Today we will see a yoga sequence able to reduce levels of chronic inflammation and thus counteract fatigue, strengthen the immune system and protect the heart and brain. The yoga sequence is designed for everyone and is based on asanas whose anti-inflammatory action has been proven by scientific studies (Rajbohoj et al, J Clin Diagn Res, 2015).
Inflammation, the real danger
Fatigue, depression, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, tumors and neurodegeneration are a risk to our health. But these are all consequences of a single cause, inflammation. Inflammation is the tool with which the body fights viruses, bacteria and toxins that threaten our body. However, when the threat has passed, the inflammation must also die down. This may sometimes not happen and various factors contribute to the development of chronic inflammation, such as an unbalanced diet, stress, a sedentary life, bad habits such as cigarette smoking and drinking alcoholic beverages in excess, but also exposure to environmental pollutants and pathogen infections. The inflammation, therefore, persists silently for years until, if not properly treated, manifests itself with a disease. Hence the importance of reducing inflammation levels and protecting health through a healthy and balanced diet, rich in fruit, vegetables, legumes and whole grains, which also includes drinks such as green tea, a well-known anti-inflammatory. It is also important to keep fit, practicing moderate physical activity, abstain from smoking and limit alcohol. Finally, yoga can help.
Yoga fights inflammation
Yoga helps reduce inflammation. An Indian study has shown that the regular practice of some asanas, the same ones we propose in today's video, made it possible, in three months, to reduce circulating pro-inflammatory substances (Rajbohoj et al, J Clin Diagn Res, 2015). Yoga helps strengthen the body in case of stress, stimulates relaxation, helps control blood pressure, improves blood circulation and the body's ability to get rid of toxins. All these effects combine to explain the anti-inflammatory action of yoga (Woodyard et al, Int J Yoga, 2011 - Djalilova et al, Biol Res Nurs, 2019).
Anti-inflammatory yoga, the mountain
Start the practice standing up, the legs are slightly apart to give stability. Your arms fall to your sides, close your eyes and breathe. Choose to dedicate this moment to yourself. If a thought comes to mind, let it go.
Anti-inflammatory yoga, the chair
From the yoga position of the mountain, open your eyes, bring your feet together and stretch your arms upwards. Exhale and bend your knees, keeping your weight back to protect your knees. Breathe. You can feel a warmth radiating from this position, a soothing warmth that flushes away the toxins.
Anti-inflammatory yoga, the downward facing dog with twist
In yoga, any asana that requires a twist of the torso is anti-inflammatory since, in this way, blood flow is stimulated in the abdominal organs. Release the position of the chair, stretch your arms overhead, then lean forward and go down with your hands on the floor. Take a couple of steps forward with your hands, you are now in the downward facing dog yoga position. Try to bring your chest closer to your thighs.
Then lift your right hand and bring it to the outside of the left ankle. The hand presses against the ankle. In this way the twisting of the torso takes place. Stay in this position for a few breaths.
Then come back with your hands on the ground, remove your left hand and place it on the outside of your right ankle, press your hand against the ankle and breathe.
Anti-inflammatory yoga, the reclining adamant pose – This yoga position is anti-stress and, thanks to a massage of the abdominal organs, stimulates their functionality. Not only that, the reclining adamant pose also works on the lungs, opening them up and expanding their capacity. You are sitting on your knees. Bring your glutes to the ground between your feet, which then move slightly apart. Place your hands behind your back, with your fingers pointing towards the end of the mat. Open your chest and look up, breathe. If this position does not cause pain, you can continue by trying to place your elbows on the ground, maintain the opening of the chest and the position of the head. Stay in this position for a few breaths. If you still don't feel pain, you can try placing your shoulders on the floor, in the full yoga position.
Anti-inflammatory yoga, the forward bend
The forward bends of yoga are purifying and anti-inflammatory. The simplest pose that requires a forward bend is as follows. You are in a sitting position with your legs extended in front of you. Without humping the back and dropping your head down, lean forward. The spine remains straight. Go as far as you can, you can touch your feet, ankles or knees, it's all great. Stay in the position for a few breaths.
Anti-inflammatory yoga, video and conclusions
Today's yoga sequence, if practiced consistently, helps reduce inflammation levels, thus recharging the body with energy, counteracting tiredness, strengthening the immune system and protecting the heart and brain. To see the complete guided sequence you can follow the video, in which we will practice the anti-inflammatory asanas together step by step.