6 Ways to Nourish your Immune System
by Ellanah Fawcett
For those in the Northern Hemisphere the phase of winter within our yearly cycle is beginning to settle in. With it comes the gift of our annual time to really go inside, reflect on the cycle that has been, bring light and love to our deep inner world and generally get really yummy and cosy.
Sometimes though we can forget that behind the clouds and blankets of cold there is a burning, radiant sun still shining its light into our world; the days can feel heavy and dark, our heart energy turns inwards as we tense and hold our bodies against the cold and our immune system can begin to struggle if we are not cultivating our inner fire and working with the internal sun of our heart.
So here are 6 ways you can tend to your heart fire and nourish your immune system to feel radiant, balanced and filled with vitality this Winter time:
1. Chant Mantra
Mantra is one of the most beautifully, powerful ways to balance our entire body-mind-being. It works so viscerally within our physical body all the way to the subtlest expressions of our self.
When we chant mantra we are inviting our mind to align with the essence of the heart. As this re-alignment and reprogramming gently occurs the immune system gets a huge boost. Our thoughts begin to take on a much more peaceful and loving energy transforming our whole entire energy field, which leaves not much space for any winter lurgy to live and thrive within us.
As little as 15 minutes of chanting a day can have profound effects on your whole being, those around you and the energy of your home; give it a try!
A beautiful mantra to explore this wintertime is the Gayatri…chanting to the Goddess of the Sun and the ancient wisdom of the Vedas.
You can find many recordings online to listen to the pronunciation, a beautiful recording is by Deva Premal & Miten (you can find on Spotify or YouTube).
Om Bhur Bhuvah Suvaha
Tat Savitur Varenyam
Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi
Dhiyo Yo Nah Prachodayat
Really see if you can savour each syllable and invite the essence of peace to be experienced through the mantra, embodying the essence of the mantra; this will permeate your entire being, helping to transform your thoughts, emotions and physical being.
There might even be mantra chanting circles or Kirtan in your local area, have an explore online and see what is near to you so that you can share and connect with others.
2. Embodiment Practices
Movement fans the flames of our inner fire. When our outer weather is cold we can balance this by keeping our body-home warm. We can’t control our outer environment but we can create the most nourishing inner environment.
When we are embodied within our self the immune system naturally functions at a higher level. Our awareness expands throughout our body and this awareness is essentially warmth and love; thus creating the conditions for more peace and joy to flourish.
Find a movement practise that brings joy to your heart and warmth to your body, whether it is Yoga Asana, dance, shaking, running, jumping, climbing…if you like to move alone, find a space where you can let your whole self be free or if you like to move with others find a class or group or start one yourself.
Activate the heart, feel it beating as you move, beating warmth and life into every corner of your being.
3. Metta Meditation
Anahata, our heart chakra, is directly linked to our Thymus Gland where T-Blood cells are produced that are an integral part of our immune system. When Anahata is in balance our Thymus is able to work efficiently, creating a healthy immune system for us.
Metta Meditation is one of the most powerful ways to activate and balance our heart chakra; opening the doors to the compassion that is innate within all our hearts and inviting our love to flow to the world around us, our loved ones, those we are struggling with and to ourselves.
You can find a Metta Meditation on our Pure Flow Podcast and plenty on YouTube and Insight Timer.
4. Ayurvedic Golden Milk
In Ayurveda winter time is associated with Vata Dosha (cold and dry), which means to balance this we need to invite warmth into our system. Ayurvedic Golden Milk is a beautiful way of doing this, working with the immune superfood Turmeric.
Turmeric is a magic herb that has been proven to be highly anti-inflammatory for the body, supports healthy liver function, boosts immune system, reduces the risk of cancer, balances hormones, manages arthritis pain and many many other beautiful gifts.
To make this warm, Ojas boosting, turmeric-based drink is lovely and simple:
- Bring one cup of organic cow, almond or coconut milk to a gentle boil.
- Add a teaspoon of fresh grated turmeric or turmeric powder, a small amount of ginger, a pinch of black pepper and a teaspoon of coconut oil.
- Gently stir or whisk
- Pour into a cup adding honey to sweeten
- You can also get creative and add other winter warming herbs to this mix such as cinnamon, clove or nutmeg
5. Creative Free Flow (Journalling, Drawing, Crafting…)
The natural essence of energy is to flow. When energy becomes stuck or stagnant (held by a thought form or by not allowing our emotions and bodies to flow and move) it creates the conditions for ‘dis-ease’ to manifest in our physical reality. We can keep the mind and emotional body flowing through some form of creative outlet.
Each morning put a timer on for 5-10 minutes and invite your pen to flow across the pages of your notebook without stopping and without censoring. This may express in the form of words or drawings or paintings.
If you are someone who resonates with sound, then for this time you can explore and allow sound to flow; be curious with how sounds feel in your body, where they come from and which sounds different parts of the body want to express on any given day. Find your outlet and invite in a sense of flow and grace.
6. Making space for rest and relaxation
Our bodies need down time in order to regenerate; this means making sure we are getting an adequate amount of sleep and enough time spent just simply being.
Some favourite ways of gifting these precious spaces of silence and healing are: Yoga Nidra, Meditation, time spent simply being in nature and restorative or yin yoga. These deep states of silence refill our cup so abundantly and invite us home to the peace we seek that’s always available inside.
Create a technology curfew each evening so that you can disconnect to reconnect and set aside an amount of time each day that feels manageable to really gift yourself space to simply be.
When we nourish our heart and really awaken a deeper sense of self-love our body and surroundings naturally come into alignment and vitality. Let us know what your Heart nourishing winter practises are, we love to hear and share!
An adventure loving soul, Ellanah is forever exploring new ways of connecting to our true self and the magic of everyday life. Her sunshine infused classes explore the flowing dance between breath and movement; cultivating greater space, peace, and presence in both body and mind. A nature loving Reiki Master with an eclectic background in performing arts and Anthropology, and a love for all things dance; Ellanah draws from a creative mix of inspiration, always exploring how we can come deeper into awareness and move deeper from love. She is an avid believer that each individual’s yoga mat is an inspiring microcosm for life itself, encouraging us to flow with freedom and compassion both on the mat and out in the world.
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