In a world where health risks lie hidden, we are all vulnerable. While there is no cure for the coronavirus, immunity offers some protection and the opportunity to move through each day with greater confidence. How might we cultivate our own immunity, and continue to thrive?
In a recent sangha session, Stephanie Lopez discussed this topic, offering ways for us all to boost the immune system. Aside from basic steps—sheltering in place, washing our hands, and avoiding touching our faces—the following practices can make a marked difference. (Read more from the experts at Harvard Medical School.)
Place a hand to your heart. This simple gesture holds profound power. With one hand over your heart, breathe until you arrive at a greater ease of being. Feel your inherent interconnectedness with all beings. Linger.
Breathe. Pranayama is a system of exercises regulating the breath. The ancients knew that these exercises could train the lungs and build the respiratory system (among other benefits). Now that a respiratory virus is at hand, pranayama may be more helpful than ever. New to the practice? Begin with these techniques:
Meditate. No surprise here—we at iRest Institute are big fans of meditation! Studies show that meditation lowers cortisol while increasing serotonin and oxytocin. With regular practice, meditation can change the brain: the hippocampus grows while the amygdala shrinks, resulting in less stress and greater immunity.
Try yoga. Many of you are already familiar with the benefits of yoga. As this article from Harvard Medical School illuminates, 90 percent of doctor’s office visits are stress-related. As yoga beautifully regulates stress, its benefits are boundless, and a steady practice can result in greater immunity.
Eat right. Tempting as it may be to indulge in comfort foods these days, there has never been a more important time to eat healthy foods. Listed here are some foods noted for their immunity-building powers. For bonus points, consider adding a multivitamin, too.
Stay healthy. Be well.