Fall is officially here, even if it’s still hot in some parts of the country. I love watching the leaves change, and feel the breeze change from warm to cool! I don’t love knowing that cold and flu season is about to rear its head. I don’t like taking over-the-counter medications, which often leave me feeling foggy and uncomfortable. Fortunately, there are lots of ways to boost the immune system, and to care for yourself if you do get sick, without resorting to over-the-counter remedies. Here are a few yogic tips to build your immune system and keep yourself comfortable this fall.
Do yoga – Exercise is a wonderful way to strengthen and boost the immune system. Our lymphatic system plays a role in keeping us healthy by producing lymph, a fluid which removes bacteria from our bodies and carries them to our lymph nodes to be destroyed. But this system has no pump, and requires contraction of muscles to move the lymphatic fluid through our bodies. So practicing yoga asana or Kundalini kriyas daily is a great way to keep your lymph flowing and strengthen your immune system. You can also try inversions like shoulder stand, head stand, and hand stand to move the lymph using gravity.
Vitamins and supplements – Eating a healthy diet is very important to our health. The vitamins and minerals we absorb through our food allow our cells to be stronger and our immune systems to do their jobs. But sometimes our best dietary intentions are derailed by busy schedules or travel. Even if we try to eat well, sometimes we can use a little boost if we know that we’re going to be in situations where there are lots of germs (people who live and work with children, you know what I’m talking about!). Taking an extra supplement can help to boost your immune system, keeping you happy and healthy.
Neti pot – I’ll just come out and say it: I am in love with my neti pot. When I have a cold, it is a wonderful way to provide relief from sinus pressure and congestion. Using it when you’re well is a nice way to flush out your nasal and sinus cavities, keeping them hydrated and healthy. If you’ve never tried it before, don’t be intimidated! The first time or two might feel a little strange, but as you get used to the process it becomes quite relaxing.
Mantra – Listening to yoga music and mantra is not a magical process that will prevent you from getting sick. But if you are a believer in the power of sound and vibration, chanting a mantra like “Ra Ma Da Sa” can raise your vibration and align you with Health. Even if you aren’t sure about that, mantra lovers know that it feels good to chant. Chanting can stimulate the pituitary gland, and release hormones that help us to feel good. It’s a wonderful remedy for those days you’re feeling under the weather!
Tea – When you have a cold, it’s important to stay hydrated. Getting plenty of fluids can help with congestion, and flushing germs out of the body. Different herbs can help to soothe the body, and many people find it comforting to drink a warm beverage when they don’t feel well. So if you aren’t feeling well, cozy up with a cup of tea and relax.