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Diet and yoga against hay fever

Apr 04, 2022

Yoga for hay fever - these asanas and breathing exercises provide you with relief

Climate change and changing temperatures mean that plants flower longer and their pollen flies higher and further. With this change, many people suffer more from hay fever, and it is not uncommon for the symptoms to last longer than before. Air pollution, mainly in big cities, also aggravates such allergies. The smallest particles attach themselves to the pollen, the immune system reacts and tries to fight them.

Especially in the beautiful and warm seasons, hay fever haunts many of us. Instead of admiring the time of blossom and enjoying the fresh-smelling air, we are plagued by a blocked nose, itchy eyes and constant sneezing. But you don't have to just admit defeat and stay inside: Yoga and a healthy diet can ease the discomfort and sweeten your spring and summer..


Find out here what triggers hay fever and how you can relieve the annoying symptoms with yoga. We show you which asanas and breathing exercises are particularly effective and what you should pay attention to in your diet.

 

Why does hay fever develop?

Hay fever (pollinosis or seasonal allergic rhinitis) is triggered by a pollen allergy, in which the immune system reacts hypersensitively to the proteins of plant pollen. The body produces histamines and other messengers as an immune response. They fight the pollen of various grasses, grains or trees, which are mistakenly identified as pathogens or unwanted invaders. This triggers inflammation and results in annoying symptoms such as runny nose, burning and watery eyes and sneezing attacks.

Every fourth to fifth adult is affected by hay fever. The worst time is the main flowering season in spring and summer. However, most allergy sufferers react to several different types of pollen, so seasonal allergic rhinitis can even extend from February to October in the worst case. 

 

What helps against hay fever?

Antihistamines can provide relief from the annoying symptoms, but they can bring unpleasant side effects, such as headaches, drowsiness or fatigue. Those who want to cope with the common cold in a natural way can resort to yoga and various foods.

Against hay fever with yoga

 

 

A healthy and balanced yoga practice affects the mind and body in many ways. The yoga philosophy teaches us to cultivate a calm and peaceful way of life and to to be in harmony with our environment. Learn more about it in our blog article Yoga Philosophy - What we can learn from it today.

For hay fever, meditation can calm the mind and provide inner peace. On a physical level, too, a harmonious life should arise in our environment. However, this is exactly what is impaired with a pollen allergy, because our body perceives components of nature around us as a danger and defends itself against them. 

 

Asanas for hay fever

Yoga asanas are meant to help bring this imbalance back into order. The body should learn to cope better with stimuli from its environment, such as pollen. The asanas can not only be practised to alleviate symptoms, but a regular yoga practice should also help to alleviate the course of hay fever in general. Here you will find some asanas that are particularly helpful for hay fever:

  • The forward bend (Paschimothanasana) and the twisting seat (Ardha Matsyendrasana).These two exercises stimulate various organs in the abdominal area and thus stimulate the removal of harmful substances from the body. Furthermore, holding the asanas for a longer period of time massages the intestines. The intestine plays an important role for a balanced immune system and a healthy intestinal flora can help to block exactly those immune cells that trigger allergies.

 

  • The Shoulder Bridge (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana) and the Fish (Matsyasana): Hay fever puts a strain on the chest and lungs. To counteract this, we can stretch and strengthen the muscles that support our respiratory organs with these backbends.

 

Pranayama to breathe deeply

The right breathing exercises can also provide relief. You can also use them to stimulate your respiratory organs and lungs and get them going again. Symptoms such as burning eyes and an itchy nose can also be relieved by deep and mindful deep and mindful breathing breathing. The following exercises are particularly suitable:

  • Alternate Breathing (Nadi Shodana)It brings your breathing under control and increases the capacity of your lungs. The exercise also helps to open your nose so that you can breathe more easily.
  • MurcchaIn this pranayama technique, the breath is first inhaled deeply and then exhaled very slowly. The length can vary. However, the exhalation should always be significantly longer than the inhalation. Above all, an itchy nose and burning, watery eyes should be soothed.

 

The role of Ayurveda and Pitta

Inflammation, like hay fever, is caused by an excess of pitta from the perspective of Ayurveda. excess of Pitta. This is one of the three doshas that regulate our body. The pitta dosha combines the two elements water and fire, is located in our small intestine and eyes and stands for fiery qualities such as enthusiasm and power. An excess can cause an imbalance in the body. This is to be restored through yoga asanas, such as the forward bend, and breathing exercises, such as Murccha.

 

In yoga philosophy, the connection between body and mind and the care of these two play a major role. An important factor is therefore also how you eat. Some foods counteract the inflammatory symptoms in your body if you suffer from hay fever, others can make the symptoms worse. 

A balanced diet for allergies should first and foremost include include plenty of fruit and vegetables. Broccoli should definitely be on the menu, because the cabbage contains many antioxidant mustard oil glycosides, which can relieve the inflammation of your respiratory organs. Broccoli is also said to help clear the sinuses and also contains a lot of vitamin C, which in turn has an anti-inflammatory effect. Incidentally, citrus fruits such as oranges also contain citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, mandarins or grapefruits also contain contain a lot of it. You can eat them as a healthy snack or drink them in the form of delicious smoothies and juices. You should also make sure to drink enough water, because this will moisten your throat and soothe your mucous membranes.

Also green leafy vegetables such as chard, spinach or kale are said to have an antioxidant effect on allergy symptoms, as are omega-3 fatty acids. Linseed oil in particular contains a lot of these.

Meat and dairy products, on the other hand, are not beneficial during hay fever season, nor are highly processed products. Many foods increase the histamine release in your body and can make the symptoms worse. Therefore, avoid dairy products, alcohol, sugar and wheat.or enjoy them only in moderation.

 

Healthy through the hay fever season

With a healthy diet, we can do a lot for our body and thus also our mind. Yoga also helps us to restore balance within ourselves and can support our body in better processing environmental influences. Because that is what the yoga philosophy is all about - living in harmony with ourselves, and our environment. Especially now, when the effects of climate change are becoming more and more noticeable, it is important to maintain this philosophy.