It’s getting nippy and dark out there: cold and flu season is upon us again. But not to worry, there is a lot you can do to skip that low energy beat this year – and that’s without drugs or natural supplements. The magic formula is Kundalini Yoga: an ancient system that combines dynamic physical movement, specific breathing exercises , meditation as well as mantra chanting to promote optimum health. So how and why does it work?
- It keeps you warm – on the inside. the sets of exercises in Kundalini Yoga, known as Kriyas, tend to make you sweat. The foundational breathing technique used is Breath of Fire: a rapid, belly-pumping breath pattern. It generates great heat and oxygenates the blood thus helping the body to detoxify.
- It works the organs of the immune system, e.g. the spleen. The spleen purifies the blood by removing old blood cells and producing lymphocytes or white blood cells. These lymphocytes are the body’s defense against chemicals, microorganisms, and cancer (e.g. “Kriya to make you enchantingly beautiful”)
- It helps you let go. At this time of year, we can learn from the trees how beautiful it is to let go. Many Kriyas and meditations in Kundalini Yoga focus on eliminating, detoxifying and cleansing (e.g. “Kriya for the Lower Spine and Elimination”) by specifically working on the relevant organs (stomach, liver, pancreas, intestines).
- It stimulates your glands. Two paramount glands for a well-functioning immune system are the thymus gland (involved in maturing white blood cells) and the adrenal glands (which produce the stress hormone cortisol which can cause infections and inflammation).
- It supports stress management – in a study carried out by a Swedish university, Kundalini Yoga was just as effective as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in reducing stress. All of the practices – movement, breath, meditation and mantra – work to increase the activity of the parasympathetic nervous system which regulates the rebuilding functions of the body, slows the breath, relaxes the nerves and coordinates the recovery period from stress.