We all know we feel better after a yoga class but how does yoga help support us during the cooler months? Firstly yoga helps lower stress hormones that compromise the immune system, while also conditioning the lungs and respiratory tract, stimulating the lymphatic system to oust toxins from the body, and bringing oxygenated blood to the various organs to ensure their optimal function. Yoga tradition also suggests that colds and flu result from poor digestion or an energy imbalance originating in the digestive tract, which results in a build-up of mucus and phlegm that moves into the lungs. Poses that gently compress, twist, or extend the belly can help a host of digestive ailments. Both colds and flu attack the bronchial passages, so conditioning the lungs and maximizing one’s breathing capacity through pranayama can help build resistance to preying organisms.
Finally, meditation also reduces the incidence of infectious ailments by de-stressing the body and mind. Ample research has shown that just 20 minutes of meditation a day increases endorphins, decreases cortisol levels, and fosters positive states of mind to promote better health.