It turns out that yoga is one of the best activities you can do to ward off illnesses and maintain a strong immune system.
Yoga has an almost miraculous way of opening up the body. The repetitive vinyasas and movements that help to get the limbs on track help to align the various systems of the body so that everything can flow in a more harmonious way.
Stress Decreases Immunity. Yoga Decreases Stress.
There is so much information and misinformation nowadays in the chaos of Covid. While we recognize the importance of being aware of what is going on, much of the way information has been conveyed regarding this illness has been confusing and had led to a level of high alert in many people.
Unfortunately, the problem in this situation is that stress decreases immunity. The American Psychological Association discusses the reality of "psychoneuroimmunology," a phenomenon that links stress with infection. They conclude:
Managing stress, especially chronic or long-term stress (even if it's not intense), may help people to fight germs. When burdened with long-term stressors, such as caring for an elderly parent or spouse with dementia, health can benefit from conscientious stress management.
If you are fearful about contracting any illness, the best thing you can do is find a way to relax and eliminate the things that are causing stress. The breathing exercises found in yoga are widely known to promote relaxation and decrease stress.
Yoga is More than Just Exercise
Yoga is much more than just exercise for many reasons, but one of them is that it stimulates much more than just the muscular system. Yoga also stimulates the internal organs. Poses where we take the head far back and open the throat, such as Matsyasana have the effect of stimulating the thyroid gland, while twists like Marichyasana C can help to stimulate the liver and other internal organs in the abdomen.
Practicing yoga over a period of time can create an overall feeling of wellness. As the systems of the body come to increased states of health, the lymph and blood in the body can flow freely in all areas. Many long-term yogis will tell you that this affects their immune system and improves their ability to stay healthy more frequently and to overcome illness more quickly.
If You're Sick, Stay Home
Of course, if you're actively sick, stay home, rest, hydrate, and give yourself time to heal.