chalk writing on the sidewalk: life is short, do what matters

The elder immune system

I ran across the ‘life is short’ quote chalked on the sidewalk in New York City a few years back. It made me wonder, who wrote it, why did they write it? I decided it was someone of advanced years feeling their age and the brevity of their remaining time. It could have also been an unwell younger person who was suddenly facing their mortality.

At present, most of us are more aware of our mortality than ever with the coronavirus presenting as a pandemic. Every day we hear that aged populations and any persons with weak immunity are most at risk.

I woke up this morning and thought, I need to do a relatively passive yoga practice with an good number of upside-downs in it. Aha! A while back I designed such a practice for the YogaAnywhere special needs card packs. So, I just dipped into a pack and pulled out the Immunity Booster card.

I can’t say that the following sequence of poses is a guaranteed boost for the immune system. I do know from my own experience that it has several benefits. It helps clear my sinuses when they are congested. It creates space throughout my body as I drape myself over the soft props. I can do this while being quiet so I can centre myself and see what’s happening internally. That means I can feel into my body, right into all my body’s systems.

The program

Having some basic equipment is helpful to make practising these poses accessible. With props for support, you can relax because your mind sends the message: relax! You’re not having to do it all on your own.

Setubandha Sarvangasana, lying over bolster, feet on blocks at wall and strap around legs (5 min.)
Supta Baddha Konasana, bolster, blankets, strap, (5 min.)

Lying down yoga pose with knees bent out to the side and feet together, supported by props.
Supta Virasana, bolster or two blocks, blanket, (3-5 min.)

Repeat Setubandha Sarvangasana (5 min.)

Adho Mukha Svanasana with bolster and blocks (2 min.)

Eve doing downward facing dog pose with bolster and blocks

Sirsasana or preparation for Sirsasana at the wall (2-3 min.)

Woman doing headstand preparation with block at wall.

Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana, lying over a chair, head supported on bolsters or blocks, (3 min.)

Sarvangasana, supported on chair (5 min.)

Daniel in chair shoulderstand supported yoga pose

Halasana, supported (3 min.)

Repeat Setubandhasana Sarvagasana, (5 min.)

Viparita Karani, on bolster with blanket and strap, (5-10 min.)

Savasana, blanket, eyes covered, (5-10 min.)

Finish with some seated breathing, say Ujjayi Pranayama or Viloma Pranayama.