Are you plowing through life ready to put out fires? The global pandemic might have slowed you down a bit, but I bet you’re still racing through life with your mind churning. Add to that the pressures of homeschooling or trying to provide childcare for your children while working full time.
Take into consideration all of the above and your stress level is likely to spike. While you might not be too worried about it…because this is just “normal” — PAUSE here and realize that your health and the overall immune system is taking a huge hit.
Guess what: stress puts you at risk for chronic and multiple health-related problems. Add to that, cold and flu season plus COVID-19, and well, things aren’t looking too good for you, healthwise. Don’t worry, because I have a very simple solution that can help you right your body and empower your immune system.
It’s all about the yoga.
Consider the investment in yoga classes as your prescription for better health.
Where to go? I realize there are a lot of yoga studios in Frisco. To stay healthy and experience a mind-freeing “ahhh…” I head to Horizon Hot Yoga several days a week.
How does yoga improve your immune system?
A regular asana practice is a natural way to reduce stress levels and support your immune system. Whether you’re participating in one of Horizon’s Vinyasa classes or holding poses in Yin yoga it teaches you to take slow, controlled, and deep breaths while flowing from one posture to the next. This helps the body to reduce those pesky cortisol levels and lower your overall stress.
So if you flopped on your mat at the beginning of class, stressed to the max, by the end of the class you’ll feel a sense of calm. And the mental fog you might have felt pre-class will also be gone due to an improved supply of oxygen to your brain. You might even be able to problem-solve that work issue that’s been nagging at you!
Oh but the benefits of yoga don’t stop there… It conditions the health of your lungs and their overall capacity through breathing techniques. Horizon’s Tuesday night Kundalini class is a great place to help you explore breath and improve your immunity. The sessions are taught in a calm and serene setting that teaches you how to focus on a mind-body connection.
One breathing technique taught is the “Breath of Fire”. I know it sounds a bit scary if you’re not familiar with this type of breathing. Don’t worry, you won’t have any fire coming out of your mouth like a fire breathing dragon. Instructor AJ Crowell will guide you through a series of deep, rapid breath cycles that warm and energize the body.
This particular breath exercise offers exhalations that are short and vigorous causing the abdominal muscles to contract. The exhalation process also helps to cleanse toxins from your body (always a good thing).
Kundalini also helps you synchronize your mind and body. While you might be tuned into your physical well being, when was the last time you checked in with your emotions? Things like chronic pain, fear, and anger affect our emotions and tax the body.
Imagine carrying around a heavy bag of garbage daily. That might be what you’re doing with your emotions. A Kundalini session will help you center yourself and check-in with the body to see how you feel.
Breathwork classes can be a bit intimidating especially if you’re a newbie to yoga. Never fear! You can still boost your immune system with postures that are taught in almost every Horizon class.
Take, for instance, Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana), which is a gentle inversion that improves blood flow to the sinuses. As you relax into the posture and breathe deeply it also allows the chest to expand and the lungs to clear. This beautiful pose can be performed by almost anyone due to modifications.
Then there’s our lymphatic system — the defender of our body and powerhouse to our immunity. While you can cleanse or fast, yoga postures that twist or invert help the body eliminate toxins and increase circulation of the lymphatic system.
A few great postures to perform to get things moving in the body are revolved chair, shoulder stand, and legs up the wall. Not only will they improve the lymphatic system, they are also a sure way to relieve stress and unwind the mind.
How about some Sound Bowl Healing?
If you need a mini-vacay but don’t have time to get away, try one of Horizon’s Sound therapy events. The sessions are conducted in a tranquil space where sound healer AJ Crowell utilizes crystal singing bowls. Wondering how it works?
Sound triggers a relaxation response in the body through the vagus nerve. This is the longest cranial nerve in the body that starts in the brain and goes all the way down to the lower internal organs. It’s also the regulator of the parasympathetic nervous system which controls your heartbeat, digestion, and the body’s fight-flight response.
The Himalayan or Crystal Singing Bowls utilize vibrations and frequency to help relax the brain and organs in the body. The therapy is touted for improving ailments such as sleep disorders, anxiety, depression, trauma, stress, and pain management.
I had my first taste of the healing powers of sound through AJ Crowell, the founder of Dallas Yoga Magazine. As I experienced the event with her, I could actually feel the magic of the Singing Crystal Bowls seeping into my body. I was extremely relaxed and truly felt purified at the end of the session.
~ Mary Von Ahnen Co-owner, Horizon Hot Yoga
So next time you feel cold symptoms or intense stress coming on, book a Horizon Hot Yoga session, and embrace the relaxing, detoxing, energizing benefits!
7 Days/Week: 5:30 am – 8:30 pm
7151 Preston Rd, Suite 221B
Frisco, TX 75034