It’s that time of year again when it seems inevitable that you'll catch a cold or get the flu. My three-year-old son recently had a bummer of a cold with a never-ending cough. Being pregnant with twins, still teaching yoga, running errands, and preparing things for the nursery and my delivery—the last thing I wanted was to catch Timothy’s nasty bug.
In addition to making sure I washed my hands religiously, kept my fingers away from my face, drank lots of water and ginger lemon tea, got plenty of rest, and kept eating a healthy, nutrient-dense diet, I also incorporated these three yoga poses into my daily routine to keep me healthy, strong, and cold-free.
Yoga is an incredible low impact workout that increases the circulation of lymph, a fluid that moves through the body picking up bacteria and viruses, filtering them out through the lymph nodes. Many yoga poses directly stimulate the lymphatic system and, done regularly, help keep us healthy. Also, when we practice yoga, we take deep, full, diaphragmatic breaths, which keeps our lungs strong and our bodies oxygenated. When we get congested, it’s usually because of stagnant lymph and/or weak lungs or poor circulation. Yoga gets our blood flowing, our hearts pumping, our bones strong, our lymphatic system working top notch, all while with our stress levels. The more stressed out we are the more likely it is we will get run down and not take great care of ourselves, becoming more vulnerable to getting sick.
You don’t have to be a yoga aficionado or take hour-long classes to reap the benefits. You can do these poses anytime, anywhere. Try to perform them three to four times a week to stay healthy and cold/flu-free all winter long. Hold each pose for five to eight deep full breaths, and finish with some alternate nostril breathing before a brief relaxation.