Cold and flu season seems to last forever—especially if your household passes sickness from one person to the next. If you’re a regular yoga practitioner, hopefully you’ve skipped the sniffles this year. You should have, according to studies which prove yoga has immune-boosting potential. Good things come in threes, and Bikram yoga gives us a triple dose of immunity power with its molecular impact, meditation components and detoxifying sweat factor. Read on!
1. Relaxation & Molecular Impact
You may have heard instructors comment on the deep, internal changes Bikram yoga can have on the body. Recent research from Norway suggests that a regular yoga practice (which integrates relaxation) quickly alters the molecular level of the body, allowing the far-reaching benefits of the practice to boost your immunity. Researchers compared results from those taking a relaxing nature walk to those taking a yoga class; while both exercises had positive effects on biological process, they noted that yoga’s impact on the immune system was much more substantial.
2. Meditation & Exercise
Now, let’s focus on the meditation aspect of yoga. A second study published in 2012 reveals that people over the age of 50 who practice meditation can reduce the incidence, duration or severity of acute respiratory infections by 40-50%. Further, the study found that exercise can reduce symptoms by 30-40%. This makes yoga the perfect combination of meditation and exercise to help you fight off sickness.
So, how does Bikram yoga’s infamous sweat factor come into play? It’s believed that the immune system can benefit from sweating; this is why some people frequent the sauna when they feel a cold coming on. When the body warms up, it generates more white blood cells, strengthening your immunity.
As we round the corner of this germy, congested, wintery season, keep up with your Bikram yoga practice for a triple threat of immune-boosting power. Not only will you lessen your chance of coming down with a sickness, but you’ll also lower stress levels and clear your mind—giving you the patience and tolerance to live the life you desire. Talk with any of the BYY instructors about the benefits of a regular yoga practice. Stay well, everyone!