This time of the year is when I would traditionally come down with a seasonal cold or even the flu. In the past this has always happened round about the October break from school, and just when I’ve been getting ready for my Autumn Yoga Day Retreat (join my email list to be first to know when the spring date is announced, and I’ll also send you my 3-day FREE mini-course, Serene Sleep!)
I’ve spent plenty of holiday time feeling miserable and I’ve made it my life’s mission to learn ways to boost my immunity and stave off the unwanted germs. I’ve collected a few suggestions below and some yin yoga poses that you can incorporate into your home yoga practice to help stimulate the meridians of the season and potentially boost immunity. I feel that if I’m doing something positive for myself, it’s better than sitting around waiting to feel unwell!
Firstly, I take a good multivitamin. I also try to eat a wide variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables, but I like the boost a multivitamin gives me. I don’t take one all year round, but I begin again before school heads back in August so that I’m fortified for the months ahead.
Wrapping the arms one over the other into sphinx pose is a great way to stimulate the meridians of the lungs and large intestine. These meridians run along the arms. If you can’t wrap the arms totally around each other, take the forearms and palms together. I’ve added a dragon pose here for some grounding goodness and balance.
Next, I prioritise sleep. That means I switch off the tv rather than getting involved in something I’m not even interested in. I make the conscious decision to head to bed early, especially if I feel a little bit under the weather. Sleep is a great boost for our immune systems as during this time our bodies can rest and repair any damaged tissues or cells. One night of impaired sleep can leave you susceptible to catching a cold or worse.
Sphinx is a gentle backbend, and again I’ve added the eagle arm shape to stimulate the meridians of the metal element. The organs of the lungs and large intestines are responsible for detoxing the body, eliminating any waste or anything we no longer need. The twist of the arms combined with the backbend here is a great way to release tension in the upper back, letting go of stress and opening the heart to welcome in more positivity.
I meditate daily, as this helps me to manage my stress levels. I’ve also been working with a counsellor, learning Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. This has helped me to learn how to challenge my thoughts, manage stress and boost my wellbeing. I’m no expert, but I am getting better at creating the boundaries I need to prioritise myself more. This also leads into managing my work/life balance. Unlike many teacher colleagues, I do not take work home with me. I work when I am in school and when I’m at home I don’t. This has probably been the hardest thing to implement, but it has been vital for helping me to not be a teacher 24 hours a day.
Half saddle is another great grounding pose, taking us back to the earth element and late summer. In 5-element theory, we use the element from the previous season to support the new one. We can use the connection to earth in this seated pose to help create a solid foundation from which we can create routines to see us through the autumn season.
Aside from these small changes to my routine, there are a few go-to yoga poses I like to include at this time of year. These poses stimulate the meridians of the lungs and large intestine, by working into the chest, arms, and shoulders. Please work carefully and within a pain free range if you decide to have a go.
Will you try any of these poses?