In an ideal world, inflammation is supposed to be a healing gift from our immune system, but when faced with chronic inflammation, our experience of day-to-day life can be painful. Stress, poor immunity, and a lack of sleep can continue the vicious cycle of swelling in your body. Thankfully, simple exercises from that age old practice of yoga can offer solutions that can be done at home, at work, or on-the-go to support a positive inflammation response.
Below is a list of poses that can be either combined to create a morning/evening sequence, or used individually as needed.
Begin with cooling and soothing breath work (Pranayama). Find a comfortable upright-seated position using a block or pillow; a chair is also an option. Focus on inhaling and exhaling through the nose. Clear your mind by focusing on the rise and fall of the stomach. Stay for 5-30 minutes. Benefits: Relieves stress. Soothing before bed.
Legs up the Wall
Find an empty wall space or closed door. Bring hips all the way against the wall. Lie flat on your back and bring legs up the wall to create an “L” shape from toe to head. Rest hands on stomach or at sides. Stay for 5-10minutes. Benefits: Re-circulates and relieves swelling in knees, ankles, feet, etc. Allows spine to lengthen and relax.
Sit with legs crossed in traditional style. Twist slowly to the left and place right hand to your left knee. Set left hand behind the back and use to help keep spine long. Breathe deep. Hold for 5 breaths. Repeat on opposite side. Benefits: Twists help keep liver, digestion, and immune system clean and healthy. Relieves pressure from spine.
Best paired after a sequence or meditation. Lay flat on back. Rest your eyes and let your arms rest at your sides. Focus on nothing but the breath. Elongate each inhale. Allow a couple sighs. Benefits: Relieves stress. Helps relax before sleep.