Published: 02/25/2016 - Updated: 03/10/2018
Author: MSc. Miriam Reyes
Hi everyone! While in the previous post I talked about spring fatigue, today I wanted to tell you about how yoga can help allergy sufferers. Through asanas, breathing techniques and relaxation, you will strengthen the immune system (fundamental for allergies), you will increase your lung capacity and diminish high stress levels which are a large cause of allergic episodes.
While traditional medicine has treatments to relieve symptoms: sneezing, nasal and/or eye redness and itchiness, constant streaming eyes, nasal congestion and asthma, there is nothing to remove the actual cause, thus greatly affecting the quality of life of allergy sufferers. From now on, in addition to antihistamines, vaccines and other medicines, you can also count on yoga to deal with the effects of pollen, dust mites and other allergies that you may have.
Asanas for allergies
The most favourable positions to control allergies are those which expand the chest and lungs, maximise lung capacity and decrease the tension of the chest muscles. For those who are just beginning with yoga, the fish or the cobra position are perfect. For more advanced yoga practice; the camel, the cicada, the bridge or inverted positions such as the shoulder stand and the plow will help open the airways. As I always say, before practising at home alone it is desirable to practice these positions in a class with a yoga teacher, because they are only effective if done correctly.
By performing these asanas you will see your lung capacity benefiting greatly, favouring respiration and relieving allergies’ associated respiratory problems.
Pranayamas against allergies
Alternate breathing is indicated for those suffering from allergies, asthma and rhinitis as it helps in opening airways. While seated, begin by closing the right nostril and inhale deeply with the left, then close the left nostril and exhale through the right. Its benefits are greater when practiced at least twice a day (early morning and evening).
Another valuable technique of pranayama for asthma sufferers is Ujjayi because it increases lung capacity, reduces phlegm and strengthens the immune system.
Regular practice of these exercises will help reduce allergic reactions, not only on a physical level but also on an emotional and mental level. Also keep in mind that in addition to yoga, you can count on many natural remedies that will help you during days when your allergies are worse, such as teas, aromatherapy and other therapies.
I hope these tips will help serve you. Have a great week!
Revised by: Dra. Loredana Lunadei on 03/10/2018
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