4 Soothing Stretches for Cold and Flu Relief

By , Rebecca Weible, Yo Yoga! Founder
When overly tired or stressed out, our immune system becomes less effective and often results in a cold or the flu. Getting sidelined by sickness when you have errands to run, deadlines to meet and mouths to feed is frustrating, to say the least, but finding simple ways to ease some of the aches and pains until you're back on your feet is a relief.

Gentle yoga poses or a restorative yoga class can help by letting your body rest and reduce some of that stress. With these four simple yoga poses, you'll provide light opening for the chest, neck and shoulders to help relieve some of the discomfort often caused by congestion. 

Neck Stretch

Perform this pose in a chair or sitting on the floor at the start of your yoga practice. If you're sitting in a chair, place both feet on the floor and sit up tall. If you're sitting on the floor, sit with a tall, straight spine. Slowly tilt your head to the right, resting your right hand gently on the left side of the head for a little added weight to lightly deepen the stretch. Do not pull on the neck, but rather use the weight of the hand and make sure to relax both shoulders away from the ears. Hold for three to five breaths, remove your hand and slowly bring your head back to center. Repeat on the left.
This gentle stretch relieves discomfort caused by stress, sleeping for long periods of time, sleeping on the couch and general discomfort from sinuses.

Child's Pose with Shoulder Opening

Start on hands and knees, separating your knees about hip distance apart with the tops of the feet on the mat and bring your big toes to touch. Settle your hips back toward your heels and extend your arms forward, resting your forehead on the mat. Bending at the elbows, keep your elbows on the mat and bring your palms together into a prayer gesture. If you have some flexibility in the shoulders, bring your hands back toward your upper back and rest your thumbs between your shoulder blades.
Child's pose is both calming and stress reducing, which can help us to feel a little less miserable as we battle those cold symptoms. The shoulder opening element can relieve some discomfort in the neck and shoulders as caused by congestion.

Heart Melting Pose

This pose like a combination of downward dog and child's pose. Starting on your hands and knees, tuck your toes and start to extend your arms forward to the top of the mat. Keep the hips lifted and back, and rest your forehead on the mat. Let your chest open and move down toward the mat. Hold for five to 10 breaths.
This pose, which is deeply opening for the chest, helps to temporarily clear the sinuses. The feeling of expansion in the chest can also make it feel easier to breathe and relieve feelings of tightness associated with chest congestion.

Baddha Konasana

Sitting up against the wall, bring the soles of your feet together letting your knees open out to the side. Use the wall to keep the spine straight and tall. Gravity will allow the legs feel heavy. Remain here for five to 10 breaths.
This allows opening in the hips which can help reduce tightness that results from sitting or lying around when you feel lethargic. It also helps to reduce stress which can be caused by being sick, missing work or having to skip other responsibilities. Stress, perhaps not surprisingly, is often the cause of getting sick from the start.

Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints


USMAWIFE 8/31/2020
thank you Report
RO2BENT 8/26/2020
Yay! Report
Great suggestions. Report
THINCPL2004 8/26/2020
Great article!1 Report
Thanks Report
KATHYJO56 3/18/2020
I will give these a shot. Report
KHALIA2 2/25/2020
Thanks for sharing!! Report
KOALA_BEAR 2/25/2020
It is the middle of winter & I feel cold so can't see getting on floor to do these. I'll try a nice warm bath w/ Epsom salt instead, hot broths & tea.w/ honey.
And after all those stretches, I'll need someone to help me stand up. Report
WILDKAT781 1/21/2020
will try Report
LIDDY09 1/20/2020
Thanks Report
MSROZZIE 1/19/2020
Good exercise examples, thanks! Report
RAPUNZEL53 12/22/2019
Great Report
CECELW 11/19/2019
Green tea, chicken soup, etc...these are really great tips Report
CD24912514 11/16/2019
thanks Report
KHALIA2 11/12/2019
Thanks for this very informative article! Report
Thanks Report
thank you Report
Good to know plus I love 🧘‍♂️ Report
Relaxing Report
Thanks for the stress relief exercises. I love yoga, but haven’t done anything more than chair yoga, and I’m having problems sleeping, I’ve only slept 4 hr a night for the past 4 nights. I’m going to do these tonight. Also yoga for pain relief for RA would be much appreciated. Again thanks Report
Thank you Report
Thank you. Report
Hope I never need these, but it's always good to be prepared. Thanks! Report
Thank you Report
Thanks for the great article! :) Report
thank-you some great suggestions. Report
great idea! Report
Thanks!! I'm going to try these poses and I don't even have a cold. Report
very helpful! thanks! Report
Thanks will try this Report
Great poses! Loved the article!!! Thank you! Report
I'll have to try this and see if it opens up my sinuses. Report
I'll have to give these a try. Report
Sounds like it is used for other respiratory/congestion related malaise as well from the comments...I'm going to give it a try! Report
Have a head and chest cold, stuffed up nose and sinuses. I tried these more to relax than anything. Frankly I was skeptical that stretching and breathing would make any difference. Well, it certainly has. My sinuses have cleared, stuffed nose cleared and my chest feels much easier. Thank you, for the relief and the lesson in benefits of yoga. Report
This is a great way to get relief from allergy symptoms! Report
Except for the last stretch, the others are good and doable. The last one will probably need someone helping me ;-) and then taking me to the hospital. Report
Will have to try these next time I have a cold. Report
Stress relievers anytime! Thanks Report
deleted comment Report
Those would be good anytime Report
Great stretches! Report
Love these! Thanks! Report
Good until you sneeze and cough, do this at home only, please! And don't let out gas while doing these because it makes you laugh. Report