Yoga can be Your Defense against Common Illnesses and Viral Infections

The common cold makes itself felt all over the world at least once yearly. Yoga's global popularity at this point in time, doesn't include its capacity to guard the immune system and secure the body against common illnesses.

The human immune system is a complex formation capable of confusing the countless viruses, toxins, bacteria and parasites regularly trying to attack the body.  A strong immune system speaks of a healthy body, thus its efficient functioning is vital to our health.

The malfunction of the immune system could be due to several factors. Some of these are insufficient diet, stress, lack of exercise, toxins in the external and internal environments (like food), too much alcohol consumption.  The immune system can recover from its weakened condition through yoga and resume its previously effective operation.

Yoga has numerous positive effects on the immune system, like improvement of circulation, improvement of the flow of oxygen and therefore, energy throughout the body, heighten lung capacity, rejuvenation of internal organs, relaxing of the nervous sytem and  strengthening immune response, among others.

The thymus gland is the place in the immune system which is the entry point for germs or infectious agent.  It's flanked by the heart and breast bone and is accountable for the production of T-cells.  This is a group of cells crucial in the body's defense against invasion by foreign organisms.

Yoga postures focusing on upper back bends, chest opening and deep breathing stimulate the thymus. Among these are the cobra, fish, bow, bridge, pigeon and boat.

Inverted body positions like the head stand, shoulder stand, plow and legs up the wall assist the course of lymph and immune cells throughout the body by the heightened passive movement of the lymph system. The lymph is the watery material formed when interstitial fluid enters the lymphatic system.  It isn’t thrust into the body like the blood, it relies on tightening of skeletal muscles to flow. It is critical in carrying oxygen, food and water to the cells and removal of waste products out of the body.

Another organ in the immune system with similar function of taking out undesirable substance from the blood and guarding against infection is the spleen. Along with lymph nodes and other secondary organs of the immune system, the spleen is triggered by twisting yoga positions and hip openers.  Postures like the seated twist, prayer twist, bound angle, seated angle and pigeon all serve to motivate these secondary organs.

Constantly doing yoga enhances blood circulation and the flow of oxygen, both of which are crucial to the immune system. Oxygen is essential to the body cells' operation of their basic roles. So an improved flow of oxygen results in improved transport of energy from nutrients to cells, thereby providing greater ammunition to the immune system against germs.

Relaxed yoga postures combined with pranayama, the guided and paced breathing techniques, provide aid to the nervous system and strengthen immune response.

Yoga's benefits of diminishing stress, massage and stimulation of internal organs, balance and power to the nervous system provide a crucial assistance in barring viral infections and common illnesses like colds and flu from harming the body. In this way,Yoga serves to balance the immune system besides providing it strength to combat illness.

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