Viruses and bacteria lay dormant within the body and get triggered when the body's internal environment is affected, causing them to rally into action and make their attack. Recent studies show that too much stress can lower our ability to fight viruses and disease, which is why it’s important to strengthen the whole immune system. In short, the immune system is the body’s defense and surveillance system, it is our first line of counter-attack.

As important as is to be mobile and flexible, especially in this modern sedentary age, there is a common misconception regarding yoga. Yoga does much more than increase suppleness and mobility. It tones the internal organs, brings vital life energy, as well as oxygen into the organs and every physiological system, improves physical and psychological wellbeing, projects positive thoughts and feelings, and develops a relaxation response that goes deep inside, restoring health and balance to the body and mind.

man resting yoga

A deep conscious breath is worth 6 shallow breaths and all that O2 builds stamina, strength and resilience. A regular yoga practice restores harmony within, lifts flagging spirits, projects a ‘joie de vivreand deepens our sense of connection with the world around us. Yoga also enhances our self-esteem and self-confidence.

A strong immune system not only strengthens our physical body, but develops mental, emotional and spiritual prowess. In turn we create an inner landscape that affects our external world thereby improving the quality our lives.

The following is a simple yoga sequence to help strengthen your amazing body and build your immune system. Over time and practice, your health and wellbeing will improve and you’ll gain many of the benefits mentioned below. Try doing this routine 3-4 times a week or daily if possible; the whole sequence takes as little as 10 minutes!

Please note: As with all exercise plans, consult your medical practitioner first if you have any pre-existing conditions or current health concerns. If during any of the following poses you feel uncomfortable, shaky or experience undue strain, come slowly out of the pose and rest. Remember to listen to your body and modify where necessary to make the poses work for you. Please read the guidance carefully first before practicing.

 

Prepare your space

Find a quiet space at home. Turn off your phone and computer so you won’t be disturbed during the next period of time. You will need a mat, blanket or towel to lay on and may like to use a block or cushions/pillows to support you in some of the poses, so have a couple handy. Wear loose fitting clothes and make sure you will be warm enough. Okay let’s get on the mat!

 

Complete Abdominal Breathing

easy pose yoga

Benefits:

  • Reduces anxiety and depression.
  • Reduces blood pressure.
  • Increases energy and vitality. 

  • Relaxes muscles and organs. 

  • Lowers stress and symptoms of stress. 


How to do this pose:

  1. Sit comfortably in a chair or in Easy pose or lie on the floor. 

  2. Place one or both hands gently over your navel-belly area.
  3. Inhale through your nose, expanding your lungs and sides of diaphragm and the lower lungs.

  4. Begin to feel your belly rise with the inhalation, connecting the breath with your abdominal muscles, lower lungs, chest/sternum and finally collarbone area. 

  5. Pause for a second then gently begin to exhale from the top of the lungs to the bottom. Releasing the abdominal muscles as the exhalation completes with a gentle contraction in the abdominals to expel the last of the air. 

  6. Repeat this as many times as you like.

 

Table Pose

table pose yoga

Image source: AltDaily.com

Benefits:

  • Strengthens wrists, arms, shoulders and hamstrings. 

  • Stretches and loosens backbone and spinal muscles, chest, hips and abdomen.


How to do this pose:

  1. From a kneeling position come onto all fours and take a moment to consciously place your hands directly beneath your shoulders on the floor and check that your knees are directly beneath your hips. Keep your shins parallel and your head lifted as a natural extension from your spine. 

  2. Imagine your back is table top flat and take 5 easy long breaths. You may like to move the hips from side to side or move your head slightly to ease out any tension 

  3. Next, gently begin to move your hips back towards your feet/heels and lower the upper body to the floor as you stretch your arms forward into Child’s pose.


 

Child’s Pose (Balasana)

child's pose yoga

Benefits:

  • Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression. 

  • Energizes the body, calms the mind. 

  • Stretches the shoulders, hamstrings, calves, arches, hands. 

  • Strengthens the arms and legs. 

