Yoga to enhance immunity

22 June 2020 | Opinion

Yoga advocates consuming Sattvic Diet Image Credit: shutterstock.com Image Credit: shutterstock.com

Yoga, as a system of mind-body medicine, has gained eminence and acceptance worldwide, over a span of time. Yogic practices have been professed, proclaimed and proven to be highly effective in disease prevention and health promotion.

Immunity can be defined as a complex biological system, having the capacity to identify and admit whatever belongs to self and identify and remove, what is foreign. The word ‘immunity’ is derived from a latin word ‘immunitas’ which in literal sense, means relaxation or exemption from paying tribute to the roman empire and king. It has two main aspects: 1. Innate Immunity and 2. Acquired Immunity.

Innate immunity is always present in human body, as a person is born with it. It contains mechanisms, useful against a variety of infections, but it is non-specific. Acquired immunity develops throughout the life as a result of exposure to infectious organisms. It acts against those pathogens to which, there has been any previous contact by the body.

This is a specific type of immunity.Immunity also gets challenged by smoking, alcoholism, work-stress and disturbed routine. Yoga’s primary objective is lifestyle intervention, checking the diet and sleep of an individual and making changes if and when necessary.

Yoga is an age old practice, being followed to maintain physical well-being and mental equipoise. Various aspects, viz Kriya, Asana, Pranayama and Meditation have been found to be instrumental in achieving the desired goals of the practitioner.

Kriyas are important aspect of a daily yoga practice as they have a purificatory role in human body. It helps in removal of toxins accumulated in various parts of the body. Practices like Kapalabhati are useful in cleansing the body. Yogic practices are initiated by sukshmavyayama or subtle exercises, which enhance and improve micro-circulation, thereby supplying oxygen to body parts lacking it.

Asanas, the prominent physical component of yoga, which is a highly sought-after segment, is effective and applicable in providing a gentle and impactful exercise to all parts of the body. It is practiced gracefully and slowly, contrary to the general thought of a strenuous and difficult exercise.

The final position of asana commonly imposes severe stretch on some parts of the body. It should be maintained for a limited time period, in order to attain optimum benefits of it. Asana starts with relaxation, is maintained in relaxation and ends with relaxation.

Asanas involving or centered on the thorax are highly efficient in improving and maintaining immunity as it directly affects the spleen. Asanas like tadasana, vrikshasana, ardha- matsyendrasana, uttan-mandukasana, gomukhasana, chakrasana and bhujangasana are highly effective in immune development.

Pranayama, literally means control of prana. Pranayama aims at balancing the inflow or outflow of the breathe. It helps regulate the prana in a defined manner. The essence of pranayama is deep, slow and long inhalation and exhalation.

It is helpful and regenerative as it reduces dead space ventilation and also renews air throughout the lungs in opposition to shallow breathing, which renews air only at the base of the lungs. This eventually boosts immunity. Pranayama like Anuloma-Viloma, Bhastrika and Bhramari are beneficial in developing immune responses.

Diet also has a key role to play in boosting Immunity. Yoga advocates consuming Sattvic Diet. Sattvic Diet is a freshly prepared, juicy, sweet and nutritious diet. Diet invigorates immunity and prepares a person& mind-body setup for any sort of adversity.

Meditation, a highly evolved practice derived from YOGA, aims at attaining a mind with balanced thoughts. Mind, by nature is restless and ever-moving. It aims at neutralizing in flow of thought and helps improve various psycho-somatic functions, thus effecting the immunity of a individual to a great extent. In conclusion, it can be very well inferred that yoga practices are useful in boosting immunity and thus maintaining a perfect health.

 

Vivek Slaria, Founder, GreenLattey and TWChallenge App

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