In response to the current Coronavirus pandemic, I’ve been looking at ways to boost the immune system. I went into this at length in my last post. But this time, I would like to share a quick routine that will give you an immune-boosting kick-start to your day – in just 15 minutes!
It is a mix of yin yoga, mindfulness and a detox drink that takes minutes to prepare. I’m doing the yoga every day and taking the detox drink about once a week.
Apple cider vinegar is your friend
The photo at the top of this post shows you all the ingredients you need to make a detox drink that naturopaths have known about for ages. Apple cider vinegar, in small amounts, has long been a home remedy for colds and flus. I’ve added a little tweak by adding ginger and turmeric. (Ideally you’ll have one of those mugs with a strainer inside, but otherwise you can make the drink in a teapot and then strain it into the cup.) So first boil the kettle and let it stand while you prep your ingredients: put a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, a tablespoon of lemon juice, about a teaspoon of grated fresh ginger, half a teaspoon of grated fresh turmeric and half a cinnamon stick (crumbled into fragments) into the strainer. Add a cup of very hot (but not boiling) water. Now let this brew while you do a bit of yoga.
Yin yoga for immunity
In yin yoga you hold the poses for minutes not seconds to get the full benefit. This routine uses three gentle poses held for 1-3 minutes (use an egg timer or the fabulous free Insight Timer meditation app). To begin with and in between poses you will be taking deep mindful breaths. You won’t want to rush and should be able to do this in about 15 minutes, but if you can spare more time, then factor in some more breathing.
Start lying down and practice some deep, mindful breathing. Just a few rounds to settle into the space.
* Modified fish pose for 3 minutes. I recommend using a blanket if you are a beginner. After this, relax on the floor for a minute or two.
* Standing forward bend for 1 minute. Only go as far as you can comfortably. After slowly returning to an upright position stretch out arms and take slow deep breaths for a minute or so.
* Supported waterfall for 3 minutes. After this, relax on the floor for a few minutes.
Now go and strain your detox drink. Add some honey to taste. (You WILL need honey!) Enjoy!
Please remember I am not a yoga teacher – these are the exercises I do. Always practice within your capabilities. Yoga is a journey not a race. Be gentle.
Another cleansing drink
This one is great when you want something light and quick in the morning. The blueberries have many health benefits and are packed with antioxidants, the lemon is cleansing and the banana adds enough substance to make this drink really smooth and satisfying. It is so simple too! Just take a handful of frozen blueberries (thawed if you can in winter), a tablespoon of lemon juice, a chopped banana and half a cup of no-dairy milk such as soy, oat or hemp. Put it all in a blender, add a smidgen of honey to taste, and whizz! You could add things like spirulina and ground linseed (flaxseed) to make this even more healthy!!