Covid 19 – immunity and the practice of yoga
In 2021 the coronavirus might be less deadly than in 2020. Did you know that our immune system has a form of intelligence, adapting and adjusting to the each-and-every threat that comes our way?
As a matter of fact, over the years to come and to beat the virus, our immune system will never cease ‘to revise, improve’ its tactics and method, our immune system is resourceful.
Some information about our immune system
– Genetics partly define the abilities of our immune system
– Being well and optimistic reinforce our capacity to fight the disease
– Our body possesses between 500 and 600 lymphatic nodes to fight bacteria, viruses and other ‘foreign’ microorganism
– Stress can be a positive factor, but an excess of stress weakens our immune system
– Healthy life pattern, sleep, diet, exercise, support its capabilities to fight the disease
– Age plays a role in the immune system; elderly peoples are more at risk
– Once infected, our immune system will have a memory to recognize and to fight it
– Our reaction and consequence of the virus are directly related to our immune capacity
Yoga practice during a crisis
Yoga is a technology if applied persistently, with knowledge and devotion, enable its practitioner to improve his health and to create positive change in his life.
A crisis of this magnitude is an important moment for a yogi, going inward, facing fears, desperation and other aspects particular to these times.
A re-evaluation of oneself and a new sense of direction in life, are part of it.
About the immune sequence’s author
BKS Iyengar, through a lifetime of practice, with fierce willpower, acquired over time a knowledge which remains unmatched to this day. He is best known for his expertise to understand and combine the effects of asanas.
The immune sequence
The ‘immunity sequence’ was his response to the swine flu of 2009. Please note the ‘timing’; timing is one of the central aspects of Iyengar yoga. Caution, do not attempt this kind of ‘timing’ without proper knowledge and experience. There are several variations to this sequence with similar effects – consult a certified Iyengar yoga teacher for advice.
• Uttanasana – 5mn
• Adho mukha svanasana – 5mn
• Prasarita Padottanasana – 3mn
About these three first poses; These ‘head down’ poses calm the nervous system, release fears, and other negative feelings + they also prepare for headstand (Sirsasana).
• *Sirsasana (Headstand), – 5mn straight + 10mn of leg variations
One of the two ‘essentials’ part in this sequence; Sirsasana purifies the blood, strengthens the lungs, improves the function of the pituitary and pineal glands on which our growth and vitality depend on – the leg variations brings a fresh amount of blood to the lymphatic clusters situated in the groins and abdomen.
• Vipareeta dandasana – 5mn (on a chair)
Brings a fresh amount of blood to the lymphatic cluster situated in the chest and armpit, build up emotional stability.
• *Sarvangasana (Shoulder stand) – 10 mn
• Halasana – 5mn
• Sarvangasana cycle – 5mn
This group of poses are the second ‘essential’ part in this sequence; Sarvangasana purifies the blood, strives for harmony between all the systems, it supports the function of the thyroid and parathyroid glands – halasana + cycle; a specific action on the lymphatic nodes situated in the organs and groins.
• Setu Bandha Sarvangasana – 5mn
It is an excellent pose to bring quietness to the body and mind. Invariably, it lifts the mood and support all kind of emotional disturbance.
• Vipareeta Karani – 5mn
This pose addresses fatigue and exhaustion, and it is the beginning of deep relaxation, it can be used without moderation.
• Savasana with Viloma/ Ujjayi pranayama – 10mn
Relaxes the mind-body complex, enables physical and mental recovery. Learning to lengthen the exhalation will release fear and anxiety.
*The Iyengar yoga system consider Sirsasana and Sarvangasana as ‘essential poses’ for a therapeutic approach. Through their inverted action and with a prolonged stay they deeply regenerate all the systems.
I do not intend to diagnose, to treat, to cure or to prevent any disease. If you need medical help, refer to your local authorities and doctors. I do not intend to offend any yoga school, practitioner or non-yoga person; the views expressed in this article are personal and belong solely to its author.
This article was written by Thomas Humpert, from Satya Yoga/ Copenhagen Denmark
The immune sequence – Yoga Rahasya
Human biology – Elaine N. Marieb
Light on Yoga – BKS Iyengar
A matter of health – Dr Krishna Raman
The path to holistic health – BKS Iyengar