Adho Mukha Savasana (Downward Facing Dog) – Part 4 of 8
From a position of all fours on the floor, lift the buttocks up toward the ceiling on an exhalation. Elongate the spine and straighten the knees as much as possible without forcing. Lift from the wrists and from the top front of the thighs closest to the hips. Move the abdominal muscles in and keep them firm; drop your head toward the floor and let it hang loosely. Release after 3 breaths.
Ever wonder why some of us fall constant prey to seasonal colds, while others waltz through winter without a sniffle? While it’s tempting to fault the person on the bus or plane who sneezes in your direction, compelling research has some scientists arguing that colds are NOT just a matter of viral exposure. Rather, an internal disturbance in your body’s immune system is MORE LIKELY to blame.
Yoga provides the perfect means of keeping the immune system strong on a day-to-day basis – and it can also help you gain strength when you fall ill. Asanas work by lowering stress hormones that compromise the immune system. They also condition the lungs and respiratory tracts, stimulate the lymphatic system to oust toxins from the body and bring oxygenated blood to the organs.
Outside of Bikram yoga postures, there are a number of additional poses that can help a practitioner get through a cold. Adho Mukha Savasana (Downward Facing Dog), for instance, encourages blood flow to the sinuses. Ustrasana (Camel Pose), Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose), and Balasana (Child’s Pose) with arms extended in front, moving into Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose), are good choices if bronchial congestion has you struggling for air.
Rest assured that whatever your current yoga practice entails, it already strengthens your resistance to viral and bacterial intruders. But if you want to take extra steps to avoid infection, forward bends, backbends and twists can all lend a hand in supporting and strengthening the immune system. Practice these regularly throughout the winter and you will improve your chances of staying healthy!.
OTHER RECOMMENDED POSES
Salamba Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Supported Bridge Pose)
Viparita Karani (Legs-Up-The –Wall Pose)
Salamba Baddha Konasana (Supported Bound Angle Pose)