With the tragedy of the Nashville Tornados and now COVID-19, it is easy to neglect our self care. Don't forget that Spring is here and everything is blooming. Many of us are experiencing seasonal allergies. But yoga can help.
If you staying home during the COVID-19 crisis and want some relief from your seasonal allergies, here are some yoga poses you can do at home: Supported bridge and Skull Shining breath/ Kapalbhati (Kah-pah-lah-bah-tee).
These two techniques will help us not only with allergy symptoms but also strengthening and opening our lungs. Something that all of us need at this time.
Lie on your back with your feet flat on the ground: place them hip-width apart and as close to your hips as you can.
Starting with your tailbone, slowly lift your back. When your back is completely off the floor, slide a block or one-two pillows under your lower back.
Relax your shoulder blades down to the floor. Relax your head and neck.
Hold for two minutes.
Kapala means forehead and bhati means light (implying knowledge)
To begin, sit in a comfortable position where your spine is erect and your abdomen is not compressed. You can sit in sukhasana (crosslegged), on folded legs like in Veerasana, or sitting comfortably on the chair.
Rest your hands on your knees, palms facing down.
Bring your awareness to your lower belly. To heighten your awareness, you can place your hands on your lower belly rather than on your knees.
Inhale through both nostrils deeply.
Contract your low belly or use your hands to gently press on this area, forcing out the breath in a short burst.
As you quickly release the contraction, your inhalation should be automatic and passive — your focus should be on exhaling. Usually, exhalation is passive/automatic and inhalation is active/intentional.
Begin slowly, Always go at your own pace and stop if you feel dizzy.
After one minute of the exercise, inhale deeply through the nostrils, and then exhale slowly through your mouth. Depending on your experience level, you may repeat the exercise.
When practiced correctly, Kapalabhati Pranayama will cleanse, energize, and invigorate your mind, body, and spirit. This pranayama requires knowledge of and experience with basic breathing exercises. If you are new to pranayama, allow yourself time to get acquainted with and proficient at Three-Part Breath (Dirga Pranayama) and Ocean Breath (Ujjayi Pranayama) before introducing Kapalabhati into your practice. In addition, keep the following in mind when practicing this exercise:
Keep your focus on your low belly and on your exhalations throughout the exercise.
Do not contract your abdomen when you inhale.
Keep your spine and shoulders still throughout the exercise — the only movement should be in your lower belly.
Never force your breath on inhalations or exhalations.
If your breath becomes strained, or if you become dizzy or anxious, stop the exercise and return to your normal breathing pattern.
(Source for Kapalbhati yogaoutlet.com)
Also, I am working with Liberation Yoga to create a workshop on breathing and vitality where I will discuss various breathing techniques that would help us improve our lung capacity and also reduce anxiety. This workshop will be available on Zoom.
I am also available to teach you Sun salutations: Surya Namaskar also known as Sun Salutation is a traditional yoga sequence that can offer all the benefits yoga has to offer. When done with proper breathing techniques, it can be a full-body workout.
Learn about the aerobic benefits of Sun Salutations done as a flow as well as how slowing down this sequence can improve muscle flexibility and strength. Then pair mantra with the movement to develop a mindfulness experience.
Reach out to Symbiotic Yoga for your personal practice!
60-minute Yoga Practice focusing on mindfulness/mediation.
Book a session for $60 (40% discount).