Supporting the Immune System

Boost Your Immunity with Meditation and Mindful Yoga

Mindfulness meditation and loving-kindness meditation have been shown to modulate stress response, reduce anxiety, depression, physical discomfort, and increase focus, positive emotions, and social connection. There is growing evidence that yoga, mindfulness meditation, and loving-kindness mediation alleviate immune responses and increase heart rate variability, both of which have a positive impact on inflammation control.

The skin provides us with a sense of touch, a layer of protection, and is part of the immune system. It contributes to sugar and fat metabolism as well as to our body image. This class brings the two together through meditation, movement, and through other somatic practices to promote healing.

Course materials include recordings of meditations and mindful yoga. The gentle movement practices do not require you to get on the floor.

Meditate to WellnessLearning Objectives:

  • Enhance self-awareness, curiosity, and kindness to deepen your natural capacity for mindfulness.
  • Explore movement and other somatic practices to sustain the health of your skin and to balance the immune system.
  • Learn about the role of skin in touch, temperature regulation, and in supporting your immune system.
  • Reflect on your relationship with the skin as part of your body image.
  • Explore the role of touch in forming a connection with yourself and the world at large.

Course at a Glance

Week 1:

Introductions and course content

Mindful speaking and listening

Meditation focused on the breath or a point in the body

Challenging moments

Suggestions for reflection and journaling

Week 2:

Structure of the skin

Concept of basic elements

Pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral experiences

Skin scan meditation

Week 3: 

Benefits from yoga

Diaphragmatic/belly breathing

Gentle mindful yoga

Sitting meditation

Week 4:

Benefits of mindfulness and loving-kindness meditation

Loving-kindness for the skin meditation

Gentle mindful yoga

Council process

Week 5:

Sense of touch

Touch experiments

Movement and sitting meditations

Week 6:

Heart center and the sense of touch


Movement and sitting meditations

Week 7:

Selected meditations and exercises

Sustaining your practice

Closing council

Upcoming Dates and Deadlines


Instructor: Riitta H Rutanen Whaley, MS, MSPH

Riitta H Rutanen Whaley’s meditation journey began in 1987, with four months of yoga and meditation training at the Himalayan Institute in the US and India, and she have maintained a regular practice since then. She completed three professional Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) intensives from University of Massachusetts Medical School’s Center for Mindfulness (by Jon Kabat-Zinn and others); Mindfulness Yoga Teacher Training by Zen Buddhist teacher Frank Jude Boccio; and numerous silent meditation retreats. Since 2011 Riitta has taught mindfulness classes and workshops at Duke Integrative Medicine and produced mindfulness practice CDs.  As the founder of Yoga for Life LLC, Riitta’s work is informed by her intensive yoga therapy training at Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram (India), Himalayan Institute (USA), and Auroville (India). Her expertise includes yoga for cancer patients, yoga for seniors, eye relaxation, and mindfulness training for children.  Currently residing in the U.S., Riitta has also lived and worked in Europe, South Asia, and the Middle East, serving in various capacities, including as a technical officer of various governmental and international organizations.

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