There is never a bad time to build up your immune system and prep your body and mind for challenges ahead. What better way to do it than with the wisdom of the sister sciences of Ayurveda and Yoga? The tips below will help you ignite your body’s own healing power.
- Build up your Agni
Essentially thought of as your "digestive fire," a strong Agni (pronounced: "ugh-nee") allows us to transform all that we ingest into something useful. Because your gut is the root of your immune system, a healthy Agni is essential to help burn off waste and toxins. When your digestive fire is strong, your digestive and immune systems works better.
Eat a whole foods, unprocessed diet, cooked so that you can digest it properly. Use herbs that help to boost Agni, like: ginger, black pepper, long pepper, licorice, cumin. Remember, do not overeat!
Do a physical practice that focuses on building and balancing energy in the core. Twists, abdominal strengthening postures, and breath of fire all help to draw energy to the core.
- Conserve your Ojas
"Ojas" can be defined several ways. A simple way of thinking about it is as the refined substance that results from great digestion. It is the nectar that connects you to higher states of consciousness and enables good health and joy. Ojas is responsible for a radiant glow that people can see and feel. In Ayurveda, it is also the substance that is most closely equated to the immune system.
Eat a diet of pure foods in the right amount, avoid over-doing anything (alcohol, work, sex) and most importantly, keep stress in check. Live well and laugh often!
Do not push yourself too hard in practice. If you come to a point where you’re unable to breathe smoothly and steadily, you are depleting your resources and draining your Ojas. This does not mean be lazy, just find the sweet spot! Simple breath work and meditation are great Ojas builders.
- Get enough rest
A restful night’s sleep of at least 7-8 hours is necessary for a healthy immune system. Just as is important is participating in restful activities during waking hours.
Take a walk in nature; drink in the beauty of the world around you with all of your senses. Take time to actively cultivate a state of gratitude and kindness.
Try a Yoga Nidra (Yogic sleep) practice at some point during the day. Taking at least 30 minutes to deeply rest in a Yogic sleep restores your body on a deep cellular level.
Your health is everything! Take time to integrate these Ayurvedic and Yogic practices into your day and judge the results for yourself!
Ayur Dehi! To your health!