When the warmer months start to approach, everything in nature kicks into high gear, which isn’t always the most pleasant feeling when you’ve got allergies. There are many known remedies for allergies, but not all of them work for all people, and many of them aren’t natural. But one thing that is natural, and that not many people know of as a remedy for allergies is yoga. All aspects of yoga are formed around making you a healthier, stronger person, who is more in touch with their body, so it’s only natural that allergies are yet another thing that they can help with. Let’s see exactly how they do that and how we can get the best out of it.
Allergies often come with an array of breathing issues, from a clogged nose to shallow breathing and asthma attacks. The first thing you always do when you are practicing yoga is breathing, and controlling your breathing will help you feel relief. For starters, inhale through one nostril for ten seconds, while holding the other one pressed down with your finger, hold your breath for five seconds, and then exhale through your other nostril. Then repeat the process, switching which nostril you breathe in and out of every time. This, combined with deep, regulated breaths throughout all the poses you do will help you breathe easier. (Read more: alternate nostril breathing)
Our health, including our resistance to allergies, comes from our gut. And it’s simply natural that the stronger we are, the better we can handle anything life throws at us, including allergies. This is why practicing yoga, and especially the poses that build up strength, will help improve your overall stamina and health. Think of it as training and relaxation at the same time, because that is basically what it is.
Practicing yoga isn’t just about doing the poses a couple of times per week. It’s embracing the entire lifestyle of mindful living, being in touch with your body and mind. For example, when you are practicing yoga, you want to have the space around you as clean as possible. That includes getting a high-quality air purifier for allergies so that you can breathe normally. It also means eating a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables, which can help with building up your immune system and fighting off allergy symptoms. It also means being aware of your surroundings, like not going outside when it’s windy, because that is when your allergies will get worse. When relaxing before or after practicing yoga, you are encouraged to drink a relaxing cup of tea, so make sure that tea is nettle, mint or chamomile, because they all help with battling allergies.
Yoga poses for allergies
There are some yoga poses that actually help you with battling allergies, either by relieving some pain, or by helping you breathe properly, so let’s go over the basics of how they are done.
Downward-facing dog: To get to this pose, get on all fours, with your hands directly beneath your shoulders. Then slowly lift your hips and straighten your legs. Stay in this pose and breathe in five-second intervals. In this pose, your head is upside-down, which can help drain mucus and help you get rid of a stuffy nose.
Supported backbend: For this pose, start by lying on the floor on your back, with your feet flat on the ground, close to your bottom. Your hands should be beside you, acting as support. Slowly lift up your back, and when it’s completely off the ground, add some support – like pillows – beneath it. Relax in this pose and feel your abdomen becoming less pressured. This will relax the muscles between your ribs that are probably sore from all the nose blowing and sneezing. In this pose, you will be able to relax and recover.
Yoga is not only a healthy habit to practice daily, but it is a lifestyle that can help you in many aspects of your life. On one hand, it is a physical exercise that isn’t too demanding and that can be adapted to fit any individual and their needs, and on the other hand, it is complete mental relaxation. So whether or not you are suffering from allergies, you should give yoga a try and figure out in what ways it can help you.