How yoga can help your allergies
Yoga is an ancient practise that has a number of benefits for the body and incorporates breathing techniques, postures and meditation. Yoga may help to support physical, mental and emotional wellbeing, reduce daily stress levels, anxiety and fatigue, and improve concentration and energy levels.
Yoga may be especially appropriate for allergy sufferers for a number of reasons:
- It is a known antidote to stress ‐ Allergies can be very stressful for some people, especially if they impact on their day to day activities. Plus, there is evidence to suggest that stress may
worsen allergy symptoms. When practised regularly, yoga may help to reduce daily tension and improve happiness and wellbeing.
- It is an alternative to outdoor exercise – When airborne pollens are at their peak, hayfever allergy sufferers may wish to avoid outdoor exercise to avoid triggering hayfever symptoms. Yoga is often practised indoors and there are many styles to choose from that cater for anyone, regardless of age, fitness level or experience.
- Yoga may help with allergy complications – Allergies like hayfever can cause daytime tiredness, headaches and poor concentration.3 Yoga postures may help to ease muscle tension and the act of focusing the mind on the breath with yogic breathing techniques, may help to improve concentration and distract your mind from your allergies.
Certain yoga postures may help to open the airways and relieve nasal congestion.4 If your allergies are acting up try bridge pose or fish pose to expand the chest and lungs and free the breath, or hold an inversion like shoulder stand for approximately a minute to open the nasal passages and improve drainage.4 It is best to have a qualified yoga instructor show you these postures initially to ensure you are doing them correctly. Note that yoga should be complementary to conventional allergy treatments but not used to replace them.