Environmental pollutants, increased stress, and a nutrient-deficient diet can make our immune, nervous and respiratory system hypersensitive, causing allergic rhinitis. When you inhale an allergen, it sits in your nasal passages, making them inflamed or swollen. The immune system then produces histamines in response to this allergen, which causes itchy eyes and a runny nose. Experts say that relaxation exercises such as yoga can diminish the intensity of allergy symptoms.

Here are four yoga poses that provide relief to those suffering from allergic rhinitis.

1. Half Moon Pose, Or Ardha Chandrasana


Traditionally thought to improve digestion and menstruation, the half moon pose is also effective in expanding the chest and the rib cage, which allows the lungs to expand and hence improves breathing. (Click here to know how to do this pose.)

2. Warrior I Pose, Or Veerabhadrasana


Named after a fierce warrior, Veerabhadra, this asana opens up the chest, and allows the lungs to expand and take in more oxygen. It also drains the congestion- and stuffiness-causing mucus. (Click here to know how to do this pose.)

3. Shoulderstand, Or Salamba Sarvangasana


This inversion pose opens the nasal passages, ensuring improved sinus drainage, which also relieves congestion. However, don’t hold this pose for more than two minutes as it puts a lot of pressure on your back. (Click here to know how to do this pose.)

4. Bridge Pose, Or Setu Bandhasana


Backbend asanas like Setu Bandhasana expand the chest and lungs and improve breathing capacity. This pose also massages the various parts of the spine and thoracic cage, which conditions the lungs. (Click here to know how to do this pose.)

These yoga asanas, along with providing relief from allergic rhinitis symptoms, also build energy. Breathing exercises may help, too, although experts don’t recommend forceful breathing as nasal congestion might make this uncomfortable.