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Feel Better

Practice these gentle poses when you're feeling under the weather.

By Angela Pirisi

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Before You Begin: Wrap your forehead to relieve tension in the head. Take a wide ace bandage (about 4 inches) and wrap it snugly around the head, tucking the free end in. You can also wrap it over the eyes, taking care not to wrap the eyes too tightly. The bandage will comfort your congested sinuses while you do the poses that follow.

Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)

Brings energy to the head and respiratory area; helps clear the sinuses.

Stand with your feet hip-width apart and rest your forearms on a chair seat. You can also place a blanket on the chair seat for extra padding. Hold two to five minutes.

Supported Bridge Pose (Salamba Setu Bandhasana)

Opens up the chest and increases circulation to the upper torso.

Align two bolsters or two to four blankets on the floor running the entire length of your body (the height of the support can vary from 6 to 12 inches). Sit on the middle of the support and lie back. Slide towards your head until your shoulders lightly touch the floor. Open your arms out to the sides, palms turned up. Rest with your legs stretched out on the bolster or with your knees bent and your feet on the floor. Relax for a minimum of five minutes.

Legs Up the Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)

Brings energy to the groin and opens the chest area to facilitate breathing.

With the back of the pelvis on a bolster placed 4 to 6 inches from the wall, swing the legs up the wall. Drop your sitting bones into the space between the blanket and the wall and open your arms out to the sides. If your hamstrings feel tight, try turning the legs slightly in, or move the bolster further away from the wall. Hold for a minimum of five minutes.

Supported Bound Angle Pose (Salamba Baddha Konasana)

Opens the chest, abdomen, and groins; relaxes the nervous system.

Sit on the floor, knees bent towards the chest. Bring the soles of your feet together and let your knees open towards the floor. Support the outer thighs with folded blankets at a comfortable height. You can also place sandbags on each inner thigh to deepen relaxation. Release the arms out to the sides and let go of any tension. Relax in the pose for a minimum of five minutes.

Reclining Twist (Modified Jathara Parivartanasana)

Releases physical and stress-based tension.

Lie on your back and with an exhalation bend your knees and draw your thighs to your torso. Shift your pelvis slightly to the left and, with another exhalation, swing your legs to the right and down to the floor (if they don't rest comfortably on the floor, support them on a bolster or folded blanket). Turn your upper torso to the left. Rest your right hand on the outer left knee and stretch your left arm to the side, in line with your shoulders. Look straight up or close your eyes. Relax for three minutes. Repeat on the other side.

Widespread Forward Bend (Upavistha Konasana)

Quiets the internal organs; relaxes the mind.

Sit on the floor with your sitting bones on the edge of a folded blanket. Straighten your legs out in front of you and then separate them as far as you comfortably can. Rest your upper torso on a bolster or (if you're more stiff) a chair seat. If you are using a chair, you can fold your forearms on the seat for more height and padding. Hold the pose for three to five minutes.


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Reader Comments

Curious

Thank you for these!! 1) Does it matter the sequence? 2) Should we do Shavasana after?

Marian

Even as a yoga teacher, when I get sick and muddle headed, I need help figuring out the best sequence for relief. This is a great one, thanks!

Teresa

Needed this today - thanks

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