeply our lungs are able to clear out excess toxins too. You can do this at any time of day and even just taking a couple of seconds to focus on the breath, inhale exhale and stop.
TRY A YANG-YIN YOGA PRACTICE – When you are practising yoga and you feel stressed or anxious, a super strong practice can do more harm than good. Also a full on restorative or yin practice wont be the most benefiocial thing either. I recommend breaking your practice into 2 parts: Begin with 20-30 minutes of sun salutations or a stronger flowing practice to burn off the excess energy and then transisiton into restorative, luna, yin poses. This is how we can calm down our nervous systems to a calmer place, by structuring our yoga practice this way. This is the way all YogaBellies classes will be taught at this time of heightened anxiety, for extra therapeutic benefit. Remember that practising yoga itself boosts the immunity so this is not something you want to skip while feeling stressed.
TAKE STRESS RELIEVING BREAKS THROUGHOUT THE DAY – This is going to help balance VATA. Vata is one of three doshas (energies) in Ayurvedic medicine. According to Ayurveda, the doshas govern the physiological activities of the human body. Vata controls movements in the body, such as blood flow, elimination and breathing. When vata gets out of balance, they can get anxious, have insomnia, lose weight and suffer from indigestion. If you are feeling scattered and stressed, make sure to take a few minutes, ideally up to 20, for simple mindfulness practices. This could be as simple as taking a walk, quiet sitting, or Luna or Restorative Yoga. This is especially helpful toward the end of the day as these will all help you sleep better. Don’t skip Savasana, allowing your nervous system to reset.
TRY HERBAL TEAS AND SUPPLEMENTS – If you are looking for more natural ways to boost immunity, try Drinking tulsi tea. tulsi is an ayurvedic herb which is known as a stress, fever, and headache reducer and lung clearer. You can keep it in your bag, carry it around. when viruses like coronavirus take hold, they create problematic respiratory conditions, which tulsi may be able to help soothe. Another option is Supplements. If tulsi isn’t your cup of tea, you could try fighting anxiety and boosting immunity with the Ayurvedic super-herb Ashwagandha which is said to help calm the nervous system. turmeric is also natural anti-microbial and is something most of us already have in the kitchen cupboard. Try making turmeric tea 1/3 cup good, raw honey, Two 1/2 teaspoons dried turmeric, lemon, lots of freshly ground black pepper.
Gargle warm saltwater and use a neti pot. These ancient Ayurvedic strategies—dissolving about ½ tsp. Himalayan or sea salt in 8 oz. of warm water—is “non-negotiable” if you are trying to prevent sickness, especially respiratory illness. Germs and bacteria hang out in your nose and throat 24 hours before digging into your blood stream and affecting your immunity. salt clears them out. You can use these saltwater rinses as preventative measures or when you start to feel sick. Try a neti pot to clear your sinuses.
Get plenty of sleep! A balanced circadian clock is directly linked to a strong immune system, according to Ayurveda. If you can, aim to get to bed two to three hours after sunset and get up with the sun to help maintain healthy circadian rhythms. Try Disconnect from the damaging blue light emitted from your screens by wearing blue-light glasses or turning your night filter on your phone 24/7. avoid big, heavy, late meals, since they are difficult to digest and lead to compromise immunity.
On top of these tips be sure to follow your standard hygiene guidelines as provided by your local government and make sure that your yoga class is following these. At YogaBellies, we have taken stringent measures in all classes and we are checking temperatures of all clients and babies coming along to class and doing extensive additional cleaning of mats and equipment after every session. We advise that you bring along your own block, straps and blankets at the moment and even your own mats if you wish. Be assured we are fully on top of the most important hygiene for yoga classes, ensuring that you and your baby and happy, healthy and well.
I’m an inclusive, not scary, totally normal yet heavily qualified yoga instructor and founder of YogaBellies® and the Birth ROCKS Method. I’m trained in self hypnosis and meditation and what I love is helping women (ALL women) enjoy yoga without having to whisper all the time and wear fancy activewear that cost a month’s rent.
I believe Yoga is for everyone.