Yoga Cures: Chest Congestion

Therese Baran

Breathe easier with Queen's pose

Winter months (cough) bring more bouts of sinusitis (cough), upper respiratory infections, bronchitis, asthma, (cough, cough) and the like-- all variations of basic bacterial and viral infections that affect the breathing track. Not sick? Listen up anyway: “Cold air can stimulate a minor, asthma-type reaction by constricting or narrowing the lungs, which makes breathing difficult,” says Baxter Bell, M.D., who integrates therapeutic applications of yoga with Western medicine and advises a few minutes of gentle, restorative yoga for congested patients.

Bell suggests practicing Queen’s pose for 10 to 15 minutes. You’ll not only breathe easier, but you may notice other immediate results, like less coughing as your chest opens up--especially good for conquering the kingdom of excess phlegmdom. This restorative pose doesn’t use a lot of energy (so it’s okay to do if you’re already sick) and positions the body in a way that’s helpful for recovery.

Queen’s pose (Reclining Bound Angle pose)

What you need:
A bolster

1. Sit on the floor and lay bolster lengthwise (parallel to your spine) behind you.

2. Cross legs together in Bound Angle or Cobbler’s pose (Bend your knees, bow your legs out to your sides, and place the soles of your feet together.)

3. Lie back, with lower, upper back, and head supported on bolster.

4. Place arms at your sides, with forearms and elbows against the floor, palms facing up.

5. Stay in this position anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes.


Carol Farmer
09 May 2008, 11:40
This sounds like exactly what I have been looking for to relieve my cough, etc. I do have one question ... what can I use as a "bolster"? I am anxious to begin using this position. Thank you.

iYogaLife Staff
09 May 2008, 13:19
Great question! You can use a pillow (try a decorative throw pillow from your coach- it'll be more supportive than a bed pillow) or folded up blankets or towels- they'll do the same job as a bolster!

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