5 Yoga Poses to Help You Recover from a Cold

Heal yourself by harmonizing your mind, body, and spirit.


Woman beginning a series of yoga poses to help her get over a cold.

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Yoga, with its emphasis on mindful movements and breath, offers a soothing bridge back to health when you have a cold. During the chilly seasons, yoga can help ease sniffles and coughs with gentle poses to support your  immune system, according to Healthline. Here are five beneficial yoga poses that can help you recover from a cold.

Supported Child’s Pose - Balasana Variation

The child’s pose encourages relaxation and helps soothe common cold symptoms, like sinus pressure. The gentle inversion pose also could calm your nervous system and ease tension around your neck, shoulders, and hips.

To make this yoga pose more comfortable, place a pillow or bolster between your thighs before you begin. Enter the child’s pose by sitting on your heels with your knees wide. Fold forward, resting your torso on the support, turning your head to one side. Breathe deeply, allowing each exhale to release tension. 

Yoga class practicing a variation of the child's pose.

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Seated Spinal Twist - Ardha Matsyendrasana

Twists can aid in the recovery process by gently massaging internal organs. This helps in detoxification and encourages fresh blood flow to these areas, according to Yoga U, the online yoga resource. Approach the seated spinal twist pose with gentleness, especially if you’re experiencing any back pain.

Begin by sitting with your legs extended. Bend your right knee, placing the right foot outside the left knee. Place your right hand behind you for support. Inhale, lengthen your spine; exhale, gently twist to the right. Hold for a few breaths, then switch sides

Woman in the seated spinal twist yoga pose.

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Legs-Up-The-Wall - Viparita Karani

This restorative pose is a powerhouse for people recovering from a cold. According to Ekhart Yoga, the legs-up yoga pose aids in lymphatic drainage and circulation. This is vital for clearing out toxins and boosting immune function.

Sit close to a wall, then gently lie on your back, lifting your legs up the wall. Seat your buttocks a few inches away from the wall or you can touch it, depending on comfort. Rest your arms by your sides or on your belly, and breathe deeply. Stay in this pose for five to ten minutes, feeling the restorative effects on your body.

Starting the morning with the legs-up-the-wall yoga pose.

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Gentle Cobra Pose - Bhujangasana

The cobra pose helps to relieve congestion and boost lung capacity, two things that could aid in recovering from a cold, suggested Healthline. Practice this pose with awareness, ensuring you do not overextend. Begin by laying on your stomach, hands under your shoulders and with your elbows close to the body. Inhale, gently lift your chest off the ground, using your back muscles more than your hands. Keep the lift to a comfortable height to avoid straining your back. Exhale, gently release back to the floor.

Yoga class practicing the cobra pose.

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Breath Awareness  - Pranayama

Breath awareness is a cornerstone of yoga, particularly therapeutic for those with a cold. Simple breath observation or practicing gentle pranayama, such as diaphragmatic breathing, can aid in clearing your nasal passages and enhancing lung capacity, according to Physio-pedia.

To begin, sit comfortably or lie down. Place one hand on your belly, the other on your chest. Breathe deeply through the nose, feeling the belly rise and fall. Keep the chest relatively still. Focus on slow, deep breaths to help open up the lungs and calm the mind.

Women practicing pranayama deep breathing.

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