Yoga for Immunity ~ Should I Practice When I'm Sick?

We blog about all things YOGA, health, nutrition, shopping, events, charity, adventures & more! Friday posts are: fun pose fridays-- where we post about our favorite yoga poses.

Cough… cough… ah-CHOO!… sniff… sniffle… sound familiar?  Seems like everyone around me is either getting sick or just getting over some kind of ailment or sickness!  Especially in the DMV area– the weather and mother nature has been so erratic (hot, cold, snow, rain, hot again), that our bodies don’t what’s going on! 

Well, the good news is, practicing yoga can help us fight off illness and recover more quickly.  So, yes, you can practice when you are sick.  Just know what you should and shouldn’t do and like any regular, healthy practice, know your body and only pracitce what feels right.  Bad news, if you are really sick (ie: contagious and extra germ-y), practice at home.  We don’t want other yogis dropping like flies during class!

Today’s post will help you boost your immunity as well give you some helpful poses that you can practice when you’re feeling under the weather.

Feel something nasty coming on?  Try:

  • Twists: The purpose of twists is to ring out the toxins from our major organs and systems.  This includes the cold and flu viruses.  By stimulating our organs, we give them the opportunity to properly restore balance naturally. Twisted chair, revolved hand to big toe, and reclining twists are great options.
  • Inversions: When we practice inversions, we stimulate the lymphatic system which flushes toxins from our bodies. The lymphatic system does not have its own pumps so movement is required to keep it operating.  Inversions (legs up the wall, supported bridge, shoulder stand, headstand) all carry the benefit of boosting the lymphatic system.
  • Restorative: Nothing restores and boosts 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 get sick or stay sick. Make sure your practice has at least a few minutes of savasana each day.



Standing Forward Bend

Supported Bridge Pose

Legs Up the Wall Pose

Supported Bound Angle Pose

Reclining Twist

Widespread Forward Bend


Standing Forward Bend


Camel pose

Plow pose

Bow pose

Headstand  (one of the most difficult poses, but incredibly energizing and detoxing to let stagnant blood rush from your toes, filter through your heart, and rush into your head).

TIP: Try Restorative or Yin Yoga when you’re sick. These practices require a lot less effort (cardio-wise) than Vinyasa Flow or Power Yoga, and can give the body the time it needs to recover and relax.

TIP: Drink lots of water!  Eat healthily, get enough sleep, and incorporate these yoga postures into your day and you’ll be well prepared to take on anything that comes your way, the cold and flu included!


So grab a tissue and your mat… and get better!  See you on your mat (in spirit).

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