The common cold and flu are both viral disease that are contagious and very frequently affects a large number of people every year. Although they are not serious health concern, but prove to be very exhausting and annoying. The most common symptoms of both are cough, sore and itchy throat, nasal congestion and sneezing. Flu is also accompanied by fever and all the accompanying symptoms are worse than the cold. Most people rely on over the counter medicines and home remedies to take care of these illnesses, but a great way to avoid them is regular practice of yoga. Frequent yoga practitioners even when affected by a cold or flu do not suffer from very severe symptoms and recover incredibly fast as well.
The reason yoga is so effective in reducing the risk of catching a cold is due to the fact that yoga strengthens the immune system substantially. In addition, as yoga reduces stress, which is one of the primary causes of catching a cold or flu, it helps eradicate the potential of catching the viral infection. A number of poses are very beneficial in improving the immune system, which in turn leads to less chances of catching a cold.
Upper back bends are specifically helpful in opening the chest and lungs, which provides a boost to the thymus gland that is located in the center of the chest. The postures that help to accomplish this in addition to increasing the blood circulation and raising energy levels that help to fight the virus are as below:
- Bow Pose
- Cobra Pose
- Pigeon Pose
- Fish Pose
- Boat Pose
- Bridge Pose
Inverted poses also play a key role in fighting the common cold or flu. These postures also help improve the blood flow in turn allowing the immune cells to reach all the parts of the body. Inverted poses include:
- Shoulder Stand
- Head Stand
- Plow Pose
- Legs up against the wall Pose
The lymph nodes that are located in the armpits and groin also need to be exercised in order to prevent catching the cold. This can be achieved by the twisting postures involved in a yoga session such as:
- Seated Twist
- Prayer Twist
- Knee Down Twist
Another important part of yoga that soothes away any symptoms of flu or cold is known as the Jala Neti. This is a yoga nasal wash that is very beneficial and effective in relieving the sniffles. It helps to wash away the germs and bacteria that are the root cause of the cold.
A regular practice of yoga at least three to four times a week can prove to be a big advantage for people who suffer frequently from the flu or cold. After continued yoga sessions, they will reap the benefits of an improved and strong immune system that can not be easily affected by viruses and bacteria that cause these ailments. In addition, a yogic diet also assists in improving the body's resistance towards small illnesses and diseases.