Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Free yourself from Allergies with Yoga

It seems as if I am meeting more and more people these days suffering from allergies at various times and I myself have been suffering from an allergic reaction recently so thought I would write a post with some helpful practices that can aid decreasing or preventing the reaction. 
Firstly though where are all these allergies coming from?  Allergy is a reaction, generally to something harmless, but for some of us we react to these things, some reactions are instant and some are a delayed response after hours or even a few days.  Pollen, fur, dust, pet dandruff, chemical fumes, fungus, insects, egg, nuts, lentils, cotton fiber, and an improper diet are all common allergens, but what triggers the reaction?  Actually the main cause is hypersensitivity due to stress, too much stress on the body i.e. violent exercising can be a trigger, emotional stress, overload to the brain and fatigue and a weak immune system can be causes.  Often people suffering with allergies are a little sensitive and sensitivity can cause a lot of stress.  Stress causes a disturbance to the prana (vital energy) and prana tells the nervous system how to behave.  If the prana is being overworked the systems in the body are being overworked, then the body starts to recognize some things to be dangerous and wants to get them out hence the reaction.  So what are the remedies?  Firstly we need to keep away from the allergen, antihistamines, steroids are just suppressing and not providing a cure and can lead to other complications, so the best way is to de-stress and de-tox.  Many skin rashes and eruptions are attempts by the body to eliminate toxic wastes whether physical or emotional that cannot be eliminated in other ways.  An itch is often a way of expressing a mental tension that arises from a personal conflict.
So here are a few practices that are going to help and bring about a sense of control over ones anxiety and stress levels making a happier, calmer and healthier being again. 
Start by trying to practice Mauna - silence for some time (whatever you can manage, even if it is 5 minutes.) in your day.  This will give you some space to work through the things that may be bothering you giving you some perspective.   In this time of silence allow the thoughts to come and try just to observe them holding no judgment on them, just let them come and go and the next thought come, like waves. 
The practice of Suryia Namaskar (sun salutations) as a kryia (cleansing technique) will help eliminate the toxins, that is to practice it until the body is sweating quite well, then relax in savasana the relaxation pose and allow the sweat to be absorbed as it is full of prana (energy.)
Sarvangasana; the shoulder stand is an excellent posture for calming the mind, purifying the blood and stimulating the thyroid and parathyroid glands enhancing the whole metabolic system.  Gradually build up the amount of time you are holding the pose for and try to practice for at least up to 5 minutes without forcing.  Directly after sarvangasana practice matsyasana – the fish pose as a counter pose to shoulder stand. 
Naadi Shuddhi or anoloma viloma – the alternate nostril breathing will strengthen the immune system and bring harmony re-balancing the pranic flow of the system.  Using the right thumb to close the right nostril, inhale through the left, then close the left nostril with the ring finger and exhale through the right.  Inhale through the right and exhale through the left, that is one round.  Continue for about 15 minutes.
And try to incorporate the practice of Yoga Nidra – the art of complete and proper relaxation into your day, I find just before I go to bed works wonders to really relax each part of the body and set you up for a great nights sleep.

So your routine could be this –
5 minutes of sitting in silence in a comfortable position as long as the spine is held straight.
The Sun salutations at least 6 rounds
Relax in savasana
Sarvangasana – shoulder stand working on the length of time you are holding
Matsyasana – fish Pose 30 seconds or longer
Alternate nostril breathing up to 15 minutes
Yoga Nidra at least 10 minutes.

Try to incorporate this into your daily routine, now I hear cries of how can I fit it in, I am so busy!  The Dalai Lama says if you have time to breathe then you have the time!!
Start with shorter amounts of time if that is going to help, but after some time you will feel the benefits and will naturally want to increase the length of your practice.

Eat well and naturally and reduce the amount of salt as this will reduce itching and irritation.  Lots of fruit and beautiful veggies and less of everything else!!

For now lets enjoy the practice and get rid of this stress
Om OM shanti Om
I wish you beauty through every breath
Mangala / Nicky.

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