In the depth of cold and flu season, almost everyone we know has been sick in one fashion or another. The good news is that practicing yoga can help us fight off illness and recover more quickly if those pesky viruses happen to find their way into our bodies.
The purpose of twists is to ring out the toxins from our major organs and systems. This includes the cold and flu viruses. Think of twists as a form of self-massage. By stimulating our organs and systems, we give them the opportunity to properly restore balance naturally. Twisted chair, revolved hand to big toe, and reclining twists are great options.
When we invert, we stimulate the lymphatic system that has the heroic duty of flushing toxins from our bodies. The lymphatic system does not have its own pumps so movement is required to keep it operating optimally. Therefore all movement stimulates the lymphatic system but inversions are the best choice in this regard. Inversions can be passive - legs up the wall and supported bridge - or active - shoulder stand, headstand, and full bridge. They all carry the benefit of boosting the lymphatic system.
Nothing restores and bolsters our immune system as much as rest and relaxation. When we rest, we give our bodies and minds the chance to naturally recharge. When we are run down and tired, we are much more likely to succumb to illness. Make sure your yoga practice has at least a few minutes of savasana. Other options include reclined bound angle and restorative twist.
Drink plenty of water, eat healthfully, get enough sleep, and incorporate these yoga postures into your daily living and you'll be well prepared to take on anything that comes your way, the cold and flu included!