Yoga has been in practice for over five thousand years and is a timeless tradition. Hindu scriptures speak of yoga having evolved from Lord Shiva, who initiated this practice to his consort, goddess Parvati. The guru-disciple tradition thus has its roots from this interaction and transfer of knowledge, from a teacher to a student. An aspirant is initiated into the nuances of yoga with the help of a teacher.
Yoga means union of the spirit or consciousness, with the cosmic consciousness. Yoga is known to cleanse from within. The journey through yoga is dotted with rewards and transformation. In fact,
it is said that even a little effort brings about transformation, though the degree would vary depending upon the duration of practice. Nevertheless, yoga infuses positive consciousness within
Yoga has many forms, yet Hatha yoga occupies a place of pride, due to its manifold benefits on the physical and mental health. Yogi Swatmarama introduced this system of yoga during the 15th century in
The components of traditional hatha yoga practice include asanas, pranayama and meditation. Hatha yoga focuses on shatkarmas- which means purifying the physical body through asanas and then purifying the mind and prana or life force.
Yoga and Cold
Common cold is caused due to virus. Symptoms associated with cold are running nose, sneezing, sore throat, headache, and dry cough. Common cold affects many, as it is highly contagious. Thus, immune system plays an important role in the prevention of colds.
Yoga which deals with an all round development of an individual helps in the prevention of cold and boosts the immune system. Psychological factors and stress also play an important role in managing cold.
When a person incorporates yoga in his daily routine, it has far reaching benefits. Yoga strengthens the healing process in the body and raises immunity to diseases. Practice of yoga also helps in reducing high levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, in the body, that increases vulnerability to infections.
Deep breathing techniques or pranayama helps in absorbing more oxygen into the lungs, which helps in alleviating colds, asthma, sinus congestion, and allergies.
Benefits of yoga
Briefly, the benefits include:
- To tone and strengthen muscles
- Increases energy levels
- Calms the mind
- Gives shape to the body
- Boosts immune system
- Promotes relaxation and well being
Suggested asanas for common cold
This is also called the lotus pose and is ideal for meditation.
Fish pose or matsyasana
- Use a yoga mat and sit with your legs stretched forward.
- Bring the right foot forward and place it on the left thigh.
- Similarly, place the left foot on the right thigh. Rest your hands on the knees.
- The spine must be held erect. Close your eyes and pay attention to the breath or chant 'Om'.
- A feeling of calmness pervades the mind. Sit in this pose until a feeling of peace engulfs you.
- Lie on the floor and cross your legs in the way you do padmasana.
- Clasp your heels of both the legs and arch the back by bending the head backwards until the crown touches the floor.
- Breathe evenly and maintain this position for a few minutes until you feel comfortable.
Triangle pose or trikonasana
Pranayama or Breathing Exercise
- Stand erect with arms at the sides and feet slightly apart.
- By turning the left foot to a degree of 90, bend your trunk to touch the left foot with the left hand.
- Stretch as far as you can and maintain this position for a few breaths. Do not bend the legs or hands.
- Come back to the original position.
- Repeat on the other side.
The practice of Kapalabhati Pranayama is useful in clearing the obstruction in the nasal passage. Highly recommended in finding relief from sinus, headache, cold and migraine, this kriya helps in
draining the nasal path and cleanses the entire respiratory system by forceful exhalation.
- Sit cross-legged as in padmasana posture and close your eyes.
- Start to inhale and exhale rapidly till you begin to sweat. In this kriya there is no retention of breath.
- During inhalation, draw in the abdominal muscles forcibly and release them during exhalation.
- With spine held erect, expulsions of breath should follow one another.
Submitted by : Mrs.Uma
Edited by : Mrs. Savitha