Guest contributor: Healing Lifestyles & Spas

Spring is a beautiful time of year, but for the millions of Americans (20% of the population) who experience seasonal allergies, Spring is a time to hole up in our homes or pump our systems full of Claritin.

While on certain days of the week these measures may be necessary, there may be another option: yoga. According to Larry Payne in Yoga RX, yoga can help allergy sufferers by reducing stress, a trigger that is often overlooked when allergies are flared up. Since yoga reduces stress and increases respiratory health it can help everything from mild allergies to asthma. Gary Kraftsow, the founder of the American ViniYoga Institute and author of Yoga for Wellness created an essential 3 moves sequence to help you work through, not against the spring season.

Vajrasana

Stand on your knees with your arms overhead. On an exhale, bend forward, sweeping arms behind your back and bringing your hands to your sacrum, keeping palms up. On inhale return to starting position. Practice eight times. This pose helps support respiration and stretches the low back.

Ardha Pasvottanasana

Stand with your left foot forward, right foot turned out a bit less than forty-five degrees, left arm folded behind back, and right arm raised over head. On an exhale, bend forward, bringing your belly and chest toward your left thigh and right hand toward left foot. On an inhale return to starting position. Repeat on other side. Practice eight times each side.

Janu Sirsasana

Sit with your right leg folded in, heel to groin, left leg extended forward, and holding left foot with both hands. On an inhale, extend spine upward, expanding chest, flattening upper back, and lengthening in front of torso. Hold after inhale. On an exhale, maintain posture while pulling belly firmly in. Hold after exhale. Remain in exhtended position for 8 breaths. Then sink belly and chest to thigh. Stay in forward-bended position for 4 breaths. Repeat on other side. This posture helps increase inhalation and exhalation capacity.

Images via yogakalai, nada70, treehugger.com, sambodhiupvan.com

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