Your Yoga Remedy for Cold & Flu Symptoms
Try these yoga poses to manage your cold and flu symptoms.
Being sick is the worst, and unfortunately, it’s cold and flu season now. We all do our best to avoid sick people and sanitize everything around us this time of year, but most of us will still fall under the weather at some point. Sneezing, coughing, sore throat, and congestion are just some of the annoying symptoms we experience. So how do you make those symptoms go away quicker and perhaps prevent yourself from coming down with them again anytime soon? Do yoga!
The poses below are helpful in warding off winter sicknesses, as well as managing the annoying symptoms should you come down with something. When you do these poses, you’ll not only reap the protective benefits, but you’ll also reduce stress, which will help keep you healthy all flu season long.
Legs Up the Wall
All inversions help lymph fluid and immune cells move through your body.
Sit sideways next a wall (or the headboard of your bed). Lie down on one side, facing away from the wall with butt touching it. Using arms, lift legs up the wall as you roll over onto back. Allow arms to fall on either side of you. (Palms can face up for openness or down for an extra level of grounding.) Breathe here for at least 10 breaths.
Moves white blood cells through your body as well as draining the sinuses.
Begin on all fours. Tuck toes and lift hips high, reaching sit bones toward the ceiling. Reach heels back toward the mat without touching. Drop head so that neck is long. Wrist creases stay parallel to the front edge of the mat. Press into the knuckles of forefingers and thumbs to alleviate pressure from wrists. Breathe here for 5 to 10 deep breaths.
Chest opener that stimulates thymus glands, which are a main immunity organ.
Begin lying on back, bend knees and place feet on the ground hip-distance apart with arms on either side of you, reaching toward heels. Pressing into feet (especially into the big toe mound), lengthen through tailbone and lift hips. Interlace hands together underneath, and if it feels good, wiggle shoulders closer together one shoulder at a time. Keep the outer edges of feet parallel. Stay here for 5 to 10 deep breaths.
Seated Spinal Twist
Twists help detoxify the body by getting things moving, as well as activate the secondary organs of the immune system.
Sit with legs long in front. Bend right knee and place right foot outside of left knee. (You can keep left leg long or fold it in like a half-cross-legged seat.) Wrap left arm around right leg and place right hand on the ground behind sacrum. Use each inhale to lengthen spine and each exhale to let stress and worries go. Breathe here for 5 to 10 deep breaths. Repeat on the other side.
Alternate Nostril Breathing
Clears congestion as well as calming mind and body.
Sit comfortably and rest left hand on left thigh. Place right ring finger and thumb on either side of nostrils, lightly touching them but not constricting. Inhale and exhale, then close off right nostril with thumb and inhale through left nostril fully for 4 counts. Close off left nostril with ring finger and hold and retain the breath 4 counts. Release right nostril and exhale for 4 counts. Inhale deeply for 4 counts through the right nostril, close it off, and hold and retain the breath for 4 counts. Release left nostril as you exhale completely through it for 4 counts. Begin the cycle again, completing as many rounds as you like. Be sure to exhale through left nostril to complete your last cycle. Once you are done, relax both hands to thighs and take a few deep breaths through both nostrils.
All images courtesy of Shape.com.