My 5 Yoga Tips For Alleviating Allergies

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My 5 Yoga Tips For Alleviating Allergies

Posted 10 Feb 2019


Elaine Kelly

My 5 Yoga Tips For Alleviating Allergies

In tandem with physician approved medical treatment, yoga can be a wonderful way to boost your endocrine system and reduce allergic reactions.  

The air you breathe

One of my clients has been told by her doctor that the only way to alleviate her sinus symptoms is to move to a less dusty climate; desert environments are one of the worst places to live if you have dust allergies.  The World Health Organization rates many desert climates as those having amongst the dirtiest air in the world. 

Yoga for quick relief

My client who suffers from extreme dust allergy, sinus pain, light sensitivity, severe itch, headaches and watering eyes has noticed that after doing yoga, in less than 50 minutes that the symptoms have either gone or being significantly reduced.

If you also suffer from allergies, here are five yoga practices that I recommend you try under the guidance of an experienced instructor.

1. Alternate Nostril Breathing: Anuloma Viloma
In a 2013 study published in Ayu, 40 people who practiced it for 40 days reported that symptoms of nasal drip, headache, itchy nostrils, sinus pressure and other symptoms improved by an average of 50-70 percent! The researchers attributed the improvement to increased oxygenation of the nasal tissue.

To do this practice, close your right nostril and breathe in and out through the left 10 times. Then close the left nostril and breath in and out through the right 10 times. Notice as you do this which one is more open. If one is blocked, a very cool trick to open it up is to place a small rolled-up towel under the opposite armpit and squeeze it. Within a minute it will have cleared noticeably. Don’t ask me how this works-but yogis have been doing this for centuries. 

2. Foot Rolling and Massage
When I arrive for a private session, I often get my clients to roll their feet while we do a brief check-in and assessment. There are so many points on the feet and toes that can help to relieve sinus symptoms and improve immunity. This is a quick, easy practice that can be done in the car on your way to a meeting or anywhere else when you are seated.

3. Jala Neti: Nose Washing
Ancient yogis understood that the nasal passages are the first line of defense against pollutants and other irritants, and the importance of keeping them clear and clean. Jala Neti (nasal wash), is an effective way to flush out mucus and keep your passages clear and healthy. Modern neti pots are often plastic and look like a small teapot with a longer spout.  They've been proven highly effective in preventing infection, soothing sinuses and reducing the likelihood of colds and infections. Whether you use a traditional neti pot or a squeeze bottle with saline from a pharmacy, the goal is to trickle non-ionized salt water solution into one nostril, have it circulate at the top of the nasal cavity, and run down the other nostril. Then reverse. It feels a little weird at first, but keep at it and you'll soon be a convert.

4. Kapalabhati: Skull cleansing breath
Another of yoga’s Shatkarmas or 5 actions, is extremely effective at clearing the nasal passages through forceful repetitive exhalations and passive inhalations.  First do Jala Neti described under point 3 above, and then follow with 10 rounds of Kapalabhati.

5. Yoga Poses
Inversions, such as downward facing dog, Halasana (plow pose) and rabbit pose are a great way to bring pressure into the sinuses for a short time which will result in relief when you return to standing. They also assist in draining nasal secretions, increasing blood flow to the head and improving overall circulation.








Enhanced Immunity

Yoga's biggest gift to the sinuses is balancing the body's immune response, which basically goes into fight or flight mode when allergy season comes around. So whatever poses you do, your yoga practice will help to reduce stress, improve the oxygenation of your blood and help clear nasal passages. It is important to remember that stress reduction can prevent further compromising immunity, based on recent research findings.

What Else Can You Do?

Invest in a good quality air purifier in your home and bedroom with a HEPA filter to remove dust and other particles. You can also ensure your vacuum cleaner has a HEPA filter to remove dust and mites from your living spaces.

Opt for wooden or tiled floors versus carpets, and keep windows well sealed in summer to avoid excess dust.

Swim in the sea! This is an excellent way to naturally clean your nasal passages and absorb the healing benefits of natural minerals such as magnesium and potassium into your skin.

For more information or private sessions, please feel free to reach out.

In Health - Elaine
Founder YogaFest Middle East


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Fiona_1974 says:

6 months 1 week ago
Dear Elaine, thank you for the great tips. I'm curious to see whether you believe or see in your circle of friends and acquaintances whether people who practice yoga regularly are actually happier than those that don't? Fiona

Claire says:

6 months 2 weeks ago
Stumbled across your blog here but wanted to acknowledge the great work you do with Yogafest which my friends and I have been attending in Dubai since it started. Thumbs up!!

Elaine_Kelly says:

6 months 2 weeks ago
Hello Claire, Thank you so much for your kind words. Yogafest is my passion and I am so excited to see it spreading to Abu Dhabi. Please join me there on the 23rd March. With kindness, Elaine

Delalia says:

7 months 2 days ago
Thankyou for the great tips. I have been going to Yogafest for the past few years and luuuuurrrve it! I'm very happy to see that you contribute your expertise and help people through this channel. Namaste :)

Elaine_Kelly says:

6 months 2 weeks ago
Oh Delalia, that is so good to know you attend Yogafest and LUUUVe it. I love it too. It is full of everything that makes yoga a wonderful way of living your life and the vibe is amazing. I am truly honored to be a part of the Enritsch family. Namaste. Elaine

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