We can all agree that there are many wonderful benefits to be gained from regular yoga practice, from gentle exercise to stress relief and improved mental health. It’s a wonderful way to increase self-awareness and boost your strength, balance, and flexibility.
However, using yoga for recovery when you’re sick may be a new concept for some. Let’s take a look at how yoga can make a difference in ailment recovery, and which poses may be especially beneficial when you’re feeling under the weather.
7 Ways Yoga Can Make a Difference in Ailment Recovery
- Increased Blood Flow
Moving from one position to another during a yoga flow requires stretching your muscles and body. This stretching improves blood flow throughout the body. Much like other types of exercise, yoga causes your body temperature to rise and your heart to beat faster, which also boosts blood flow.
By improving blood flow and circulation throughout your body, you’re also increasing oxygen to the brain, heart, lungs, and other organs. This is essential for improving cellular health and growing new cells, as well as combatting fatigue.
- A Stronger Immune System
Exercise boosts the immune system, and yoga is no exception. In fact, according to experts in functional medicine, yoga can help bring the body back into balance, which supports the immune system by lowering overall stress levels that can weaken the immune system.
Yoga also improves oxygenation, blood flow, and cellular health, which are all crucial for helping the body recover from viruses and other ailments.
- Improves Sleep
Sometimes it’s hard to achieve restful sleep when you’re sick, but we all know that sleep is essential for recovering from illness. Yoga can help you relax and calm your mind so that you can sleep better and recover more quickly.
On top of that, stress and anxiety are two major causes of insomnia, and practicing yoga regularly can help in both areas. The National Sleep Foundation recommends regular yoga practice to anyone who wants to fall asleep faster and sleep more deeply all night long.
- Improves Your Mood
Being sick can be depressing, especially if you can’t go to work or meet your other responsibilities. Yoga is a great way to boost your mood when you aren’t feeling well because it promotes the release of endorphins, a hormone that is connected to happiness.
The deep breathing exercises of yoga are beneficial for your moods, too. They help to calm the mind and improve your energy levels as you move from one pose to the next.
Yoga can also help relieve the depression and anxiety that go hand in hand with chronic illness. By reducing anxiety and stress, patients often find that they’re more receptive to treatment and recover more quickly.
- Lowers Blood Pressure
Yoga is a mind-body therapy based on deep breathing and controlled movement. It can help to lower your blood pressure, which is beneficial not only when you’re sick, but also in everyday life. When combined with a healthy lifestyle, the positive effects on blood pressure are even more pronounced.
- Reduces Aches and Pains
Aches and pains go hand in hand with common ailments like colds and flu, as well as chronic illness. Many times, this pain is caused by muscle tension and inflammation, which can be greatly reduced with regular yoga practice.
As we’ve already mentioned, yoga improves circulation and blood flow, which is fantastic for reducing inflammation, which is a major contributor to pain. And, once again, yoga also promotes the release of endorphins, which not only boost the mood but also relieve pain.
- Reduces the Need for Medication
Coping with an illness often means taking medication, but many of us prefer to avoid drugs whenever possible. Yoga is widely recommended as a complementary medicine practice to reduce the need for pain medication, anti-inflammatories, antidepressants, and blood pressure medication.
Types of Poses to Try When You’re Feeling Under the Weather
These types of poses may help you fight off ailments and recover more quickly when you’re feeling under the weather.
Twists can help move toxins, like cold and flu viruses, out of your organs and other important body systems. They help to restore balance to the body, improving function overall.
Inversions are fantastic for stimulating the lymphatic system, which is responsible for flushing toxins from the body. Since our lymph system doesn’t pump on its own, inversions are a great way to get things moving. You can do passive inversions, such as supported bridge or legs on the wall, or active inversions like headstand, shoulder stand, and full-bridge. They’re all beneficial for stimulating the lymph system and boosting illness recovery.
Rest is crucial for supporting the immune system and speeding recovery. It gives the body and the mind a chance to recharge so we can fight off illness more efficiently. Doing a few minutes of savasana when you’re recovering from illness can be incredibly beneficial. The restorative twist is another great option.
Wrapping It Up
Yoga is a wonderful way to take care of yourself when you’re feeling under the weather. Incorporating these yoga postures into your daily routine and leading a healthy lifestyle will not only help you recover more quickly, but will also help you fight off illness in the future.
One of the best things about yoga is that it’s readily accessible to everyone. Just about anyone, regardless of age or fitness level, can take advantage of the recovery benefits this ancient practice has to offer.