Fish Pose (Matsyasana): The best posture to relieve asthma and chest congestion

So it's the dead of winter and like so many other people at this time of year, you're sick.  Runny nose, congested lungs, sore throat, and hoarse cough…ugh.  Should you still be practicing yoga?  The answer is ABSOLUTELY.  Should you be practicing yoga at a studio?  Well it depends...

For the sake of everyone at the studio, please stay away if you are contagious!  Keep sipping your hot tea at home with your wad of Kleenex and get better before you come back to class.  If you're not contagious, well, it depends.  If you're sneezy and you've still got a cough, please be mindful of being potentially disruptive to the students and the teacher in the class.  That being said, if you're only a little bit sick and you cough maybe only a few times per hour, than getting out of your house and taking some yoga time in at a studio could be exactly what you need.

Here's a tip: If you've got a bit of a cough still, it's most likely to come up for you when you lie down in Savasana (corpse pose at the end of a yoga class).  Sometimes just sitting upright can prevent this tickly throat cough and your teacher will be grateful you're trying to be quiet!

If you're too sick or you just simply can't make it to the studio, here's a great posture to try at home to help clear up any congestion!

In the advanced version of the posture, bring your palms together in front of your body and lift the legs.

In the advanced version of the posture, bring your palms together in front of your body and lift the legs.

Matsyasana or Fish Pose

Lie on your back and walk your arms underneath your body keeping the arms straight and palms facing down.  The tips of your thumbs should touch.  Now flex your feet, engage your legs, and press into your elbows to lift your chest into the air and roll to the top of your head.  If you have a lot of flexibility in your spine, you can lift your head right off the floor.  Imagine someone has a fishing line attached to your sternum and is pulling you straight up towards the ceiling.  Hold for 5 breaths and use the support of your elbows to slowly lower yourself back down.

Enjoy the freedom of breathing fully into your chest!

Cheers and Namaste,

l.e. martini