For thousands of years, yoga has been a form of spiritual, physical and mental practice that first transpired in Ancient India. Yoga, often grouped with Hindu and Buddhist religions, has been growing throughout the world. Its popularity has grown over the past few decades, specifically in Western culture. Our adaption of yoga poses n in America has less to do with the spirituality of yoga and more to do with the physical and mental health aspects of practicing this exercise. It is arguable to say that yoga is a fad in today’s society, but what many don’t know, and often discount, is yoga’s endless healing powers. Whether alternative medicine is something you believe in or not, there is no argument that yoga can work our body in more mystical ways than we would think.
With (severe) allergy, cold and respiratory infection season among us, our first instinct is to rush to the local pharmacy or call up our doctor for a quick fix, but the cure we are overlooking may be at our local yoga studio, or with a mat in the comfort of our own home. According to an article on weather.com, certain yoga poses can help combat these nasty viruses to help us feel better throughout the day. Sicknesses leave us feeling stressed, which can only extend the length of a sickness. Using yoga poses helps to calm the mind and open the airways to help you breathe easier throughout the day.
Some poses that the article recommends are as followed:
According to MaryKate Bronder, a yoga instructor in North Reading, Ma., says that “child’s pose stimulates pressure points on the skull that relieve congestion. It’s just as useful for taming sinus pressure related to allergies, infections, and tension headaches as with head colds.”
Child’s pose is technically a resting pose in yoga, where we are curled on the ground, sitting on our ankles with our forehead on the ground and arms extended above the ears. This allows pressure on our upper body to subside and lungs to become expanded. This pose is fantastic for just relaxing into the ground and relieving that yucky congestion that has been building up through the course of your sickness.
Reclining Bound Angle Pose
According to the article, this pose is a restorative pose in yoga, allowing for your chest to open up making breathing easier. Immediate results from this pose will be less coughing. To enter this pose, sit straight up and bring your legs in a butterfly position, much like sitting cross legged. Let your knees fall to the floor and lie back with your arms extended at a 90 degree angle from your sides. Relax into this pose and enjoy the openness of your arms, allowing your chest to breathe. This pose will help relieve any cold symptoms. Staying in this position for 10-15 minutes will reap the maximum benefit.
Any seasoned yogi would know that there are multiple poses for every different condition you are feeling, whether you are hung over, your back hurts, you overindulged a little too much the night before. Whatever it may be, chances are that there is a yoga pose to counteract it. Alternative medicine and the practice of yoga is beneficial to our lives because we are using our internal balance to combat the external effects the environment brings, whether this be stressors in our lives, living in a city, working a full day at the office, or chasing around kids. Whatever life brings you, use yoga to keep your mind and body relaxed. You may not be able to physically the benefits yoga brings, but there is a reason it has been around for thousands of years.