Fight seasonal changes by practising yoga for common cold

Sep 19, 2019

Do you have a runny nose, a sore throat, teary eyes, itchiness or cough? These could be symptoms of viral infections, collectively known as the Common Cold. Colds are a direct result of the viruses brought on by a change in the season; hence, it is one of the most common ailments which affect the human population. According to the National Centre for Biotechnology Information, children can suffer up to five colds and adults can have two to three spells of this infection each year.

Unfortunately, science is yet to discover a vaccine for prevention of the Common Cold. Practicing alternative treatments, like Yoga, can not only provide relief but also, help boost the body’s immune system (yoga for immune system)and prevent the onset of ailments brought on by such viruses.

What is Common Cold?

Common Cold is a highly contagious viral disease of the upper respiratory tract in the human body. It affects our nose, throat, larynx, and sinuses. Cold viruses can be contracted by coming in direct, or indirect, contact with those suffering from them. Spring, fall, and winters are the seasons where we see a spike in the number of these cases. Typically, the common cold symptoms last for up to a week or ten days; itchiness in the throat and mild cough may stay for longer.

What are the Causes Common Cold?

There are over 200 known viruses which can cause common colds. Rhinovirus is the most common among them. Others are coronavirus, adenovirus, respiratory syncytial virus and parainfluenza virus. These viruses can enter our bodies through nose, eyes or mouth when we come in contact with someone who is currently suffering from a cold. Because these virus strains develop continually, it is difficult for the body to develop resistance against all of them. However, the spread of common cold can be easily prevented 

How To Prevent Common Cold?

  1. Washing hands regularly
  2. Avoid touching your face
  3. Avoid coming in contact with family members who are sick
  4. Cover your nose and mouth while sneezing and coughing
  5. Regularly wipe surfaces in the house to keep them germ-free
  6. Proper disposal of used tissues and paper towels to avoid contamination
  7. Eat a balanced diet and exercise to build the immune system
  8. Control stress and sleep well
  9. Maintain good personal hygiene

How can Yoga help Treat and Prevent the Common Cold?

In order to determine the curing properties of Yoga, it is vitally important to understand the essence of Yoga. What is Yoga? Is it simply another workout that you attend at the gym? Well, with a 5000 year-long history of Yoga is definitely more than just an ‘exercise session’. Various poses of yoga involve breathing exercises that help balance the life force within; Yoga asanas aim at purifying your mind, body, and thoughts through meditation, stretches, physical exercises, etc. The ancient yogic science is capable of curing many ailments without any of the side-effects associated with western medications.


The thymus is a gland situated in the upper front region of the chest, behind the sternum and between the lungs. It plays an important role in building our immune system. Thymosin, the hormone produced by thymus, stimulates the development of T cells which migrate to the lymph nodes, where they help the immune system fight various diseases. Practitioners of Yoga have compiled a list of various Asanas which help in positive stimulation of the Thymus Gland.

Correct and regular practice of the following thymus stimulating Yoga asanas can boost the body’s immune system. It’s suggested that you perform these under the guidance of a learned yoga instructor.

  1. Uttanasana - Uttanasana or, the Standing forward bend, is considered a calming pose. The breathing techniques of inhaling and exhaling performed during this pose helps in oxygenating the brain and revitalizing the whole nervous system.
  2. Matsyasana - Matsyasana or, Fish pose, stretches our chest and neck regions, thereby, increasing blood circulation and providing relief from respiratory disorders.
  3. Salamba Setu Bandhasana - Salamba Setu Bandhasana, or the Supported Bridge Pose, is a restorative pose which stretches the front body and chest. The gentle inversion helps increase the blood flow in the throat region. This pose helps cure fatigue by restoring a sense of rejuvenation.
  4. Viparita Karani - Viparita Karani or, Legs-up-the-wall pose, is a passive pose and can help restore the overall body balance along with alleviating headaches that are associated with the common cold. This pose also relieves edema, increases blood circulation and passively opens the chest.
  5. Salamba Baddha Konasana - Salamba Baddha Konasana or, the Supported Bound Angle Pose, is a stress-relieving relaxing pose that gently opens the hips and the chest to experience healing. It also helps in calming down the mind and the nervous system by regulating the blood pressure.
  6. Jathara Parivartanasana - Jathara Parivartanasana or, the Reclining Twist Pose, assists in releasing physical and mental tensions by helping the body get relief from stress. It also has an energizing effect on the mind and the body.
  7. Upavistha Konasana - Upavistha Konasana or, the Widespread Forward Bend, is an ‘all-rounder’ asana that promotes overall health and well-being of mind and body. The rhythmic breathing performed during this pose helps in blood circulation to all organs.
  8. Marichyasana - Marichyasana or, the Twist, is an overall detoxifying pose dedicated to Sage Marichi. It helps give internal organs a gentle healthy squeeze.
  9. Halasana - Halasana or, Plow pose, is said to alleviate the accumulation of mucus in the respiratory system and the sinuses, hence, providing the much-required relief from cold.

As with any other form of treatment, it is very important to perform the yoga poses under the teachings and guidance of a qualified yoga instructor or, Guru. It is equally important to determine and respect the physical restraints of your body. Incorporating Yoga in your daily schedule can help keep ailments at bay. After all, a healthy mind will help develop a healthy body and a healthy life.

I join my hands and bow to the esteemed sage Patañjali, who removed the impurities of the mind through yoga”

-  Yoga sutras by Bhoja called Rājamārttanda (CE 11th century)

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