When you’re feeling sick, the last thing you may feel like doing is exercising. But the practice of yoga can actually be a great way to support the body during illness and help to speed up the recovery process.
Benefits of Yoga when you feel sick
Here are a few ways that yoga can help when you’re feeling sick:
- Reduces stress and promotes relaxation: Yoga has been shown to be effective in reducing stress and promoting relaxation, which can be especially helpful when you’re feeling under the weather. The practice can help to calm the mind and bring about a sense of inner peace, which can be comforting when you’re feeling sick.
- Improves circulation: Many yoga poses involve movement and stretching, which can help to improve circulation and get the blood flowing. This can be especially beneficial when you’re feeling sluggish and lethargic due to illness.
- Boosts the immune system: Some research has suggested that the practice of yoga can help to boost the immune system, which can help to fight off illness. In particular, certain yoga poses, such as inversions, have been shown to have a positive impact on the immune system.
- Helps with breathing: Certain yoga practices, such as pranayama (breath control), can help to improve respiratory function and alleviate congestion. This can be especially helpful if you’re dealing with a cold or flu.
- Alleviates muscle aches and pains: Yoga poses can help to stretch and loosen tight muscles, which can be helpful if you’re experiencing muscle aches and pains as a result of illness. Gentle stretches and poses that focus on the neck, shoulders, and upper back can be particularly beneficial for relieving tension.
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Yoga Poses when you feel sick
When you’re feeling sick, it can be helpful to focus on yoga poses that are gentle and supportive, rather than strenuous or physically demanding. Here are five yoga poses that can be especially helpful when you’re feeling under the weather:
Child’s pose (Balasana)
This pose is a great way to stretch the back and hips while also helping to calm the mind. To get into Child’s pose, start on your hands and knees and bring your hips back towards your heels. Extend your arms out in front of you and lower your chest towards the ground. Hold the pose for a few breaths, focusing on relaxing the body and letting go of any tension.
Seated forward bend (Paschimottanasana)
This pose is a great way to stretch the hamstrings and lower back while also helping to calm the mind. To get into Seated Forward Bend, start in a seated position with your legs extended in front of you. Inhale and lift your arms up, then exhale and hinge at the hips as you lower your chest towards your legs. If you can’t reach your toes, use a strap or towel to bridge the gap. Hold the pose for a few breaths, focusing on relaxing the body and letting go of any tension.
Reclining bound angle pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)
This pose is a great way to stretch the inner thighs and hips while also helping to calm the mind. To get into Reclining Bound Angle pose, start by sitting with the soles of your feet together and your knees bent out to the sides. Lower yourself back onto the ground and bring your hands to your sides with the palms facing up. Hold the pose for a few breaths, focusing on relaxing the body and letting go of any tension.
Legs up the Wall pose (Viparita Karani)
This pose is a great way to improve circulation and alleviate swollen feet and ankles. To get into Legs up the Wall pose, start by sitting sideways next to a wall. Bring your hips as close to the wall as possible and then swing your legs up onto the wall. Lay your arms by your sides with the palms facing up and hold the pose for a few breaths, focusing on relaxing the body and letting go of any tension.
Corpse pose (Savasana)
This pose is a great way to relax the body and calm the mind. To get into Corpse pose, start by lying on your back with your arms by your sides and your palms facing up. Close your eyes and focus on relaxing the body and letting go of any tension. Hold the pose for as long as you’d like, focusing on your breath and the sensation of the ground beneath you.
It’s important to remember that while yoga can be a helpful complementary practice during illness, it’s not a replacement for medical treatment. If you’re feeling severely ill, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional and follow their recommended treatment plan.
If you’re interested in trying yoga as a way to support the body during illness, there are many resources available online. Look for classes or videos that are specifically designed for individuals who are feeling under the weather, and focus on poses that feel comfortable and supportive for your body. It’s important to listen to your body and only do what feels comfortable for you. With a consistent and dedicated practice, yoga can be a helpful tool for supporting the body during illness and promoting a speedy recovery.
You might also like our Ayurveda & Yoga tips for Immunity.