Don’t we often feel that we’ve become slaves to our sedentary lifestyles? The back seems to have rounded up into a hunch, and the limbs and joints feel vulnerable. With a slight change in the season, we quickly succumb to flu and fever, and we always think twice before grabbing a bite on the streets because we’re sure to end up with a bad stomach. What does all of this indicate? Lack of flexibility? Low immunity?
What Is Flexibility?
You know that your limbs might get jammed if you are sedentary. You’ve heard and probably said to yourself that you must work out to become flexible. But do you know what being flexible actually means?
Flexibility is also called limberness. It refers to a comprehensive range of movement in an individual joint, or in all of the joints. It also adds length to the muscles that cross the joints, and this induces the bending motion.
Flexibility is extremely essential simply because if our limbs and muscles don’t move in their full range of the movement, they sort of rust and give rise to a chain of issues, pain being one of the first signs.
What Is Immunity?
Immunity is extremely essential to keep diseases and problems at bay. It is simply the body’s capability to form a shield against harmful microorganisms so as to prevent them from entering the body. Immunity not only acts as a barrier against these organisms but also eliminates pathogens. It also has this innate ability to create pathogen-specific resistance.
How Does Yoga Help To Instill Flexibility And Boost Immunity?
Yoga, in Sanskrit, means to join or to focus. When one practices yoga regularly, one’s physical gains are strength, immunity, and flexibility. Yoga offers a complete package of both mind and body fitness. This package includes muscular activity (that provides flexibility), and an inward self, energy, and breath awareness (that helps build immunity).
Yoga’s healing system is based on four basic principles.
- This practice believes that the human body is a holistic entity and comprises of interrelated dimensions that cannot be separated from each other. It also believes that the health or illness of one dimension directly affects the other aspects too.
- The second belief or principle is that all individuals are unique, and their needs are unique too. This must be acknowledged, and the practice must be tailored to suit one’s needs.
- The third principle states that yoga is self-empowering, and the students are their own healers. Yoga engages the student in the healing process of the body and plays an active role in their journey to health. The healing through yoga comes from within, and therefore, a sense of autonomy is established.
- The fourth principle is that the state of mind of the individual is crucial to the healing process. If a person practices with a positive mindset, the healing is quicker as compared to when the person practices with a negative mindset.
The meaning and principles behind yoga make it abundantly clear that this method works on both strength and immunity. It not only heals but also prevents diseases and disorders while prolonging the life of the limbs and the muscles.
9 Asanas And 15 Minutes To Flexibility And Immunity
- Virabhadrasana II
- Setu Bandhasana
1. Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
Though this asana seems incredibly simple at the outset, it requires a great deal of alignment to perfect it. It is important to get it right as this asana is the base for many other asanas that follow. This pose works on all your muscles as it corrects your posture and makes your body flexible and pain-free, especially if you have a sedentary desk job. It aligns your skeleton and brings it back to a neutral stance. This asana also works on your nervous, digestive, and respiratory systems, making sure they are regulated and work well, thereby strengthening your immunity.
To know more about this asana, click here: Tadasana
2. Utkatasana (Chair Pose)
This asana is also called the Chair Pose, and it is both fierce and powerful as each and every part of your body is involved in it. It takes a great deal of strength and stamina to form an imaginary chair with your body. As you do this, you achieve a sense of stability and also fight the resistance of gravity. As you practice this asana regularly, you become stronger, more flexible, and more immune.
To know more about this asana, click here: Utkatasana
3. Virabhadrasana II (Warrior 2 Pose)
This asana is also called the Warrior II Pose. It requires focus and strength, and as your body strives to achieve it, it becomes both flexible and immune. This asana gives the legs a good stretch and also stretches the groins, lungs, chest, and shoulders. Regular practice of this asana also helps improve stamina.
To know more about this asana, click here: Virabhadrasana II
4. Vriksasana (Tree Pose)
The Vrkshasana or the Tree Pose strengthens the spine as it improves both poise and balance. Practicing this pose also aids neuromuscular coordination. Although this asana is more of a balancing pose, it aligns the body and prepares it for hardships. Eventually, with practice, flexibility and immunity are improved.
To know more about this asana, click here: Vrikshasana
This asana allows full range of motion in the lower body as it gives the hamstrings, quadriceps, and groin a good stretch. The Anjaneyasana also opens up the chest, heart, and lungs. It is said to generate heat in the body, and thus, works amazingly well for those finding it hard to cope with cold weather. The opening up of the lungs throws out all the mucus, giving the lungs a good cleanse.
To know more about this asana, click here: Anjaneyasana
6. Vasisthasana (Side Plank Pose)
This asana gives the back of the legs and the wrists a good stretch. It works towards developing inner strength. It is important to correctly align your body when you practice the Plank Pose. Your muscles and organs get stimulated, and their functioning is improved.
To know more about this asana, click here: Vasisthasana
7. Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose)
The Setu Bandhasana opens up the chest, heart, shoulders, the spine, the back of the neck, and the hip flexors. Also considered a mild inversion, in this asana, your heart is placed over your head. It, therefore, manages to give you all the benefits of an inversion. It provides relief from stress, fatigue, and insomnia, regulates blood pressure, and stimulates the thyroid glands. It also massages the knees and shoulders, thereby rejuvenating the practitioner.
To know more about this asana, click here: Setu Bandhasana
8. Matsyasana (Fish pose)
The Matsyasana or the Fish Pose strengthens the back and abdomen. It imparts a curve in the neck that is significantly advantageous to the thyroid. This asana roots you to the ground as it lifts up your spirits and rejuvenates you. This asana obviously induces flexibility to the spine, but it also improves immunity. They say that if you practice this asana regularly, you will never suffer from a stroke.
To know more about this asana, click here: Matsyasana
9. Balasana (Child Pose)
The Balasana effectively boosts your immunity. It tones the abdominal muscles, thus improving the process of elimination of waste as well as the procedure of digestion. It stretches your lower back and spine as it completely relaxes your body.
To know more about this asana, click here: Balasana
Immunity and flexibility might not have a direct connection, but they are both integral for excellent health. When you practice yoga, both these factors are addressed and improved. Whether or not your flexibility and immunity are up to the mark, it is a good idea to start practicing yoga today. After all, prevention is always better than cure.
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