How Yoga Can Alleviate Seasonal Allergies

If you are experiencing a runny nose, sneezing, and itchy eyes, then you have seasonal allergies. Commonly known as hay fever, seasonal allergies can occur during any time of the year when pollen counts are high. If you live in an area that has a cold winter, you might get some relief as fewer things are blooming; if you live in a warm climate, you will likely suffer year-round. Trees, grasses, weeds, and ragweed can all contribute to seasonal allergy symptoms, and since pollen can be carried on the wind for thousands of miles, the pollen may not even be from your own backyard.

Symptoms of Seasonal Allergies

Allergic rhinitis is the medical term for hay fever. Symptoms include:

  • Runny nose
  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Itchy nose
  • Sneezing

These symptoms are triggered by an allergic reaction your body has to the pollen in the air. This causes a histamine response and also swelling in your sinuses and nasal passages. It’s not a serious problem, but you can develop an infection if the symptoms persist with no relief.

Yoga to Treat Seasonal Allergies

Regularly practicing yoga can help build your immune system, which can help your body combat the symptoms of seasonal allergies more effectively. There are also several yoga poses and breathing exercises that can help expand your chest and lungs and clear your nasal passages, which can provided relief from acute symptoms of hay fever. They are:

  • Skull Shining Breath (Kapalabhati Pranayama)
  • Alternate Nostril Breathing (Nadi Sodhana)
  • Shoulder Stand (Salamba Sarvangasana)
  • Bridge Pose (Setu Bhanda Sarvangasana)

Many yoga practitioners also recommend the use of a neti pot, which pours lukewarm salt water through your sinus cavities, washing out nasal irritants that cause allergy symptoms. Neti pots are now readily available at most pharmacies and health food stores.

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