Did you know that yoga can strengthen your lymphatic drainage and boost our immune system? We practice yoga for many reasons: stress relief, flexibility, mobility, or strength, or for spiritual connection, connection to our higher selves, and refreshing our mind and bodies.
Yoga helps to build our resilience in many different ways including boosting our immune system.
The lymphatic system plays an integral role in the immune functions of the body. It is the first line of defence against disease.
Your yoga practice can play a huge role in improving the lymphatic flow in your whole body which is directly related to the way your immune system works.
How to identify when the lymphatic drainage is imbalanced?
The lymphatic system is out of balance in many people due to reasons including nutrient deficiencies, high intake of unhealthy and processed foods, and lack of physical activity.
Arthritis, skin conditions, digestive disorders, frequent headaches, sinus infections, unexplained injuries, excess weight, chronic fatigue are some of the health conditions which could suggest that your lymphatic system is not functioning optimally and requires a proper cleansing.
The human body has 3 times more lymph fluid than blood, but there is no organ like the heart to pump it. Deep breathing provides a pumping action and helps the lymphatic system transport the toxins into the blood before they are detoxified by the liver. Research on powerful rhythmic breathing technique showed enhanced immune functions by increasing 5 times more lymphocytes. Breathwork – Pranayama- can now be learnt online from the comfort of your own home especially during this time of global COVID-19 crisis.
Stress and immunity are inversely proportional. When you are stressed, your whole body seems to be tight, tensed and constricted. This naturally affects blood and lymph flow causing toxin accumulation. Practising classes on how to transform your stress into ease by using simple tools like breath and meditation, you will not only be able to calm your mind but also improve your body’s immune system.
Lymph becomes thicker and less mobile when we are dehydrated, but flows well when we drink plenty of fluids. To stay well hydrated and to further cleanse your system of toxins, you should drink 64 or more ounces of water every day.
The hot water helps dilate the blood vessels, while the cold water shrivels them. This creates a “pump” like action that flushes out the toxic fluids that have accumulated in the body.
A daily practice of abhyanga – which generally takes around 15 minutes – is known to improve circulation, remove toxins by stimulating the lymphatic system, promote longevity, create balance and foster well-being physically, mentally and emotionally. Alternatively, you can also brush your dry skin in a circular motion for 10 minutes by using a natural bristle brush and then take a shower. You can combine dry brushing with hot and cold showers for better effects.
Regular exercise is key for a healthy lymphatic system. Start with less vigorous sessions, and try to slowly incorporate more intense exercises to your routine.
Wearing excessively tight clothing reduces circulation in the lymphatic system and can cause blockages in the lymphatic system leading to an accumulation of toxins.
Eating raw and nutrient-rich foods promotes a healthy lymphatic system. Some of the best cleansing foods for the lymphatic system are leafy green vegetables, low sugar fruits, ground flaxseeds, chia seeds, avocados, almonds, walnuts, cranberries, whole grains. Include these in your regular diet. Processed foods, conventionally raised meat, artificial sweeteners, dairy products, sugar, soy, table salt cause blockages to the lymphatic system. So best to avoid them.
Learn and practice these tools regularly and keep your lymphatic and immune system ready to combat any external threat!