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How Yoga Provides Relief For Some Allergy Sufferers

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- If you're one of the millions who suffer from seasonal allergies there's now evidence that a little yoga may offer some big relief.

Allergies seemed to rule Steven Kane's life until he found some relief in a yoga class, reports CBS2's Mary Calvi.

"Medicine has helped me for sure. But if I wasn't doing yoga, I would be ten steps back," Kane says.

From mindful deep breathing to positions that open up the chest and lungs, yoga has proven to be an effective tool against some of the misery that seasonal sufferers endure.

"Mindful breathing or intentional breathing tells the nervous system and tells the body that everything is OK," says yoga instructor Ambyr D'Amato.

She says side stretches encourage lymphatic drainage, helping rid the body of toxins.

"It's not something that's a cure-all, but it is something that can help allergy sufferers with their symptom relief," says yoga instructor Kristin Brien, who is also a registered nurse and an allergy sufferer.

Brien says poses supporting your back and arms can help clear the lungs. And taking deep breaths while resting your head on block can help relieve headaches.

"By doing this you're actually decreasing the pressure that's in your head and allowing the drainage," says Brien.

Brien says inversion poses are easy and offer solid results.

"By putting yourself in a supportive restorative position at home, even if it's for 5 to 10 breaths, gives your body the signal that its all clear and it can calm down," she says.

"Many of my own patients practice yoga as a method to control their allergies and asthma and they love it," Dr. Purvi Parikh from NYU Langone Health said.

Dr. Parikh is an allergy and asthma specialist and she says she has seen improvements in her patients who practice yoga regularly.

"We've seen patients come under better control able to decrease medications," she said.

But, of course, consult your doctor to do it safely.

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