You’re not alone if you’re already dreading cold and flu season. Luckily, you can launch a pre-emptive strike on all of those coughy-sneezy germs swirling around your office, school, local market, and even your home with some proactive health measures. For instance, I get my yearly flu shot, boost my fresh fruit and vegetable intake, make sure I get proper sleep, wash my hands frequently, and I sure as heck go to yoga class because getting all “downward dog” stimulates the body’s four major physiological links to the immune system—the digestive, endocrine, circulatory, and nervous system.
Here’s how the following 7 yoga poses done regularly can boost immunity and help ward off an impending cold or flu…
1. Alternate Nostril Breath Work
Sure, yoga breathing exercises can help you achieve Zen calm, but exercises that employ alternate nostril inhalation and exhalation work to break up and rid your nasal passages of stubborn congestion, germs, and bacteria. To perform a calming and cleansing session of alternate nostril breathing:
- Sit comfortably cross-legged, resting hands on thighs.
- Bring the right hand up to your nose and gently pinch with side of the nostrils with the right ring finger and thumb.
- Inhale and exhale, alternately closing off right nostril with thumb while you inhale fully through the left nostril.
- Then, closing off the left nostril with the ring finger to exhale fully through the right nostril.
- Count 4 beats with each inhale, hold for 4 beast, and exhale completely for 4 beats.
- Repeat for a round of 5 on each side.