Yoga for Allergies

The respiratory system performs a vital role in the body. It is composed of the lungs, nose, mouth, sinuses, and the passages. This system provides oxygen, gets rid of the carbon dioxide, and allows you to speak. Any obstruction in the respiratory system can cause the lack of oxygen supply in the body and, in worse cases, can result to death.

Allergies are triggered by allergens and often affect the respiratory system. Most common allergens include pollen, dust, molds, food, insect venom, medicines, and latex rubber. Irritants such as cigarette smoke, air pollution, and some strong odor also impinge the respiratory system. Stress and heightened negative emotions can also aggravate allergies, which may lead to chronic respiratory illnesses such as asthma and bronchitis.

Common allergic reactions are sneezing, watery eyes, runny or clogged nose, coughing, eye, nose, and throat irritation, and conjunctivitis. These reactions are the body’s ways of defending itself against bacteria and viruses.
The best way to prevent having allergic reactions is avoiding what triggers them. Yoga has a stabilizing effect on the immune system of the body. With the practice, the overall health and local resistance in respiratory passages is improved, thus tolerance to infection is increased. Yoga is also a great and effective stress management technique. It helps you relax and control your mind and emotions, consequently facilitating in the control of your allergic reaction. Nonetheless, Yoga helps only in the management of allergies and should not be treated as the sole cure. Medical attention is still needed.

Basic Yoga for Allergies with Celebrity Yoga Coach Gwen Lawrence

  • Shoulder Stand and any Inversions: open nasal passages and improve drainage

However, do not hold for more than a minute or two at a time so as not to create too much pressure

  • Plow Pose: to open the muscles at the base of the skull and the back of the neck, where pressure tends to accumulate. When these muscles are free and open drainage is clear and there is less of a change to hold your systems stagnate.
  • Bridge and other Backbends: you do not have to do fancy backbends you can do open chest stretching on a large physioball or over the back of a cushiony chair, I recommend everybody in the world do this not only to help with allergies but to undo all the forward moving actions (ie: computers, cooking, driving, children) that makes us slouch. Back bending is a great way to expand the chest and lungs and increase lung capacity therefore increasing the exchange of toxins in the body.
  • Three Part Yogic Breath: also helps increase lung capacity and decrease toxins and stale air…it also helps to calm down and reduce stress that can lower the immunity and make you more susceptible to allergies and colds.
  • Fish Pose: Another great way to open the chest and lungs and throat to free breathing in a gentle backbend. This pose stimulates the thymus gland, which lies under the sternum. This is particularly important in young children with allergies as the function of the thymus,( to regulate the lymphatic system and help establish immunities), significantly decreases after puberty.
  • Be sure to Nasal breathe to help filter impurities, and Nasal Rinsing is a good idea to rid impurities without drugs
  • Warm hand Pressure Pose: helps alleviate the pain of eye strain and sinus pressure!


Gwen Lawrence has been a practicing fitness professional since 1990. Her current practice includes private yoga training, class instruction and her sport-specific Power Yoga for Sports training program Gwen’s unique combination of dance, massage and yoga training experience, coupled with her extensive knowledge of anatomy, and nutrition, provide her clients, and athletes with overwhelming benefits. Gwen is the yoga instructor for several New York Yankees baseball players, team yoga instructor for the New York Giants, New York Knicks, New York Red Bulls, New York Rangers, several major college teams, including Yale and UNC, and many youth teams in a variety of sports. She is also the official spokesperson for AFRIN PureSea, and ambassador for Lululemon and Manduka, her writing appears in Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Fitness Magazine and, She has made appearances on NBC TODAY show and many TV news and national radio shows. Gwen also owns her own Yoga School where she trains people to teach the power yoga for sports system. She was just named to 2010 Westchester’s Best list

Gwen lives in the New York tri state area with her Husband, and three teenage boys.