Winter yoga: Practice these breathing techniques to prevent cold and cough

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With the winter season on in full swing, no amount of extra layering of clothing seems good enough against harsh cold. It’s just the time when we cocoon under cosy duvets to feel warm. Even a normal trip to the kitchen can feel darn hard as winter makes us sluggish. Regular coughing and sneezing can sometimes take a long time to heal. But here are some breathing techniques to prevent cough and cold

Shani Dyal, an architect turned yoga therapist, Pranayama teacher and wellness coach, shared on Instagram some simple breathing techniques for winter to avoid cold and cough.

Yoga tips to prevent cold in winter

The way we breathe can go a long way in determining our well-being. In winter, the cold and the smog can bring along many health issues. For those suffering from respiratory issues, this can be a trying time. Catching a cold and cough can make it worse. So, it’s best to practice breathing techniques which can help to prevent the incidence of the health condition.

Breathing exercises can help to alleviate your lungs. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

According to yoga expert Shani Dayal, the following easy-to-do breathing techniques can do wonders to prevent cough and cold. Let’s find out!

1. Kapalbhati Kriya

How to perform this kriya?

• Sit in an easy cross-legged sitting position with your back straight. Bring your hands to your knees.
• In this kriya, the focus is on active inhalation and passive exhalation. So, every time you exhale, your tummy goes in.
• Start with your eyes closed, and start inhaling and exhaling quickly by keeping the focus on the chest and clavicle.
• You can keep your hand on your tummy to feel how it goes in every time you exhale.
• If you feel tired in between, it’s okay to stop and take a few breaths and start again.
• Repeat 10 strokes in 3 rounds.

Who should avoid it?

This should be avoided during periods and pregnancy, as well as by people with heart ailments, hypertension, headache/migraine, spinal injuries, hernia, and stomach ailments.

2. Surya Bhedna

This 3–5-minute kriya is a superb technique to improve body heat as it works on sublet energy planes, increasing surya or solar energy.

How to perform this?

• Sit in a cross-legged position.
• Keep your right hand in Vishnu mudra, and your left hand in prana mudra.
• Keeping the mudra intact, inhale with the right nostril and exhale with the left nostril.
• Repeat 10 strokes in 3 rounds.

Who should avoid it?

The ones who are suffering from anger issues or hypertension should refrain from performing this.

Various breathing exercises can help treat colds/coughs during winter. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

3. Bhastrika Pranayam

This Pranayama has amazing effects on the respiratory and digestive systems. It cleanses the lungs by removing excess phlegm from them. It even tones and strengthens the abdominal region. It gives energy to the entire body and mind.

Also read: 6 awesome changes you will see after doing Pranayama everyday

How to perform this?

• Sit comfortably in Vajrasana with your spine straight. Keep your hands in a loose fists close to your shoulders and elbows close to your waist.
• Take a normal breath in and slowly exhale.
• Now lift your hands and inhale while your hands are up in the air, and exhale as you bring your hands down.
• Repeat 10 strokes in 3 rounds.

Who should avoid doing this?

This pose should be avoided during periods, of pregnancy, heart ailments, hypertension, and headache/migraine.

The bottom line

The cough and cold in winter can feel very annoying as it can last weeks. However, if you continue practising these breathing techniques, these will serve as the perfect remedy for cough and cold.

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