There are times when common cold and flu affects even the most devout of yoga practitioners, and of course, both these diseases are contagious too. Yes, you can practice yoga while you have the flu. If you’re so sick that you can’t get out of bed, simply meditate and utilize pranayama. But if you are at a point where you feel you can practice asana, there are plenty of poses that can help you reduce the length of time you have the flu and how badly it affects you.
Though the flue doesn’t pose serious health concerns for people in good health, it can pave way for an exhausting and an annoying yoga experience. Practicing yoga while you have the flu takes the individual through the path that embraces a faster recovery rate, as yoga is known to possess inherent abilities that help regulate the immune system, as it also keeps the immune system to remain healthy and strong to ward off infections.
Though many individuals opt for over-the-counter medicine to drive away flu, regular practice of yoga helps the individual suffering from flu to recover at a faster rate. Stress is one of the prime factors that lead to flu, as stress hormones only affect the function the thymus, which shrinks in size, as it then becomes a poor producer pertaining to immune cells. Should you choose to practice yoga while you have the flu, you’ll find that the forward bends and restorative poses that produce a calming effect on the nervous system, the whole-body stress can get reduced, thus allowing the body to heal itself more efficiently.
Apart from general yoga practice, there are specific yoga postures that are put to use to enhance immune boosting abilities of specific organs pertaining to the immune system. The upper back bends for chest opening helps in activating the thymus gland that is found at the centre of the chest. The beneficial postures include Pigeon, Cobra, Boat, Fish, Bow and the Bridge. Also, when the immune cells get produced and circulated, the body is able to defend the attacks of viruses and bacteria.
Through inversions, the passive circulation related to the lymphatic system increases, which in turn paves for the production as well as the circulation related to the lymphatic system. Inversions such as headstand, shoulder stand, plough as well as the pose where the legs are up against the wall help in enhancing the immune cells and lymph flow through the body.
The secondary organs related to the immune system, which are the lymph nodes in armpits and groin as well as spleen gets activated through hip openers and twists, and these organs are important production areas for immune cells. By practising yoga while you have the flu and incorporate specific yoga poses such as bound angle and pigeon, the organs of the immune system become strong and healthy to ward off the negative effects of flu.
Another significant yogic technique that aids in driving away the symptoms related to the cold and flu is nasal irrigation, called the Jala Neti. This is but a yoga nasal wash, which helps to flush out the germs or bacteria that can pave way for infections. By practising this when you have the flu, and adopting various poses and practices of yoga, the practitioner can make sure to enjoy a healthy immune system, which helps in preventing as well as in aiding individuals to recover quickly from the flu.
Focusing on the physical discipline required for yoga and achieving the peace of mind that results from the practice can provide much-needed balance in a busy easily unbalanced life.