‘Tis that time of year in the Southern Hemisphere, where the blossoms are blooming, and so are the itchy eyes, headaches and running nose.
If you are anything like me, this time of year can get you good. Years ago my allergies were so bad, that I was medicated, to the eye balls…
Now I can excitedly say, I treat my allergies naturally! YAY!
All thanks to yoga, a few natural supplements and a bit of acupressure.
So here are my top yoga strategies to help combat those spring time blues!
1. NASAL CLEANSING:
Every morning, after waking (tongue scraping and oil pulling – also great for allergies), I rinse my nostrils with a neti pot, using a saline solution. You can get these ready made at the chemist. However, nasal cleansing is actually a cleansing ritual, done prior to any yoga practice. It helps to flush the nose of built up mucous, pollens etc, and helps for step 2.
2. PRANAMAYA (Breath work)
Each morning I start with 2 kinds of pranayama – kaphal bhati and anulom vilom (alternative nostril breathing). You can also do anulom vilom at night (kaphal only in the morning, as it may invoke insomnia). A video on how to do both can be found here.
3. ASANAS (poses)
How to come into camel:
Sit in vajrasana (kneeling heroes pose)
Inhale. Stand on the knees with the arms on the sides.
Knees hip width apart. Toes pointing back and resting on the floor
Inhale lengthen the torso
exhale pull the ribs in and reach the hands towards the heels
Push the hips forward, keep the hips vertical.
Bend the spine back as far as comfortable
Relax the head back
Relax the back
Push the chest up
To come out inhale lift the head and use the core and place one hand at a time on the hips.
Repeat 3 times and hold for 30 seconds or hold for 3 minutes, once.
Be aware of severe back ailments such as lumbago.
Follow the asana with a forward bending pose such seated/standing forward fold.
Bridge or more advanced – shoulder stand:
How to come into bridge:
Lie on your back. If necessary, place a thickly folded blanket under your shoulders to protect your neck.
Bend your knees and set your feet on the floor, heels as close to the sitting bones as possible.
Exhale and, pressing your inner feet and arms actively into the floor, push your tailbone upward toward the pubis, firming (but not hardening) the buttocks, and lift the buttocks off the floor.
Keep your thighs and inner feet parallel.
Clasp the hands below your pelvis and extend through the arms to help you stay on the tops of your shoulders.
Lift your buttocks until the thighs are about parallel to the floor. Keep your knees directly over the heels, but push them forward, away from the hips, and lengthen the tailbone toward the backs of the knees.
Lift the pubis toward the navel.
Lift your chin slightly away from the sternum and, firming the shoulder blades against your back, press the top of the sternum toward the chin.
Firm the outer arms, broaden the shoulder blades, and try to lift the space between them at the base of the neck (where it’s resting on the blanket) up into the torso.
Stay in the pose anywhere from 30 seconds to 1 minute. Release with an exhalation, rolling the spine slowly down onto the floor.
Neck injury: avoid this pose unless you are practicing under the supervision of an experienced teacher.
How to come into shoulder stand:
Lie on the back
Place the hands beside the body palms down
Relax the entire body and mind
Inhale bring the legs up to 90 degrees
Slowly and smoothly roll the buttocks and back off the floor, pushing the hands on the floor
With the support of the hands on the back begin to raise the legs to a vertical position keeping them straight
Turn the palms of the hands upwards behind the ribs, bending the elbows, with the upper arms resting on the floor, parallel, shoulder width apart
Gently push the chest forward so it presses firmly against the chin
Close the eyes and relax the whole body in the position for as long as possible
Use Ujjayi breath here (imagine fogging up a mirror, with mouth closed)
To come out. Exhale. Bend the knees to the forehead.
Slowly release the hands and place them palm down beside the body.
Slowly and steadily lower the back and the buttocks, vertebrae, by vertebra bringing the knees to 90 degrees.
Release the legs all the way down slowly. Relax and normalize the breath.
Hold for 5-7 breaths up to 3-5 minutes, once.
Please consult a qualified teacher if you have; enlarged thyroid, liver or spleen, cervical spondylitis, slipped disc, high blood pressure/heart issues, weak blood vessels in the eyes, thrombosis
Also avoid during menstruation and advanced stages of pregnancy
So in closing, for these strategies to work effectively, you need to invest the time, consistently daily, and trust me you will experience relief.
So let me ask you… What is your health worth!?
If you want more information on any of the aforementioned information, or supplements etc, contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org, or see my blog over at: http://www.greentarawellness.com.au/the-3-hs-to-combating-hay-fever/ on how to further combat your allergies.
Here is to clear eyes, clear noses, and clear heads! 🙂