Updated: May 20, 2020
As we enter the next COVID-19 stage with shops slowly reopening, and most people are returning to work, a new feeling of loss of control can raise our anxiety level to new heights. There is no doubt that we are still in scary times, and continuing self-care is more important than ever.
Germs, rather than cold weather itself, cause sickness. And what makes us susceptible to those crazy microscopic makers? Lack of sleep, poor nutrition, and life stress all lead to a weakened immune system and vulnerability to sickness. More than anything, stress leads to a breakdown in the body’s ability to defend itself against bacteria and viruses. However, talk to any yogi (someone who practices yoga) in the flu season, and you will most likely find out that they rarely get sick.
When sick, antibiotics and other medicine can help the body recover from the disease. However, what medicine fails to do is improve the body’s immune system. Yoga and Ayurveda can help with that! Yoga is one of the most effective and time-tested natural immunity boosters that can lead to a healthy, sickness-free body. It strengthens the nervous system while also stimulating the lymphatic system, which removes toxins from the body. Proper diet, like the Ayurveda system, can also play an essential role in boosting your immune system. Yoga and Ayurveda go hand in hand. Ayurveda is a system of health & wellness developed in ancient India over 5,000 years ago. The word comes from the Sanskrit terms ayur (life) and veda (knowledge). At the core of Ayurveda is a functional medicine approach based on a simple classification system. This system matches diet, lifestyle, and herbs to the individual to improve health & wellness. A 2011 study found that an Ayurvedic herbal compound was just as effective at treating rheumatoid arthritis symptoms as Trexall (Methotrexate). Ayurveda studies the characteristics of habits and the characteristics of their influence on the body. It groups unhealthy patterns and disorders into types or categories (called “gunas”) to assess general strains on the body. For example, eating spicy food would be classified as a heating habit. A rash is considered a heat disorder. So, eating spicy foods would, therefore, be contraindicated for an outbreak in Ayurveda. Instead, cooling foods are recommended, like cucumber. Using these categories to balance diet, habit, and lifestyle, Ayurveda increases the overall strength and resiliency of the person, improves the quality of life, and minimizes the effects of diseases.
As we enter a “new” normal it may be time to try something new, like yoga and Ayurveda. The options are endless, but finding something that can boost your immune system, aim to balance body, mind, and emotions like yoga and Ayurveda, can bring a refreshing sense of wellbeing and mental control in one’s life.
In light and love,
1. US National Library of Medicine, Oct. 2011