Relieve Sinus Pressure and Congestion With This Yoga Sequence
When your head is aching from sinus congestion and your nose is plugged up, going to yoga class is probably not the best option. Rather than completely neglecting your yoga practice, opt for a minisequence at home to open up your chest and improve your circulation.
If you are looking for a little more of a workout, simply complete a few rounds of Sun Salutations between each congestion-soothing posture.
Bridge posture is a mild yet effective way to open your chest, in addition to sending fresh blood to your head.
What to Do: Find out how to complete Bridge Pose safely without injuring your neck or back. Hold for 30 seconds to a minute, and then release on an exhalation while rolling the spine, one vertebra at a time, onto the mat. If you feel like you can handle something more advanced, learn how to do Wheel Pose.
Camel will open up your back and chest even further while clearing out your passageways. If you can't reach the heels of your feet or it's too intense, then place your hands on your lower back, fingers pointing down, and bend back until you feel the stretch. If not completed properly, this pose can be very strenuous on your back, so don't overexert yourself.
What to Do: Check out the step-by-step intro to Camel Pose. Hold the pose for five breaths, come up slowly, and then rest in Child's Pose.
Plow Pose is considered therapeutic for sinusitis, but this pose might feel uncomfortable if your back or hamstrings are really tight. If so, you can always bend your knees and place them next to your ears as a variation.
What to Do: Either fall back into Plow Pose from Shoulder Stand, or roll on your back and swing your legs over your head to come into Plow. Stay in the pose and breathe for one minute.
Bow Pose stretches your neck, chest, stomach, and back. Opening your neck and chest will lead to better breathing. This pose is great for relaxation, as well, if you are feeling restless and unable to sleep due to your cold symptoms. This pose creates a lot of tension, which, when released, will make you feel ready to enter a deep slumber.
What to Do: Start on your belly, and reach for your feet to enter Bow Pose. Hold for five deep breaths, and then release, turn your head to one side, and shake your hips to release your back.
Headstand is one of the most difficult yoga postures, yet it is incredibly energizing and detoxing to let stagnant blood rush from your toes, filter through your heart, and drain into your head.
What to Do: This sequence will give you step-by-step instructions to help you work up into Headstand. If the full posture is too much, then simply try one of the variations. Hold your Headstand variations for five breaths or longer. If you fall, then try once more and call it quits for the day, so you don't place too much pressure on your neck and head.