Springtime, Sinusitis & Srirasana

Spring is here, y’all and she’s loud and she’s proud! Not only do we Houstonians have to deal with pollen overload between late February through about May, but the weather also likes to play games. We put away our sweaters thinking spring is here, only to be surprised by a 2 day cold blast, followed by the return of springtime vibes. Both of these things are prime ingredients to a recipe for disaster.

I might be being a little dramatic, but being prone to severe allergies can make you this way!

In my 10 years of yoga practice, inversions continue to terrify and entice me. I try to incorporate some sort of balance or inverse pose into my daily practice because not only is it great for your physique, but it can help improve a multitude of maladies.

When you’re dealing with congestion, the last thing you want to do is flip your head upside down, but adding inversions like shoulder stand, forearm balance or something as simple as standing forward bend can alleviate that pressure by increasing blood flow to these areas. Increased circulation in the sinuses can help to open the passageways and restore clear breathing!

My Favorite Asanas for Sinusitis

  • Standing Forward Bend – Uttasana
    I love this pose. Be sure to keep knees slightly bent. I like to grab each elbow with the opposite hand and swing slightly from side to side
  • Downward Facing Dog
    If your practice does not include this pose… girl…
    Before practicing any intermediate or advance pose, you should always do some Sun Salutations to warm up the body. And your Sun Salutation flow should almost always include a couple of Downward Dogs & chaturangas.
  • 3 Legged Dog
    Downward Dog turnt all the way up. Be sure to keep hips aligned, facing the ground to really benefit from this pose. Do not be afraid of trying this pose. Build your strength, height & flexibility will come with time

    Oops.. my hip is too lifted. We all have areas to improve no matter how long we have been practicing anything

  • Dolphin
    This pose is a CRUCIAL, fundamental pose to incorporate in your practice if mastering inversions (specifically Pincha Mayurasana) is your goal. It’s basically Downward Dog’s weird cousin.
  • One-Legged Dolphin
    Wait a second – dolphins don’t have legs!! This pose is particularly helpful and most effective when holding for about 3-5 breaths before returning to regular dolphin pose as it fires up the lats and core – major key alert!

    When you get comfortable here, lift the leg that’s up as high as you can until the foot at the bottom slowly begins to lift off the mat. Be sure to engage the core and only go as far as your body tells you.

    If your bottom toes start to peel off the mat, align your spine as much as possible and try to hold your legs in this “L”-shape for as long as possible. If there’s no wall behind you to come into Pincha Mayurasana, this is a true testament to your balance, spine alignment and core and will help you master this pose.

    Of course, if you can do forearm balance, go right ahead, but for me – this is where my current practice resides.

*Stretch Break*

  • Sphinx Pose
    Inversions are my favorite full body toner. But they can make muscles tight. Be sure to stretch. Sphinx is perfect for after attempting Pincha Mayurasana
  • Shoulder Stand – Sarvangasana
    Assisted or not, this is a great pose. I’m also a fan of how it helps to stimulate the thyroid! You could also go into plow pose from here (plow pose not pictured in this sequence) and stretch the back of the neck, upper back & shoulders.
  • Headstand – Srirasana
    Big Daddy! Do not try this pose with acute sinusitis, try to wait a few days after symptoms are less severe.

    Start by aligning the spine & tucking the knees into the core

    When you’re ready, slowly lift your legs up towards the sky 

    Once you are secure enough in this pose and are able to hold it for multiple breaths, try different leg variations! I was feeling quite eagle-y this weekend, hoping to soar away from my sinus & allergy issues.

Whatever your skill level, yoga is a great addition to your exercise routine for a full mind & body workout.

Hoping to spread inner & outer beauty, thank you all for stopping by, and namaste.

The Glam Greek

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