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Practice These 5 Yoga Poses to Relieve Allergies and Sinus Pressure

It’s happened to most of us . . . the itchy eyes, painful sinus pressure, and runny nose. You really want to practice yoga, but fear it will only make your allergies and sinus pain worse (or you will need tissues the entire class).

Luckily, your yoga practice can actually help alleviate allergy and sinus symptoms.

Allergies and sinus pain are caused by inflammation, and added stress makes the symptoms worse. Attending yoga classes regularly will help keep you stress-free and combat those allergy and sinus symptoms.

Try These Yoga Poses to Relieve Allergies and Sinus Pain

Look for poses like the ones below that increase lung capacity, give you a gentle inversion, and regulate the lymphatic system.

1. Downward Facing Dog

Downward Facing Dog is a gentle inversion, bringing your head below your heart. Getting upside-down can relieve that built-up sinus pressure and help clear your head. Take it slow by keeping a bend in your knees and gently shaking your head to release your neck.
How to Practice Downward Facing Dog:

  • Find a Tabletop Pose with your wrists under your shoulders and knees under hips
  • Tuck your toes and begin to lift your hips toward the sky to create an upside-down “V” shape
  • With a soft bend in your knees, drop your head between your arms
  • If you’re not able to breathe through your nose, take deep, slow breaths through your mouth
  • Return to Tabletop Pose and hold for a moment to equalize your body before moving on


2. Bridge Pose

Bridge Pose stretches your chest and opens up your throat to help relieve allergies and sinus pressure. Keep it nice and easy by sliding a yoga block on the medium level to rest under your hips.
How to Practice Bridge Pose:

  • Start on your back with your feet on your mat and knees to the sky
  • Bring your arms by your sides with your palms face-down by your hips
  • On an inhale, press into your feet to lift your hips toward the sky
  • Try to evenly distribute weight between your feet and the base of your shoulders, without putting too much pressure on your head and neck
  • For more intensity, interlace your fingers under you and squeeze your shoulder blades together
  • To come out, slowly lower your spine on an exhale



3. Fish Pose

Fish Pose takes that stretch from Bridge Pose to the next level. It continues to open your chest and throat, with the option to drop your head back to relieve your sinuses even more.
Fish Pose
How to Practice Fish Pose:

  • Lie on your back and slide your hands under your tailbone
  • Squeeze your elbows in close to your body to lift your chest toward the sky
  • Drop your head back so the crown of your head rests on your mat
  • When you’re ready to release, lift your head and slowly release your spine to the mat


4. Child’s Pose

Whether you take a traditional Child’s Pose or support yourself with a bolster or pillow, this pose is amazing for sinus pressure relief. An extremely gentle inversion, this pose will stretch your hips and back while gently massaging your forehead.
How to Practice Child’s Pose:

  • From Tabletop Pose, bring your big toes together behind you
  • Slowly release your hips towards your heels
  • Drop your chest toward the mat and release your forehead to the mat
  • Option to extend your arms in front of you for a shoulder stretch or toward your heels for a more restorative variation


5. Nadi Shodhana

If you’re stuffed up and have trouble breathing thanks to those pesky allergies, this is the pranayama for you! A word of advice, though, keep some tissues handy for this one.
For a visual tutorial, check out this article!
How to Practice Nadi Shodhana:

  • Find a comfortable seat and bring your first and second fingers on your right hand to the center of your forehead
  • Lightly touch your right nostril with your right thumb and your left nostril with your right ring finger
  • Press your thumb into your right nostril to close it off, and take a deep inhale through your left nostril
  • Hold the breath at the top of your inhale and press your ring finger into your left nostril to close it off
  • Release your thumb and exhale through your right nostril
  • Inhale through your right nostril, close it off with your thumb, and exhale through your left nostril
  • Continue alternating like this for as long as you like
  • When you are finished, gently release your right hand and take a few deep breaths before returning to your natural breath


Keep Your Yoga Handy This Allergy Season

When the Spring pollen hits you like a freight train, remember you can always turn to yoga for some relief from your allergies and sinus pressure. Try these poses and let us know what you think! What other poses do you love to practice for some allergy relief?

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Michelle Stanger

Michelle Stanger is a 200-RYT yoga instructor with years of teaching experience. She specializes in Power Vinyasa, Buti Yoga and handstands and is best known as a teacher for her fun, light-hearted attitude and classes that are as challenging as they are welcoming.

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