I recently attended a workshop introducing the “Genius of Flexibility” method of Bob Cooley, which was called “bendable bodies”. This resistance based stretching method works to lengthen and strengthen the muscles before the deep stretching accesses the joints. Every exercise involved specific muscle groups and tendons that activated the respective meridians for channeling energy. At the end of the lab I felt so limber and energized. Partly because I was not flopping into the joints with every asana, but had trained my muscles to elongate and strengthen before hugging the bones, and holding the joints in place and with space.
As I was leaving the studio I heard one of the participants sneezing in the hallway. We exchanged a couple of words in the elevator. She was concerned with her poor immunity lately and was heading to the health food store to get some natural remedies.
On my way home, I thought to myself: “Why don’t I transform my bendable body experience from this workshop into a “fendable system” routine that drew on this amazing method to bolster the body’s natural defense mechanism. So this is how this immunity boosting routine “Fendable” came to be. There was no such word in English until now. But we created it out of a sheer need for getting more resistance to harmful bacteria. When you apply the resistance based stretching into your yoga practice, it helps you build a stronger energy shield around the body. It is like an armor of vibrant light that comes from your glowing and healthy organs It promotes circulation, aids detoxification and stimulates the lymphatic system and thymus gland responsible for the body’s immunity.
The routine that you are about to try draws on the resistance principles of “bendable bodies”, while incorporating the healthiest immunity boosting asanas of yoga and powering the practice with a signature mudra sealed in a bind that I jokingly called “Tylenol bind”. With this bind and these asanas you don’t need Tylenol, Aleve or any other acetaminophens if you get the flu. But you can practice it as a preventive routine to bolster your defenses, too. The most vital ingredients of an immunity boosting yoga class are deep twists to cleanse and flush toxins away, backbends to stimulate the thymus gland and armor the lymphatic system with healthy leucocytes, and restorative poses to build vigor and make you impenetrable during cold and flu season.
The emphasis goes to putting pressure on the sternum and using tapping techniques to thump the thymus as you activate the trigger points through the extremities. It is as if you have given your body a movable reflexology session. Special compound poses that couple a back bend and a forward bend provide extra support for the immune system, boost the adrenal function and pacify the nervous system.
Do your immunity boosting practice as a prelude to the night. Then curl in bed after an infusion of ginger, lemon and honey. Sleep and regular meditation are the immunity tonics that we often seem to bypass in our busy day. And if you live near a park or in nature, and the weather permits, step barefoot in the soil. Or in winter – hug a tree and charge up your cells to strengthen your aura and make you “fendable” and “unbeatable” for any stubborn bacteria that are trying to penetrate your glowing shield.
Immunity Boosting Yoga Routine: Fendable (open level)
Inspired by resistance stretching, reflexology and Ayurveda this Yoga sequence is designed to keep you healthy during cold and flu season. Heated poses help clear congestion, and soothing, backbends boost your thymus gland and restorative postures coupled with healing mudra build your energy to buffer your immune system safely and effectively.