Tag Archive | yoga for over 50’s

Yoga to boost your immune system

Dear Readers, Yogis

We all know Coronavirus (or Covid 19) has caused a pandemic, there is no cure yet and it has not peaked.

In Autumn (at the change of seasons) we are all prone to catching colds.  Sniffles, mild throat sore and coughs are typical for this time of the year.  As THE virus is here and the 2019/20 flu vaccination is not available yet we have two reasons to be concerned.

What can we do to improve our chances to stay healthy/healthier?

The answer is to include poses in our practice which are restorative and have a number of health benefits such as: calming the mind, boosting the immune system and open the chest which helps with breathing! 

You will find a few simple poses further down.

Staying grounded, mentally well is just as important as physical well-being.  Our nervous system might still be on high alert from the bush fires, floods and we might feel overwhelmed by the information regarding Coronavirus and the effects of the restrictions our everyday life.

 My classes will continue – with the following modifications:

  • I won’t do hands-on adjustments,
  • I will not sequence partner-work (which are a lot of fun in ‘normal’ times),
  • I will continue to include restorative poses,
  • We will use less props or no props at all,
  • I am considering a streamed version of the classes – but I will need some technical help with this.

 Here is what you can do:

  • In addition to normal hygiene practices – please wash your hands (or use hand sanitiser) before and after class,
  • Stay at home if you are feeling under the weather and/or have any flu like symptoms,
  • Bring your own mat, blanket or towel and other props if you wish.

 And here is what we can all do:

  • Extract from Yoga Australia’s recent note:

“Talk to your friends. Talk to your students / fellow students. Try to steer clear of sensationalist media. Lean on your community. Most importantly, remember to breathe through it all”.

Try any or all of the following poses which help to boost the immune system:

In restorative yoga we allow the body to rest /lay over props.  The para sympathetic nervous system will relax (i.e. the opposite to fight or flight).

General notes:

  • Stay warm, wear socks, jumper and cover up with a blanket or towel,
  • If you wish cover your eyes (either with an eye pad or face wash folded up),
  • Modify your set up until you are comfortable as it is beneficial to stay in each of these poses 2-5 minutes or longer. If you new to these poses slowly build up the time.
  • Relax the face, let go of the lower jaw,
  • Slow down your breath, start with counting to 4 to inhale and 4 to exhale. Then extend your exhalation, say to the count of 6.  Experienced yogis might include a pause after the inhalation and after the exhalation.

 

Setu bandha (bridge pose)

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You can use a bolster to on or fold up two blankets to lift the chest and the rest of your body.

Use yoga blocks, books or folded blanket to rest your feet. Feet to be a bit higher than the rest of the body.  For beginners the blankets will be fine.

The aim of the pose is to open the chest, shoulders to rest on a rolled blanket, neck is supported.

Go into the pose with legs bent and straighten them one by one – only if it feels comfortable.

Do not turn your head and do now swallow in this pose!

 

Supta Baddha Konasana (bound angle pose)

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In this pose the abdominal area opens (note it is different from stretching).

Use a bolster or folded up blanket to lay over.

Put some elevation under your head, both under the bolster and on top of the bolster.

You can use a strap to hold your feet together. If you use a strap make a big loop, pull it on and have it below the waste.  This will help you to lengthen the lower back

Start by sitting up tall, have a small gap between your buttocks and the bolster.

Bend your elbows and lower your torso onto the bolster.

Gentle push your heels together, this will allow for the hips and groins to soften.

 

Viparita Karani (Legs up the wall or resting the calves on a chair)

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There are a few modifications to this pose.

If you are able to keep your legs straight and against the wall the buttocks should touch the wall. You can place a folded blanket to lift the buttocks and hips.

You might need elevation under your head, the throat to be soft

If you use a chair aim to keep the shins vertical.

Rest the calves on the seat of the chair, try to have some elevation under the heels.

I do this pose most nights before going to bed.

It is relaxing and rejuvenating at the same time.

ENJOY YOUR PRACTICE, HOPE YOU FEEL BETTER AFTER IT!

Please note all these poses help with going to sleep or stay sleeping (insomnia)

Note to my dancing friends – try these once you get hone from an evening of good dancing!

Keep breathing and hopefully we collectively get through these uncertain times!

yoga mat

Mary