Can a few sun salutations, a hot yoga session, or even some calming yogic breaths keep you from getting a cold or flu? Social media and other digital platforms are full of claims like this. According to published research, as well as healthcare professionals who teach, practice, and study this ancient mind-body practice, they have some validity. Practice Yoga to protect against infection threats and boost recovery. You’ll also need to take additional measures.
Sundar Balasubramanian is a cell biologist, yoga therapist, and assistant professor at the Medical University of South Carolina. He studies cancer therapeutics, Yoga, and other related topics. You must still wash your hands and protect yourself and others from Coronavirus by wearing a face mask, keeping a social distance, and quarantining after exposure.
No evidence supports the claims that Yoga can “filter out” specific pathogens or provide “unique protection” from viral threats such as the Coronavirus. This was confirmed by Holger, Ph.D., who studies the effectiveness and safety of Yoga in medical practice at the University of Duisburg in Germany. He says no evidence supports the claim that Yoga reduces infection rates or helps recovery from COVID-19. It is too early to conduct any research on this question.
Benefits of Yoga for Your Health and Well Being
According to him, the research shows that these chronic conditions can worsen COVID-19. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, research indicates that chronic conditions can worsen COVID-19.
What Research Says about Yoga and Immune Function
Balasubramanian, his colleagues, and the Medical University of South Carolina discovered that specific molecules associated with healthy immune function increased in two studies after participants performed yogic breathing for 20 minutes.
Balasubramanian says that in a study published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine in 2015, eight proteins crucial for immune function were improved (measured by saliva samples). Balasubramanian explains that levels of these proteins increased 7- to 11fold in seven out of ten volunteers.
He says that. These proteins do not necessarily protect against specific viruses or bacteria. However, yogic breathing has helped the immune system work as it should.
A study published in the August 2016 issue of the journal BMC Complementary Alternative Medicine found that individuals’ markers of inflammation reduced after taking a 20-minute yoga class. Balasubramanian explains that inflammation is a part of the immune system, but it can be harmful if not controlled.
Uncontrolled inflammation can lead to problems like heart disease, Diabetes, and autoimmune conditions like Multiple Sclerosis. Yoga can protect you against these risks, according to research.
Why does Yoga benefit the immune system
All our behaviors affect the body’s response to stress — either activating or calming down the nervous system (think of “rest and restore”) mode, explains Amy Sedgwick, MD, an emergency medicine physician in Portland, Maine, and a yoga therapist.
The immune system can be overtaxed when the fight-or-flight response (especially chronic ones) is heightened. Rather than fighting off pathogens, the body is focused more on fleeing or fighting whatever is stressing them out. In “rest and repair” mode, the opposite of stress and the parasympathetic system, conditions are optimal for healthy immune function and cell repair.
Dr. Sedgwick says that Yoga helps to shift the nervous system into a “rest and restore mode” while dialing down the fight-or-flight response.
According to a review in March 2018 of the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry, activating this nerve shifts the body into “rest and restoration” mode.
According to Dr. Billes, Yoga can help reduce stress’s impact on the body. How we respond to stress can determine our vulnerability to chronic diseases.
Bottom line: Many factors determine whether or not you will get sick with bacterial and viral illnesses (including COVID-19), chronic diseases, and other types of infections. Yoga is one way to boost your body’s immune system and stay healthy.
Tips on Starting a Yoga Practice During a Pandemic
Billes and Sedgwick recommend practicing Yoga outdoors or at home during the pandemic. Consider a Zoom class if you are new to Yoga. The instructor will be able to watch you and give you suggestions and corrections.
Here are some other tips.
Choose a style you like. All classes are good for you. Yoga can be a great way to relieve stress. You can choose from many types of Yoga, including vinyasa and Ashtanga. According to a review in the journal Science and Technology in Sports and Exercise in 2016, a few sun salutations, a series of flowing poses, can be counted as a light to moderate intensity activity. (Remember that regular exercise is also good for your immune system). Cramer and a team of researchers compared 52 different styles of Yoga across 306 studies in another review from 2016. The results were positive. A gentle yoga class is an excellent way to start if you are new to the practice.