Mayo Clinic explains the common cold is a viral infection of the nose and throat characterized by a runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, cough, congestion, and other symptoms like body aches, low-grade fever, and a general feeling of being unwell. According to Health Direct, all adults suffer an average of 2-4 colds annually.
The worst part about the common cold is waiting it out. There are certain things you can do, however, to speed up the healing process. One of these is yoga. The following 8 yoga poses help combat painful cold symptoms, build the immune system and ward off future infection. You can practice them in succession as part of your daily routine, or repeat whichever one or two feel best in that particular moment.
1. Legs Up the Wall
This inversion is calming and healing. Shape explains the pose helps lymph fluid and immune cells move through the body, while Yoga Journal lauds the pose for opening the chest to facilitate breathing. To make the pose easier, support your buttocks and lower back with a bolster or thick pillow. Allow your arms to fall to the sides and relax for at least 10 slow, deep breaths.
2. Supported Bridge
This pose can be done with the sacrum resting on a yoga block or with the pelvis raised, fingertips reaching toward the heels. It is a wonderful chest opener that Shape says stimulates the thyroid gland and boosts immune function. The Yoga Journal further recommends the pose for its ability to increase circulation to the upper torso. Remain in the pose for 5 to 10 deep breaths.
3. Spinal Twist.
The Yoga Journal recommends this pose for releasing tension. If the common cold has you suffering from aches and pains, this pose is for you. To make the pose more comfortable, scoot a folded blanket or bolster under your bent knee. Close your eyes and relax for a full three minutes before repeating on the opposite side.
4. Seated Spinal Twist.
This is yet another twist that can feel absolutely wonderful even when you're at your worst. Shape recommends it for detoxifying the body and activating the secondary organs of the immune system. This pose is active, which means you should lengthen the spine with each inhale and breath out tension with each exhale. Continue stretching in this pose for 5 to 10 breaths before repeating on the opposite side.
5. Fish Pose.
This chest opener is a favorite of Art of Living. It supports deep breathing and provides relief from respiratory infections. It has the added benefit of alleviating tension in the neck and shoulders. Just 5 to 10 breaths in this pose can make you feel like a new person.
6. Camel Pose.
This is another chest and back opener that helps clear the respiratory system. Yoganonymous reminds yogis it is important to only go as far back as is comfortable. If the hands do not reach the heels, place them on the lower back with the finger tips facing downwards. This will support the back. When securely in the pose, hold for 5 breaths. When you are ready to come out of the pose, slowly lift your head, sit on your heels, and then lean forward into Child's Pose for at least 10 deep breaths.
7. Bow Pose.
Bow pose opens the neck, chest, stomach, and back. It is among the best for opening all those close, congested passageways that make it difficult to breath, says Yoganonymous. It is also very relaxing and helps alleviate tension, making it easier to sleep. Hold the pose for 5 deep breaths and then slowly lower your torso, lying the head to one side and shaking the hips from side to side. Repeat again and then relax in Child's Pose.
8. Alternate Nostril Breathing.
The above video from Art of Living Productions demonstrates the alternate nostril breathing technique, which works to open blocked nasal passageways and facilitate increased flow of oxygen to the lungs. It is also an effective method of deeply relaxing the body and reducing stress. It is recommended to do 7- 8 rounds of the breathing technique 2- 3 times daily when suffering from a cold.
Do you love these yoga poses as much as we do? Spread the word and help your friends heal faster when you SHARE this article on social media!