Spring has sprung! The flowers are blooming and there are cherry blossoms everywhere on the streets of Seattle. With spring, however, comes allergy season.
I have had students coming to class and asking if there are any poses they can do for allergies. My first answer is always Jala Neti. Jala Neti is an ancient yogic cleansing technique, which involves the use of a neti pot filled with warm saltwater.
I have used a neti pot for the past few years on almost a daily basis. Not only has it been hugely effective in treating my seasonal allergies, but also in helping to prevent illness. The neti gently washes the sinus and nasal cavities, rinsing out germs and pollens that have built up in the nasal passages. The salt in the water also helps to reduce the inflammation and swelling in the tissues, helping to reduce the symptoms associated with allergies. It is a great preventative technique that can be done regularly and it can also be done in conjunction with the use of herbs or Western medicine and allergy medication.
The biggest challenge to the neti pot is finding the exact angle to use it comfortably. Here is a great video which will run neti pot rookies through the process. Click here to watch the video.
Personally I recommend a ceramic or steel neti pot as opposed to plastic and encourage students to use non-iodized sea salt (or purchase the neti washes they have available). If you’re interested in exploring a neti pot we have them available for purchase at our Capitol Hill studio boutique.
For those looking for asana that will help support them through the allergy season. I recommend any kind of inversion: head stand or shoulder stand or even forward folds like uttanasa or prasarita padottanasana. These poses will help move congestion in the body by opening nasal passages and encouraging drainage. Bridge pose can also be very beneficial for opening up the lungs and increasing breath capacity. I also recommend calming poses like child’s pose to help relieve the stress on the nervous system that allergies can create.
Hopefully these suggestions will help make the spring a more enjoyable time for allergy sufferers.
Posted by: Megan Costello
Megan is a firm believer in working with the cycles of the seasons. Join her for a Chandra Yoga & Meditation Workshop on Mother’s Day, May 9th, at 8 Limbs Phinney Ridge. The class will help students learn to align their yoga practice with the cycle of the moon and the cycles within their own bodies.