‘Tis the season for parties, cocktails, hats and scarves, onesie’s, hot chocolates & toddies, log fires and… the flu. This time of year, can often make us over tired and stressed out, which results in our immune system becoming less effective and can mean we end up suffering a cold or even the flu. Often, we will reach for a whole host of remedies, whether modern or traditional to keep us going and help relieve the symptoms. There is another alternative in the form of gentle yoga poses to help.
Here are a few that could make you feel a whole lot better:
Perform either seated on a chair or on the floor and make this one of the first poses that you do.
Sit up tall to create a straight spine. Slowly tilt your head to the right, resting your right hand gently on the left side of your head for additional weight to deepen the stretch.
Relax both shoulders away from your ears and make sure that you do not pull on your neck.
Hold for 3–5 breaths, remove your hand slowly and bring your head back to centre. Now repeat on the left side.
Child’s Pose with Shoulder Opening – This pose is calming and stress reducing and help give your mood a lift as you battle the symptoms. By opening the shoulders relief can be gained from the discomfort caused by congestion in the neck and shoulders.
On the floor on your hands and knees, separate your knees about hip distance apart with the tops of the feet on a mat bring your big toes to touch. Sink your hips back towards your heel whilst extending your arms forward. Rest your forehead on the mat or a block if that is not possible. Bend the elbows and bring your palms together. If you are able bring your hands back towards your upper back. If you have the flexibility then bring the hands all the way back so you can rest your thumbs between your shoulder blades.
Heart Melting Pose – The opening of the chest temporarily helps to clear the sinuses and will help you breathe more easily. It will help to relieve the feelings of tightness caused with chest congestion.
This pose is almost half way between downward dog and child’s pose. From all fours on the floor tuck your toes under. Extend your arms forward reaching for the top of your mat. As you rest your forehead on the mat make sure to keep your hips and back lifted. Allow your chest to open as you lower closer to the mat. Hold for 5-10 breaths.
Standing on your mat in mountain pose, reach your hands to the floor bending your knees if you need to. Walk the hands forward to approximately 3-4 feet in front of your toes. Push your palms into the mat, lift your hips up towards the sky and press back into your heels. Your gaze needs to be towards your legs and press your chest towards your thighs to create a flat back.
The downward facing dog pose will help the white blood cells to move through your body whilst also draining the sinuses.
Bound Angel Pose – Try using a wall to sit against. The opening of the hips will help to alleviate tightness that results from sitting and lying around when you feel lethargic. This pose is also great for relieving stress.
Sitting against the wall, bring the soles of your feet together and allow your knees to open out. Use the wall to keep the spine straight. Gravity will help to deepen the stretch and lower the knees further towards the floor.
The opening of the hips will help to alleviate tightness that results from sitting and lying around when you feel lethargic. This pose is also great for relieving stress.
Give these a try and let’s kick colds and flu in to touch. If you are unsure about how to correctly perform any of these then please let speak to any of our yoga instructors. Let us know if there are any others that you find particularly effective.