Yoga poses to strengthen immune system
Sit in a comfortable cross-legged position. Inhale, raise the arms up, and as you exhale, bend the elbows down towards the side of the chest. And then breathe out forcefully through both the nostrils. Continue this for 20/30 rounds of breath cycles. In the last round, bring the arms down, place them on the thighs, and breathe normally.
Benefits: The word Bhastrika is a sanskrit word which means leather bellow, which was used in olden times to blow furnaces. Like its namesake, this pranayama increases the heat in the body through movement of the diaphragm.
SUPTA BADDHA KONASANA (Reclining butterfly pose)
To practise this pose you will need three bolster/pillows.
Sit with your legs straight in front of you. Place one bolster under the arch of the lower back, keeping the hips on the floor. Lie down on the bolster, and make sure the head touches the bolster.
Place the other two bolsters on either side of the legs. Bend the knees and separate the legs on either side, so that the outer thighs rest on the bolster, and the soles of the feet touch each other.
Lift the arms up and place them on either sides and relax the shoulders and the facial muscles. Breathe deeply, holding the pose for 25 breathes. To release the pose, straighten the legs and roll the body to the right. Then lift the torso and sit up.
Benefits: The regular practise of this pose during winter opens the chest, shoulders, hips and the groin, making the nervous system stronger and building immunity.
VIPARITA KARANAI (Legs up the wall)
Sit facing the wall, with the hips a few inches away from the wall.
Lie down on the spine and raise the legs up on the wall. Make sure that the lower back is touching the floor. If it is not, then place a bolster under the hips.
Keep the arms a few inches away from the body and open the palms towards the ceiling. Relax the entire body, and stay in this pose for a few minutes.
To release the pose, bend the knees and drop them down towards the right and then sit up.
Benefits: This pose increases circulation in the entire body. It releases stress and tension from the body, resulting in a calm mind.