Yoga builds Immunity ‘Heyam dukham, anagatum’ – averting the danger that has not yet come!!!! We need that now. Yoga is not just a ‘work out, it is a work in’, we need Mindful Yoga now, a conscious breath to our endocrine glands, our organs, opening our meridians, stimulating our lymphatics, moving our tissues in all directions, inversions.
Vasisthasana is a great winter pose for our immune system.
I think of the immune system as everything to health and it involves prevention of disease and ill health, practising mindful wellness – consistently, always! Difficult as it is, a key message is to keep a positive energy, this gives Healing on a deeper level, the mind- body connection.
The immune system encompasses different organs, glands, nodes, cells and proteins and aside from the nervous system is the most complex system of the body.
Endocrine Glands producing hormones, amazingly close to the Chakra energy system
Reproduction glands /Muladhara Root Chakra.
Pancreas regulating insulin /our digestive system and Manipura Sun Chakra
Thymus gland producing T cells /Anahatha Heart Chakra
Thyroid gland regulating our metabolism / Vishuddhi Throat Chakra
Pineal gland regulating melatonin, sleep, circadian rhythm /Ajna and Sahasrara Chakras
Pituitary Master Gland / Ajna and Sahasrara
Lymphatic System fighting Infections – bacterial, viral, fungal, parasitic, Cancers, Toxins
Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) – balancing Sympathetic get up and go neural system and Parasympathetic calming balancing neural system.
Chinese medicine focuses on our Lung and Large Intestine paired meridians and the Metal Element for Autumn, the yin Kidneys, yang Bladder and Water element during Winter. The Lung channel prepares for winter conditioning of the respiratory tract, the Large Intestine aids absorption of nutrients and elimination of waste, If Lung and LI Qi are strong, we have balanced energy and we are are able to handle life’s difficulties. The Kidneys boost our yin energy and address chronic fatigue, balancing overactive adrenal glands producing cortisol. Other organs keep us well. The Spleen which is really our largest lymph node, acts as a blood filter, producing red blood cells and fighting bacteria. The heart keeps our circulation going and keeps our ANS even via the Vagus Nerve. Yoga boosts our ‘Vagal Tone’.
Both Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic Healing encourage the body to balance and heal itself, to be in tune with the Earth and its seasons. If we are aware, we become more positive, we are always striving to heal, we are amazingly resilient! The body regenerates constantly – every second 10,000 new cells / micro-organisms.
Stress is the number one cause of low immunity, affecting our adrenal glands, an overproduction of cortisol giving fatigue, viruses infections, joint inflammation, auto immune conditions. Stress of the mind manifests as tension and imbalance in the body. Observe the body, breath and mind, sit with yourself daily, hold your integrity and intention, in this way we can discern what needs clearing, simplify, just do your best and be present with what is.
Nutrition – we are what we eat, eating in balance with the seasons, fresh, whole foods, together with warm and nourishing soups, stews, herbal teas for winter, warming our kidneys.
Mind/ body, Brain/ Gut connections – neurotransmitters from the brain are also found at an immune cellular level and in the gut – amazing! The brain influences motility and secretion in the gut, our emotions and thoughts can change the diversity of micro-organisms here. Hence REST and DIGEST, our Parsympathetic calming aspect of the Autonomic Nervous system is so important and yoga has always had poses for this!
Lifestyle – balancing exercise, posture, rest, sleep….our Circadean Rhythm managed by our Pineal Gland… Love – connect with and love yourself, and others, foster gratitude. We enjoy and benefit from yoga more , when we bring awareness to all aspects of our lifestyle and when with wisdom, we learn to take yoga into our daily lives.