  • Helps to relieve the symptoms of menopause. 

  • Relieves menstrual discomfort when done with head supported. 

  • Helps prevent osteoporosis. 

  • Aides the digestive system.

How to do this pose:

  1. Sitting back against your heels, arms extended you are now in Child’s pose. 

  2. Be aware of your connection to the floor touching the ground with your forehead and body. Keep your spine long then gently ease your chest down towards the floor, softening and relaxing the front of the body. Allow the area between the shoulder blades to open and relax. 

  3. If you have flexible hips, open the knees into a wide angle version and sink further into the ground with the chest. If you feel uncomfortable or tight in the hips, keep the knees together and try this pose supported with cushions/pillows beneath your chest or make a column of both fists and rest the forehead to make the pose more relaxing. 

  4. Rest in this pose for 10 deep breaths. Child’s pose is very rejuvenating and can be done last thing before bed. If you have time, allow 10-15 minutes to rest, recoup and really enjoy it.

 

Cat & Cow

cat cow posecat cow position yoga

Benefits:

  • Massages and stimulates organs in the belly, kidneys and adrenal glands. 

  • Improves posture and balance. 

  • Strengthens and stretches the spine and neck. 

  • Stretches the hips, abdomen and back. 

  • Increases coordination. 

  • Creates emotional balance. 

  • Relieves stress and calms the mind. 


How to do this pose:

  1. Inhale slowly and lift your head and sitting bones towards the ceiling into Cow pose. Soften and drop your belly down towards the ground. Try not to over extend your neck but concentrate on lifting the end of the spine (tailbone) upwards. 

  2. Exhale and slowly drop the head under and curl the tailbone under, arching your back upwards into Cat. Pull in your belly as you lift to strengthen your core. 

  3. Move between Cat and Cow gently 3-5 times going at your own pace. 

  4. Finish by resting in Child’s pose. 


 

Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

downward facing dog image

Benefits:

  • Energizes the body. 

  • Calms the mind and brain. 

  • Strengthens arms and legs, shoulders and hands.
  • 
Relieves symptoms of menopause. 

  • Helps to prevent osteoporosis. 


How to do this pose:

  1. Take a deep breath as you lift your core body up and press the upper body back to create a V shape. 

  2. Straighten your legs and arms and lift your tailbone and sitting bones to the ceiling. 

  3. Bend knees alternately to ease out any tension and stiffness in legs and lower back. Breathe deeply. 

  4. Rest in this V pose for 10 deep breaths. 


 

Plank Pose (Phalakasana)

plank pose yoga

Benefits:

  • Develops core strength. 

  • Improves balance and posture. 

  • Reduces back pain. 


How to do this pose:

  1. From Downward Dog move your body forward over your arms, straightening your legs and arms to create a straight plane throughout the body. 

  2. Pull in the core of your body from your abdominal muscles (do not use your back muscles) and breath deeply 5 to 10 times. 

  3. Gently lower to the ground and rest for a few breaths. 


 

Cobra (Bhujangasana)

cobra pose

Benefits:

  • Stretches muscles in the shoulders, chest and abdominals. 

  • Reduces lower back stiffness. 

  • Strengthens arms and shoulders. 

  • Increases flexibility. 

  • Improves menstrual irregularities. 

  • Elevates mood. 

  • Firms and tones the buttocks. 

  • Invigorates the heart. 


How to do this pose:

  1. Lie on your front with hands directly beneath your shoulders, elbows tucked into both sides. 

  2. During the inhalation, lift your chest off the floor and begin to straighten your arms - maintaining contact with the front pubis and floor. 

  3.  Press the tailbone towards the pubic bone and relax your buttocks. 

  4. Allow your shoulder blades and tops of shoulders to relax. Lift the sternum but avoid pressing the chest forward. See if you can soften your body as you breathe in and out gently and holding the pose for 15-30 seconds. If you experience any discomfort in your spine or lower back, release gently to the floor and rest. 


 

Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottana)

forward bend pose yoga

Benefits:

  • Calms the brain and helps alleviate mild depression. 

