Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Yoga For Sinus Relief

Thanks to Jamie ( @saphiremist77) for requesting a yoga for sinus issues blog!

I'd never really had sinus or allergy issues until moving to Memphis - the number one city in the country for allergies. Yeah Memphis! When the cotton pops in September is usually my worse time, but year round I'm often blowing my nose in the middle of class.

Treating sinuses with yoga is a two-fold approach; 1 - relieve the pain and pressure and 2 - keep the sinuses clear and draining properly. Here are a few yoga remedies I use for my own sinus issues:

Nadi Shodhana (Alternate Nostril Breath)
Bring your right hand in front of your face and lower the first two fingers. With your thumb, close the right side of your nose and inhale through the left. With your ring finger, close the left side of your nose and exhale through the right. Keeping the right side open, inhale. Close and exhale through the left. Inhale left, close and exhale right. Continue with the left-right-right-left pattern.
Have a tissue nearby to blow your nose when finished.

Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog) 
I like downdog better than a full forward fold to allow the sinuses to drain without causing as much head pressure. Downdog also expands the chest allowing for deeper breathing.

Halasana (Plow pose) 
Good to unblock the sinuses.


Setu Bhanda (Bridge)
Good to unblock the sinuses and more accessible to most people than halasana.

Sirshasana (Headstand)
You might be unsure about going upside down if you have a sinus headache, but it really does relive the pressure and drain the sinuses. If full headstand isn't available to you, try this supported version on two chairs. Note: if you've never done a headstand, find a qualified teacher to assist you until you are ready to go upside down on your own.

Neti Pot Rinse 
Yes, I know it looks weird. And yes it does feel a bit weird at first. But if you have sinus or allergy issues, the neti pot will be a huge relief. I don't Neti Pot every night, usually only when I'm feeling stuffy, during cotton season, or if I've spent a lot of time outside. The secret to successful Neti'ing? As the water is flowing through your sinuses, whisper the letter "K". When you say the K sound the back of your throat closes and therefore no water can drip down your throat. 

Headache relief
Sometimes, the headache gets too intense and you need a restorative pose for relief. Please read my previous post on Head Wraps and Restorative Poses.
Head Wrap

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