Yoga poses to clear up those sinuses

Sometimes when our nose is blocked, we can feel a heaviness in our face and head, too. This is because our sinuses link all these features through narrow channels called ostia.

When they function normally, sinuses have the important job to moisten the air we breathe before it reaches our lungs. When the sinuses are inflamed — usually because of a cold or allergies — mucus builds up in these channels, giving us that feeling of heaviness.

 Yoga poses to clear up those sinuses

Representational image. Reuters

Apart from medicines that can treat the immediate symptoms, we can do yoga to improve our overall sinus health.

(Traditional Indian systems of medicine also recommend jal neti and sutra neti to cleanse the nasal passages. However, you must ask a trained yoga teacher to show you the correct way to do these before you try either for yourself. Jal neti also requires a specialised pot with a spout.)

As always, it is advisable to start your yoga practice with an experienced teacher who can correct your posture and breathing pattern at every step. Here are five yoga solutions to help you clear your sinuses, and breathe better.

Anulom-vilom breathing

  • Bend the first two fingers of your right hand
  • Now, close the right nostril with your right thumb and breathe in through the left nostril for four counts
  • Close the left nostril with the last two fingers of the right hand. Hold your breath for 16 counts
  • Release your right nostril and breathe out over eight counts. Then, breathe in through the right nostril for four counts
  • Do 10-12 repetitions on each nostril

Seated forward bend

  • Sit on the mat with your legs straight in front of you
  • Lift your arms overhead and bend from the waist
  • Try to hold the soles of your feet in your hands and touch your stomach to your thighs
  • If this is not possible, try to hold your shins, ankles, or toes – whichever you can reach without bending the knees or curling your back
  • Hold the pose for 1 minute
  • Come back to the starting position and repeat two more times

Purvottanasana or upward plank pose

  • Sit on the mat with your legs straight in front of you
  • Place your palms behind your hips – it’s easier if you point the fingers towards your body
  • Now, lift the hips off the mat and try to bring the body in one straight line from head to toe
  • Hold for 30 seconds and return to the starting position

Sarvangasana or shoulder stand

  • Lie down on your back and raise your legs to 90 degrees
  • Rock forward and back slightly to get some momentum going and raise your hip and back off the mat. Place your hands on your back to support your weight on the shoulders and elbows
  • Tuck your chin into your chest and breathe normally
  • If you can, try to go higher, while shifting your hands on your back to give maximum support
  • Hold this position for 1 minute. Gradually, increase the time to hold the pose
  • To come out of the pose, gently release your hands, roll your back on to the mat, and lower your legs to the starting position

Matsyasana or fish pose

  • Lie down on your back, and tuck your arms underneath you. Try to touch the elbows of both arms
  • Lift your head and shoulders slightly to look at your feet
  • Tilt your head back and place it gently on the mat
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds to 1 minute
  • To come out of the pose, lift your head gently to look at your toes again
  • Gently lower it back on to the mat

End your practice with savasana or sleeping pose.

Health articles in Firstpost are written by, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health. To know more on this topic, please read Sinusitis: Types, Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment and Ayurvedic Medicines.