Yoga Tools to Boost Your Immunity

Are you worried about Covid-19, the Coronavirus? You are right to be concerned, but that worry might make you more susceptible to getting sick. Instead, take appropriate care, while supporting yourself so that you do not get sick.

Stress may be the largest factor in determining if you get sick. When you become stressed, our immune system becomes less able to protect you. The stress hormone, corticosteroid, decreases, even suppresses the immune system by lowering the number of lymphocytes (white blood cells needed to fight off disease) in your system.

Stress, worry, anxiety, etc. lowers the immune system by raising your blood pressure, heart rate, breath rate, and decreases your digestion. If you remain in a state of stress for too long and your brain begins to rewires itself to a state of stress, known as chronic stress.

Protect Yourself

Wash Your Hands! Use soap and warm water. Soap is one of the best defenses we have against getting sick.

Deep Breathing. The longer you exhale, the more signals your brain receives to initiate the parasympathetic nervous system, the Calm Brain response. When the Calm Brain is turned on, the Stress Response is turned off. This causes the heart rate and blood pressure to lower. There are a couple of ways to turn on the Calm Brain through the breath:

  • 4:6 Count Breath – inhale for a count of four and exhale for a count of six
  • Om on the Exhale – try it. The mantra Om is the primordial sound, said to be the sound of everything at once. In addition to the length of the exhale when you use a sound, Om may deactivate the limbic brain.
  • So-Ham with Peace – place your hands on your heart, invite a connection with peace (a feeling, image, memory, etc.), and as you exhale, use the soothing sounds of so-ham (pronounced so-humm).

Rest! Sleep and rest cannot be underestimated. When you sleep, your immune system releases proteins that help you sleep and fight infections. Not enough sleep and your ability to fight disease and recover from illness is reduced. One of the best ways to get rest is through the practice of Yoga Nidra. It is the perfect middle of the day respite.

Meditation. Manage and deregulate the stress response through the practice of meditation. The hardest part of meditation is learning how to sit for meditation. The mind wanders and gets stuck on worries and to-do lists. That is what the LifeForce Yoga Chakra Clearing Meditation is for! It gives the mind a bone, providing space for you to connect with your innate wholeness.

About the Author

Rose Kress

Rose Kress ERYT-500, C-IAYT, YACEP, Owner/Director of the LifeForce Yoga Healing Institute, and author of Awakening Your Inner Radiance with LifeForce Yoga. She directs retreats and training programs on using LifeForce Yoga to manage your mood.

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What People Say

“A client who returned said, "When I came before, you helped me understand and get where I wanted to go. Now you show me yoga practices I use to help myself understand and get where I want to go.” — Sherry Rubin, LCSW, BCD, LFYP, Downingtown, PA
“Giving my clients a strategy and permission to quiet their minds and rebalance the sympathetic nervous system has been very beneficial to them and in our work together.” — Sue Dilsworth, PhD, RYT 200, LFYP, Allendale, MI
“I gained tools for working with my own depression and with my clients’ depressions.” — Robert Sgona, LCSW, RYT, psychotherapist, Yoga teacher, Camden, ME.
“I utilize the LFY techniques in both a class room setting and one-on-one environment. The skills have infused my teachings with compassion, mindfulness, and awareness.” — Kat Larsen, CYT, LFYP
“I integrate strategies like mantra tones and pranayama, but above all I invite myself and those I teach to cultivate svadhyaya, to practice self-observation without judgment.” — Barbara Sherman, RYT 200, LFYP, Tucson, AZ
“Yoga Skills for Therapists is the ideal resource for those who want to bring yoga practices into psychotherapy or healthcare. Weintraub, a leader in the field of yoga therapy, offers evidence-based, easy-to-introduce strategies for managing anxiety, improving mood, and relieving suffering. Helpful clinical insights and case examples emphasize safety, trust, and skillful adaptation to the individual, making it easy to apply the wisdom of yoga effectively in the therapeutic context.” — Kelly McGonigal, PhD, author, Yoga for Pain Relief, Editor-in-Chief, International Journal of Yoga Therapy
“I have found the pranayama (breathing practices) especially easy to introduce in a clinical setting. Some people have benefited quickly in unexpected and transformative ways.” — Liz Brenner, LICSW, LFYP, Watertown, MA
“I learned lots of ways to reduce the anxiety and depression of my patients and myself.” – Aviva Sinvany-Nubel, PhD, APN, CNSC, RN, psychotherapist, Bridgewater, N.J.
“This workshop has changed so much — my self-image and my life. My own heart’s desire is 100% clear. I gained tools to help myself and others to live life fully.” — Marcia Siegel, Yoga teacher, therapist, Carlsbad, CA.
“This program changed my life in a significant way. It helped me connect with the spirit which is something you can’t get from psychotherapy and medication.” – G. W., artist, Pittsburgh, PA
“I feel profoundly transformed, both physically and emotionally. The connection between mind, body and spirit was clearly evident to me, but revealed to me through this workshop as an integrally vital link to overall health.” — Nadine Richardson, program manager at rehab agency, Monroe, CT
“My life is already changed! I will use the tools I learned in my own practice and in my work. I feel safe and seen.” — Susan Andrea Weiner, MA, teacher/expressive arts facilitator, El Cerrito, CA.
“I have gained a softer heart, more receptive mind, and tools to enrich both personal and professional aspects of my life.” – Regina Trailweaver, LICSW, clinical social worker, Hancock, VT.
“I have found the LFYP training to be incredibly useful in giving people specific tools to use in maintaining physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual balance, and further opening their intuitive abilities.” — Nancy Windheart, RYT-200, LFYP, Reiki Master, Animal communication teacher, Prescott, AZ
“I have gained an incredible opening and clearing of old obstructions. I hope to return to my life and fill this opening with things I love to do and that give me joy!” — Lisa Shine, administrative assistant, Ballston Lake, NY
“Words do not do justice to all that I learned. This workshop changed my life!” — Jen Nolan, Teacher, Cortland, NY
“My patients can now have the same effects as many medications without having to actually take medication!” — Deborah Lubetkin, PSY.D, LFYP, West Caldwell, NJ
“I have been reminded that I am not on this path alone, that others are sharing the journey that sometimes seems so difficult. I have also been reminded of the importance of daily practice and I will do that. The whole program has been an incredible experience for me. Thank you!” — Lorraine Plauth, retired teacher, Voorheesville, NY
“This workshop helped me rededicate my energies and begin to work through some of the blocks I’ve felt creatively.” — Steve Mark, college professor, New Haven, CT
“I gained perspective of who I am in the world and this will change my life significantly.” — Mary Ford, artist, Southport, CT
“My personal practice will change, as well as my yoga classes. I have a better understanding of yoga!” — Andrea Gattuso, RYT, Yoga Teacher, Hackettstown, N.J.
I absolutely love this stuff! I have been using it with my clients and I am just finding it to be so incredibly helpful. There seriously something for everything. Although I am not as skilled as I hope to be someday, even at my level of training I’m finding that I am beginning to figure out what to do. It just blows my mind! - Christine Brudnicki, MS, LPC
“I began a fantasy during the meditation exercise... almost as if I’d been there. It’s now an on-going work of fiction.” — Serian Strauss, Tanzania
“I came hoping to learn to move past some of the obstacles blocking my creativity. Over the course of this weekend, I feel I’ve gained a certain measure of faith in myself and in my ability to change. I also had some realizations that I believe will be very helpful to me. I feel encouraged. Both the content and presentation of this program were so well-thought out that I can’t think of any way to improve it.” — Andrea Gollin, writer & editor, Miami, FL
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