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Recommended asanas for when you have a cold?

neenee2010-07-05 03:35:46 +0000 #1
Hi all. I have a mildish cold. I feel a little overheated and weak. Are there any simple poses to help me?
Chandra2010-07-05 03:39:57 +0000 #2
Namaste Neenee,

I have had my nose in other projects for some time, so am sorry you have not received an answer to your post. There are many knowledgeable yogis here - all are welcome to answer.

When you are ill, you can use restorative yoga poses to stimulate the body's immune system and encourage relaxation, recover and renewal. Effort should be mild, with an emphasis on relaxation of effort.

For a cold, Lion's Pose is a good way to increase blood flow to the throat and stimulate subtle energy (prana) which may be congested. To practice, sit in Virasana (sit on the heels, thighs and knees touching). Place the palms face down on the tops of the thighs, and relax the shoulders back and down while lengthening the spine and slightly dropping the chin to lengthen the back of the neck. Take several slow long breaths, feeling the breath entering from the nostrils, flowing over the vocal chords and filling the chest, upper, middle (thoracic) and lower (belly) lobes of the lungs. Observe where the breath may feel restricted by the symptoms of the cold you are experiencing, and encourage the breath and subtle prana energy to fill and nourish this area. Next, when you exhale, widely open the mouth, sticking the tongue out and stretching all the facial muscles and the fingers wide open, while making a whispering "haaaaaa" sound. Close your eyes, relax the effort and feel the blood flow increase before repeating several more times.

Chest opening poses such as reclining supported backbend performs lying supine over some comfy pillows and done with a full, relaxed yogic breath will help to open the bronchial tubes and get heaviness out of the lungs.

Finally, you can tap or thump on the upper breast bone, which lies above the Thymus - a major gland of immunity, and which lies above the upper lobes of the lungs which can be congested.

While this advice may be too late for you today -hope it comes in handy the next time you have a cold.

Aloha,

Chandra
Alix2010-07-05 04:24:31 +0000 #3
I was pleased to see this thread (and realize it is an old one I am reviving but bear with me please). I have found myself struggling with my health throughout this winter, primarily upper respiratory issues. I've been wondering if there are more poses that will help open the chest and bring healing to that region? I'm tired of having Dr's offer me drugs that don't work etc etc.
yogiforlife2010-07-05 04:09:46 +0000 #4
I only ever had one time where I tried doing Yoga with a cold and had to stop because I couldn't breathe well enough. Most times, after a few minutes of practice, my nose clears right up, kinda like when you go outside in cold weather. In extreme cases, I just don't bother even trying.
Alix2010-07-05 05:26:15 +0000 #5
I know what you mean yogiforlife. Trying to do downward dog with your nose streaming is not pretty.

My issues are definitely in my chest. I had the flu in the fall and I can still feel congestion in that area. I find that foreward bends seem to get things moving, but then I need to stop my practice for a while til the coughing subsides. I was hoping for advice about something that would be gentle enough to open the passages without inspiring a major bout of coughing. Perhaps I am kidding myself though.
yogiforlife2010-07-05 05:29:37 +0000 #6
I don't even try if I have the flu, a cold on the other hand I find to be more manageable, difficult at first but well worth the effort afterwards.
InnerAthlete2010-07-05 05:23:01 +0000 #7
Hi Alix,

If you are running a fever and are in the most intense part of whatever thingy has invaded, it's best to rest and allow your immune system to do the work.

If you are either post-intensity or pre-intensity you can of course do asana specifically for supporting the immune system and respiration.

Sarvangasana is the pose I recommend for supporting your immune system. Obviously Asana is a comprehensive body of healing and so one pose, unlike prescription meds, may not bring you microwave-speed remedy.

If the full pose is too much at this point, then do the pose with the feet at the wall. I teach the pose with support and do not advocate doing it (for nearly all students) on a flat surface.

A little bit of light pranayama might also assist. This would be in the supine position, back over a bolster. The thigh bones should rest fully on the floor, the diaphragm should move away from the pelvis, and the forehead should slope toward the heart center. Simple Viloma I or Ujjayi only. Four minutes.

Supported Setu Bandha (a block at the sacrum) would be nice as well. I don't know your style of practice but the block, on whatever height you take it, goes across the sacrum, not parallel to the spine and it (the block) should not be into your lumbar region. Make certain you come off of the block (after nine breaths or so) by lifting up the buttocks but not breaking contact between the brick and buttocks. Do this nine times to re-engage the musculature around the sacrum before taking the block out and coming down.

If you have two bolsters you can do some cross bolster work on the floor. Cross them (the top bolster aligns with the spine) and lay back on them such that your pelvis is the apex of the pose. You can either reach the arms straight overhead placing the backs of the hands on the floor or you can catch opposite elbows and work the forearms toward the floor overhead.

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