Yoga poses for Hayfever

It’s that magnificent time of year again; delicate spring blooms delight the senses with their vibrant colours and tantalising perfumes. The sun shines brightly and the grass is high. The birds are on the wing. What a joyous time to be alive.
Well, not everyone appreciates this time of year. For some it’s a downright sneeze-fest. Cheery blooms mean high pollen counts, and that means watery, itchy eyes and blocked sinuses. Not to mention headaches.
To unclog your stuffed-up sinuses and see straight through the hayfever haze, you could reach for the nasal spray or pop a pill. Or better still, you could try some of these natural tips for a sneeze-free spring.
Naturopaths recommend cutting back on your dairy product consumption. Cheese and milk create mucus. This is the last thing you need more of when you’re suffering from hayfever.
Aromatherapists say that massaging the sinus area with a few drops of lavender and elecampane will help to decongest the area. Nettle tea has been sipped for centuries to alleviate respiratory complaints.
Yoga is a great way to clear out hayfever’s mucousy mess. Our resident yoga expert Dominique suggests that inverted postures, such as downward-facing dog, help to send oxygen-rich blood to the head and brain. This aids the groggy feeling of hayfever and is very nourishing to the endocrine glands in the brain that control all other bodily functions and immunity.
The position of the lungs relative to the heart ensures that any stale, toxic air or contaminants in the lungs are moved along. The pressure and heat in the head and face also greatly assist in moving waste matter from the nasal passages. 
Begin on all fours with your wrists directly underneath your shoulders and your knees directly underneath your hips. Tuck the toes under and inhale, lifting your pelvis up to the ceiling and tilting your hips up on a diagonal angle, like an inverted V-shape. 
Relax the head in between the arms and soften the muscles in the face. This is very important to allow for maximum circulation of arterial blood in the upper body and head. Hold this position for 5 to 10 breaths or as long as feels appropriate for you.
To release, inhale to all fours, and exhale to bring the hips back to the heels in child’s pose. Bring the arms back behind the body and rest the forehead on the floor. If your forehead doesn’t reach the floor, stack the fists one on top of the other and rest the head here.  Allow the body to absorb the energy of the pose. Repeat 2 to 5 times, depending on how you feel. 
These are but a few of the myriad of ways to spring clean your immune system. With the right diagnosis and therapeutic attention, allergies can be eliminated. Twenty-five per cent of the world’s population knows that’s nothing to sneeze at.

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Dominique Salerno is an inspired, passionate and enthusiastic yogi, teacher and healer.
In 2000 she began teaching yoga full time and founded the Australian Yoga Academy. Since this time Dominique has dedicated her life to yoga and teaches yoga and universal laws relating to mind, body and spirit for in excess of 1000 hours per year.