With cold and flu season just around the corner, it’s only a matter of time before we’re all coughing, sneezing, feeling fatigued, and wanting nothing more than to stay in our beds all day under the covers. While many people will reach for over-the-counter remedies to relieve their symptoms, there is another more natural and organic way to find relief from what ails you: living yoga.
Gentle, restorative postures and breathing techniques will help relieve your symptoms, possibly even shortening the duration of your cold. Listen to your body, and if necessary, choose a supported version of each pose. The best way to promote healing and fight off the cold or flu is to give your body plenty of rest. Honor how you are feeling, and don’t push beyond your limits.
Child’s Pose [Balasana]: This restful pose slightly inverts the body, encouraging blood flow to the head to help relieve tension and headaches, and gravity to help clear your sinuses.
Standing Forward Bend [Uttanasana]: One of the most effective poses for relief from sinus congestion, the Uttanasana will help drain your sinuses, reduce pressure and bring energy to your respiratory system. Start with a modified version of this pose by resting your forearms on a chair or table.
Bound Angle Pose [Baddha Konasana]: There are many health benefits associated with this pose as it opens the chest, abdomen, groin and relaxes the nervous system. You will see immediate results as this pose facilitates deep and restorative breathing.
Single Nostril Breath [Surya Bhedana Pranayama]: This single nostril breath-awareness exercise will provide relief from blocked nasal passages and provide support to your respiratory system.
Many yogis claim that they get sick less often with regular practice, and when they do get sick their colds are less severe and shorter in duration. Does practicing yoga make you less susceptible to illness? We can’t say for certain but we do know that we feel better because of our practice, make healthier choices and enjoy a mind, body and spirit connection that keeps us going through flu season. Hope to see you on the mat.