  • Improves digestion.
  • 
Stretches shoulders, spine and hamstrings. 

  • Relieves menstrual discomfort. 

  • Reduces high blood pressure and insomnia. 


How to do this pose:

  1. Sit on the floor with both legs extended straight in front - you may want to use a rolled up towel or place a block under the tail bone for support. 

  2. Press your sitting bones into the ground and extend the heels away from you. 

  3. Inhale and raise both arms overhead.
  4. Exhale and reach forward, bending from hips (not waist), lengthen the spine and back bringing the chest towards the knees. You can use a belt or scarf around your feet to pull as you move into the pose. 

  5. Without force or strain, continue to release forward, bringing the chest further down to the legs and extending from the hip joints. 

  6. Breathe deeply as you go and feel that with each exhalation how you extend further and soften down towards the legs. 

  7. Remain in the pose for 1-3 minutes. To come out, inhale and extend your arms lifting the torso. Rest for 30-60 seconds in Corpse pose.

 

Easy Pose (Sukhasana)

seated pose yoga

Benefits:

  • Calms brain and mind activity.
  • 
Strengthens spine and back. 

  • Stretches ankles, knees and hips. 


How to do this pose:

  1. Sit on a folded blanket or towel to raise your body a few inches from the floor. Cross your shins to rest your ankles, calves and thighs against the floor. You may want to sit with your back against a wall for support. 

  2. Rest your feet, ankles and legs against the floor so that the outer sides of the legs rest comfortably. You should feel good and have a gap between the feet and torso. 

  3. The pelvis should be neutral and relaxed. Press your hands gently into the floor and lift the tailbone and sitting bones, breathing easily as you remain in this lifted position. Relax the thighs and hips before returning back to rest.
  4. Rest your hands in your lap or place your hands over the knees with palms facing upwards. Remain here for any length of time, making sure that you alternate the cross of your shins (left foot in front then right foot in front).

 

Supine Twist

supine twist yoga pose

Image Credit: Yogassan.com

Benefits:

How to do this pose:

  1. Lie on your back with both legs extended.
  2. Bring one leg into the chest and squeeze gently towards your head. 

  3. Place the opposite hand on the knee and begin to ease the leg across your body towards the floor on opposite side. 

  4. Keep both shoulders against the floor and breathe easily for 5-10 breaths as you continue to release your knee down towards the floor. 

  5. Gently roll back to neutral position and change legs. 

  6. Repeat with the other leg. 


 

Legs up the wall

legs up the wall pose

Benefits:

  • Reduces fluid retention. 

  • Calms mind and soothes anxiety. 

  • Calms nervous system. 

  • Relieves tired legs. 


How to do this pose:

  1. Lie on your side with your sitting bones close to the wall with the knees bent.
  2. Begin to gently walk the legs up the wall rotating your body as you go until your back is flat against the floor and your legs are extended up the wall. 

  3. You may like to bend your knees or move slightly further out from the wall if you feel tight. 

  4. Rest your hands over your hips and remain in the pose for as long as you like (10-15 minutes if you have time to really soak up the benefits of this lovely pose). 


 

Corpse Pose (Savasana)  

savasana pose

Benefits:

  • Calms the mind and body. 

  • Reduces fatigue. 

  • Reduces headaches, migraines, insomnia. 

  • Lowers blood pressure.


How to do this pose:

(For the supported pose place a bolster or pillow under both knees to relieve pressure in the back and spine. You may also like to place a support under your head). 


  1. Lie on your back with your spine and neck in a neutral position. 

  2. Lengthen your neck and lower your chin to make sure your head is in alignment with your spine and that it is straight and in a neutral position. 

  3. Move your feet apart to allow the hips to open and rest your lower lumbar and tail 
bone against the floor. Relax your whole back. 

  4. Turn palms to face the ceiling and allow your fingertips to curl into the palms. 

  5. Close your eyes and focus on slowing down your breath and your thoughts as you relax your back into the floor. You can remain in this pose for as long as you like. 


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*Article originally found on BritaBenson.com