Winter has begun and so has the struggle with infections, skin allergies, colds, the flu, etc. It is important but difficult to maintain good health throughout the winter. A balanced diet, rich in seasonal fruits and vegetables, along with an active lifestyle can help you stay warm during the chilly, dry winter. Yoga can be extremely helpful and also have a great impact on one's immune system – which is also impacted in the winter.
Here are five yoga poses that you can try to boost immunity in winter.
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1. Triangle Pose
This is a classic standing pose that may not require a yoga mat. It may help alleviate backache, sciatica, and neck pain. It helps relax your spine, hips, and groin while strengthening your shoulders, chest, and legs. It may also help manage stress and anxiety.
This pose focuses on muscles like the latissimus dorsi, internal oblique, gluteus maximus, medius, hamstrings, and quadriceps.
Stand straight, and place your feet about four feet apart.
Your right toes should face forward, and your left toes should be spread out at an angle.
Lift your arms parallel to the floor and place your palms downward.
Tilt slightly forward and hinge your right hip to come forward with your arm and torso.
Bring your hand to your leg, a yoga block, or onto the floor.
Now slowly extend your left arm towards the ceiling.
Look up, forward, or down.
Repeat the pose on both sides and hold it for a minute.
2. Cobra Pose
This stretches your abdomen, chest, and shoulders. It strengthens your spine and may soothe sciatica. It helps the muscle groups: hamstrings, gluteus maximus, deltoids, triceps, and serratus anterior. It also helps manage stress.
Follow the steps:
Lie on your stomach and place your hands under your shoulders and your fingers facing forward.
Draw your arms to your chest and your elbows should not go out to the side.
Press into your hands and slowly lift your head, chest, and shoulders.
Lift partway, halfway, or all the way up.
Slightly bend your elbows.
Let your head drop back to deepen the pose.
Release back down to your mat and breathe out.
Bring your arms by your side and rest your head.
Slowly move your hips from side to side to release tension.
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3. Locust Pose
Locust Pose has proved to improve posture and is effective in situations of prolonged sitting and computer work. It may help relieve lower back pain, and neck pain as well. It can counteract slouching and kyphosis (abnormal curvature of the spine) while strengthening your back muscles, especially the muscles supporting your spine.
Lay on your belly with your feet together and your hands reaching back, your palms should be placed down.
Try extending your big toes straight back and pressing down with all ten toenails to activate your quadriceps.
Rotate your inner thighs to broaden your lower back.
Place your hands on the mat, raise your head and chest and your legs, leading with your inner thighs.
Roll your shoulders back and up away from the floor. Keep the back of your neck long and try lifting your sternum instead of lifting your chin.
Slowly release if you want to come out of the pose.
4. Child's Pose
The child's pose may be helpful for your hips and back, relaxing them and allowing them to stretch. In this pose, you will have to kneel and sit on your knees.
Lean forward while keeping your buttocks on your heels, and rest your forehead on the floor. Place your arms next to your legs, palms facing up. Try to inhale and exhale slowly and deeply. Complete at least eight breaths.
If you find it difficult to rest your forehead on the floor, give this a try. Kneel and sit on your knees with your knees slightly apart. Lean forward and fold your arms in front of you on the floor. Now rest your forehead on your arms and continue inhaling and exhaling.
Legs Up the Wall Pose
This is one of the most simple yoga poses that is performed against a wall. Viparita Karani offers extreme relaxation and relief from anxiety. It is suggested to hold the pose for at least five minutes for effective results.
You can keep your eyes shut and use a calming eye pillow if required. When your legs are flipped upwards, it helps the blood rush back down to the heart and has a calming effect