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Exercise

Creating a lighter, healthier you is a multi-step process. One of the most important steps, and the main focus of this section, is exercise. Here we explore everything from the benefits of exercise to how much and how often it is necessary to promote weight loss.

Yoga Exercises for Allergy Relief

Allergies can be quite the nuisance for individuals experiencing them. As individuals turn to daily medications and nose sprays to reduce allergies, many may benefit from these yoga breathing exercises and poses.

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Allergies can be quite the nuisance for individuals experiencing them. Because with itchy eyes, runny noses, wheezing and coughing, they are undoubtedly unappealing.

But with a wide variety of remedies, can yoga truly offer allergy relief?

Understanding Allergies

Allergies are an immune response by the body. The response is specifically facilitated by an allergen - commonly by fur, pollen, dust, insect stings, and certain foods. When an individual is hypersensitive to an allergen, a cascade of unpleasant signs and symptoms follow and may potentially be fatal.

But when it comes to the best medicine for allergies, the answer is a little bit more widespread and may differ related to the reaction cause. Generally, individuals turn to daily medications and nose sprays to reduce allergy consequences throughout the day.

However, those who experience allergies may benefit from a more holistic approach that encompasses yoga with its associated poses and breathing techniques.

Yoga for Allergy Relief

So how can yoga actually subside allergic reactions? Some theorists explain when experiencing allergy responses, agitation and stress levels may arise. In turn, the immune system can shut down and exacerbate allergy symptoms that are unable to be combated.

Practicing yoga has been shown to induce relaxation and may be able to quiet down strong immune responses. And if practicing yoga indoors, it reduces the risk of being exposed to common allergens outside.

Additionally, specific yoga poses can open up the upper respiratory system and drain sinuses. Poses that keep the head down too long, though, can put too much pressure on nasal passages and aggravate allergy symptoms. Beneficial sinus treatment in yoga include inversions and these yoga breathing exercises and poses.

Alternate-Nostril Breathing

This is one of the most common breathing exercises in yoga. Try this before stretching. It can help increase the body's relaxation response.

How to Do It:
1. Cover right nostril and inhale through the left for a count of ten. Hold the breath for five seconds.
2. Then, cover left nostril and exhale through the right for a count of ten. Inhale through the right nostril and hold for five seconds.
3. Cover right nostril again and exhale through the left. Repeat for three more rounds.

 

Warrior Pose

The Warrior Pose allows the chest and lungs to open and gravity to drain mucus that causes a stuffy nose.

How to Do It:
1. Stand tall with feet together and arms by the sides. Inhale and step feet wide apart.
2. Inhale and raise arms overhead, shoulder-width apart, palms facing each other.
3. Exhale and turn right leg out 90 degrees to the right and left leg in 45 degrees to the right. Exhale and rotate hips and torso to face the same direction as the right leg.
4. Take a deep breath. With an exhale, bend the right knee, forming a right angle with the thigh and shin. Hold this position for 3 to 10 slow, deep breaths.
5. Repeat on the left side.

Half Moon Pose

The Half Moon Pose eases breathing by opening up the lungs and the ribcage.

How to Do It:
1. Stand tall with feet together and arms the sides. Inhale and step feet wide apart.
2. Exhale and turn right leg out 90 degrees to the right. Inhale and extend arms out to the sides at shoulder-height.
3. Exhale and reach right arm way out to the right. Then reach with right hand down to the floor or shin and left arm up in a straight line, coming into Triangle Pose. Hold for 1 to 3 breaths.
4. Then, place left hand on hip, bend right knee slightly, and slide left foot closer to the right. Inhale and reach right fingertips toward the floor, several inches in front of the right foot as the left leg is lifted, rolling the hip open to the left.
5. Lift left arm and turn gaze to look up at the hand. Hold this pose for 3 to 5 breaths.
6. To come out of the pose, lower left arm to left hip and turn gaze toward the floor. Slightly bend right knee while gently lowering left leg. Straighten right knee, returning to Triangle Pose.
7. Switch sides and repeat.

Downward-Facing Dog

The Downward-Facing Dog helps trapped mucus drain from nasal passages, providing allergy symptom relief.

How to Do It:
1. Start on all fours with hands directly beneath shoulders.
2. Raise the buttocks, straighten legs (it is okay to have slightly bent knees), and press hands and feet firmly into the floor. Inhale and exhale for a count of five.
3. Repeat five times.
4. Then, walk hands in close to feet and slowly return to standing.

Supported Backbends

When managing allergies, the muscles between the ribs may get exhausted from pushing air past blocked nasal passages. This can lead to more painful wheezing. Supported backbends can soothe these muscles.

How to Do It:
1. Lie on back with feet flat on the ground and pulled in close to the buttocks.
2. Starting with the tailbone, slowly lift the back. When the back is completely off the floor, slide three stacked pillows under the lower back.
3. Relax shoulder blades down to the floor so the chest remains propped up. Hold for two minutes.

Written By Sarah Asay, RDN. Published on June 12, 2013. Updated on April 08, 2019.

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