If you’d like to skip the sniffles this winter, it maybe a good idea to focus on getting more time on your yoga mat. Yoga is a great way to remove stiffness and lethargy from being cooped up indoors because of the cold. Infact, certain asanas can also help boost your lymphatic system, building your immunity during the chilly months. Try these yoga poses at home for a stronger, healthier you this winter:
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Uttanasana (Standing forward bend)
This asana helps lengthen your spine and open up the shoulder joints which stimulates your pancreas, kidney and pituitary glands. Stand with your feet hip distance apart. Exhale deeply and fold at the waist, clasping opposite elbows. Try and keep your feet straight but if you can’t, bend your knees slightly.
Sethuasana (Bridge pose)
This posture rejuvenates your leg muscles and also stimulates the lungs, helping you breathe better. Lie on your back, with knees bent and feet placed on the mat. Press into the feet, lifting the hips and the thighs. Your head, shoulders, and arms should remain on the mat. Inhale and exhalel five to ten times
Trikonasana or Triangle Pose
This asana opens up your lungs, expanding the chest cavity. Its also a great way to build strength in your spine, inner thigh and abdominal muscles. Inhale, with your feet apart, keeping the right foot at 90 degrees and the left heel inward. Exhale and reach out, bending to the right, so that your right hand is extending as far down as it can go. Point your left hand up and look skywards, feeling the chest and pelvis open. Hold for five breaths and repeat on the other side.
Breathing right is just as important as posture, which is why we recommend these simple pranayam techniques to help build lung power.
This breathing method helps warm you from within. Lightly constrict your throat as you slowly and steadily breath in and out through the nose. The constriction forces you to use the muscles used for respiration ,drawing greater attention to them and in turn building internal heat. Repeat ten times.
Simply inhale through the nose and exhale from the mouth making a loud “haaaaa” sound. It may feel a bit silly doing this – but a couple of rounds of this breathing technique and you’ll be relaxed and pretty warmed up.
Inhale and follow it up with several short, forceful exhalations. You should feel your belly move during the process. This bellowing action helps warm you up and can be done in conjunction with Ujjayi – about 20 cycles of Kapalabhati, followed by a nice long Ujjayi breath.
This is just a snapshot of what all you can do to fire up your lungs and immune system during the harsh winter months. For more intensive yoga practice, enlist one of Urbanclap’s partners and learn yoga at home!