Yoga is known to have numerous health benefits, including stress reduction, improved flexibility and mobility, increased strength, and better sleep, to name just a few. But you may be surprised to learn that the practice is also connected to helping with IBS and digestive problems and easing lower back pain. Plus, it can even help with allergy relief.
"Often allergies are worse with stress caused by internal and external factors,” explained Kristin McGee, 200-hour Katonah Yoga, 500-hour Pilates Mat, ACE personal training, and celebrity yoga trainer based in New York City. “While we can't control the outside elements, we can learn to work with our bodies during allergy season.”
Because of its relaxation benefits, yoga indirectly helps alleviate allergies. “Relaxation helps calm the flight or fight mechanisms in our body, which helps diminish stress, and therefore, also allergies,” explained McGee.
Wondering which yoga poses are the best for allergy relief? We asked McGee to share the most beneficial positions and to explain how they help.
Yoga Poses That Can Help With Allergy Relief
1. Fish Pose
Lie flat on your back, legs extended, arms relaxed at your sides. Lift your pelvis and slide your hands under glutes, palms on the ground, and lower your glutes onto your hands, elbows tucked into your sides. Inhale, bend your elbows and use your forearms to help lift your chest, head, and shoulders up toward ceiling. hile still lifted, drop your head backwards, allowing the top of yourhead to rest on the floor.
“The position of this pose forces you to opens your lungs and chest, which can help you breathe more fully,” said McGee.
2. Shoulder Stand
Lie flat on your back, hands at your sides, and bend your knees and bring them up toward your chest. Pressing your hands into ground, lift your hips and back up off the ground, moving your bent knees above your head. Keeping your forearms flat on ground, bend your elbows to lift and place your hands on your hips. Slowly slide your hands down until all weight is on your shoulders. Slowly extend your legs straight up toward ceiling.
“As the queen of the asanas, this pose calms your nerves and brings blood flow to the lungs, both of which can affect allergy symptoms,” said McGee.
3. Crescent Lunge
Come into Warrior One, with one leg in front with knee bent, toes facing forward, and one leg behind with your foot parallel and hands on your hips. Lift your back foot to come onto your toes with your heel raised toward ceiling. Tuck your pelvis and bend into your front knee more as you slowly lower down a few inches. Draw your shoulders back and down as you reach your arms up to sky.
“Here’s another pose that opens the lungs and chest and oxygenates the entire body,” said McGee.
Yoga can be a great way to ease common ailments, including allergies. But if yoga just can’t quite cut it, try using Flonase. Flonase contains the No. 1 prescribed allergy medicine1, from the No. 1 doctor recommended brand2 in allergy relief, providing relief for your toughest allergy symptoms, including nasal congestion, sneezing, itchy, watery eyes, and runny nose.
1 Based on IMS Health Monthly TRx Allergy Market for 12-month period ending 2/28/18.
2 Among OTC Allergy Medications based on most recent physician's survey dated 6/23/17