6 Yoga Poses That Might Boost Your Immune System

Here's a yoga sequence that’s good for you... and bad for bugs.


Women's Health |

If you get sick all the time, you may be able to blame your immune system. Yoga can help stimulate the four main physiological systems that are linked to the immune system: the circulatory, digestive, nervous, and endocrine systems, says Surya Kolpakov, a certified yoga therapist and author at Yoga Lifestyle Coach.

Poses that affect at least one of these four systems help bolster immune function, says Kolpakov, who teaches workshops on yoga for immunity. “For example, I’ve found that bow pose is one of the best ways to stimulate digestion and improve immunity,” he says.

To help stave off colds and other bothersome bugs, he recommends these immunity-boosting yoga poses.

Down Dog Vinyasa

This short dynamic sequence, targeting the circulatory system, is an excellent all-around warm-up. It stretches and strengthens most of the major muscle groups, promoting circulation and helping white blood cells move through the body to fight invaders.

plank — immune-boosting yoga pose
Begin in plank pose splaying your fingers out wide on the mat to create a firm base.

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Downward-Facing Dog Pose

Downward dog — yoga poses for your immune system
Lift your hips up into downward-facing dog pose (adho mukha svanasana). Take a couple of long breaths here.

Back To Plank Pose

plank — immune-boosting yoga pose
Slowly lower the hips and bring the body parallel to the floor, returning to plank pose.

Upward-Facing Dog Pose

downward dog — yoga poses for your immune system
If comfortable, lower the hips even further bringing the chest through the upper arms into upward-facing dog pose (urdhva mukha svanasana) or cobra pose (bhujangasana). In either cobra or up dog, avoid locking your elbows, keep your back long, and stretch the whole front of the body by gently lifting the chest. Keep your neck in line with your spine, gently stretching your chin forward without pinching your neck. Take another long breath here.

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Back To Down Dog

Downward-facing dog immune-boosting pose

On your next inhale, smoothly and fluidly move back to down dog by curling your toes under, pressing your palms firmly into the floor, lifting your knees off the floor and raising your hips up and back. Straighten your knees as much as is comfortable.

Back To Plank

Plank — pose that's great for your immune system
Exhale right back to plank pose. Then Inhale slowly to up dog or cobra again. Exhale back to plank. Then Inhale back to down dog. Repeat this sequence five to eight times.

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