By: Gwen Lawrence
It’s allergy season — that time of year when many of us are plagued by itchy or watery eyes, runny noses, and bouts of sneezing and coughing that threaten to knock pictures off the wall. These common allergy symptoms are the body’s way of defending itself against bacteria and viruses. Luckily, yoga can help!
First, we have to figure out where those annoying symptoms are coming from. Allergies are triggered by allergens. Some of the most common seasonal allergens include pollen, dust, mold, food and insect venom. Irritants such as cigarette smoke, air pollution and some strong odors (such as perfumes) also impinge the respiratory system.
The best way to prevent allergy symptoms is to avoid what triggers them — such as by staying indoors on days when the pollen count is at its highest and keeping your home free of dust. But yoga can also help with both the prevention and management of allergy symptoms.
Yoga has been shown to have a stabilizing effect on the immune system, and with a regular yoga practice, the overall health and local resistance in respiratory passages is improved, making it easier for your body to fend off allergens. Yoga is also a great and effective stress management technique. It helps you relax and control your mind and emotions, facilitating the control of your allergic reaction.
Try these poses the next time you sense your allergies acting up. But remember: Yoga helps only in the management of allergies and should not be treated as a cure. Medical attention may still be needed for more extreme allergy symptoms.