Expert Recommends Pranayama Techniques for Preventing Cold and Sinus Issues

The ancient practices of Yoga and Pranayama, renowned for their ability to harmonize the mind and body, play a pivotal role in preventing and alleviating various ailments such as cold and sinus issues.

Prevention Of Cold And Sinus: Expert Lists Pranayams For Relief
Prevention Of Cold And Sinus: Expert Lists Pranayams For Relief

As the temperatures drop and the season of runny noses, headaches, sinus issues, coughs, and sore throats returns, ENT clinics are seeing a surge in visitors. With the looming threat of COVID, particularly the Omicron sub-variant JN.1, the last thing anyone wants is to catch a viral flu or cold. Now more than ever, it’s crucial to focus on strengthening our immune systems to fend off illnesses.

In this endeavor, turning to ancient Indian practices like Pranayama and Yoga proves immensely beneficial. These traditional techniques not only contribute to physical fitness but also bolster overall health. They aid in regulating blood circulation, fortifying muscles, improving digestive functions, and detoxifying the respiratory system, among other benefits.

In addition to incorporating immune-boosting remedies like turmeric milk and kadha shots into our routines, let’s also make room for some Pranayama and Yoga practices this winter. These practices can serve as powerful allies in our quest for robust immunity and well-being.

Prevention Of Cold And Sinus: Expert Lists Pranayams For Relief

Below is a compilation of pranayama techniques that prove effective in alleviating cold and sinus issues

Pranayama, an essential component of this routine, plays a vital role in addressing colds and coughs. Engaging in deep breathing exercises through the nostrils aids in clearing nasal passages, improving respiratory function, and strengthening lung capacity. Manisha Pandey, a yoga instructor at Holistic Vibes, identifies specific pranayama techniques aimed at preventing sinus issues and colds.


This pranayama is known as “Surya Bhedana,” where “Surya” translates to “sun” and “Bhedana” to “piercing,” indicating the Sun-piercing breath. According to Pandey, practicing this pranayama generates internal heat, which aids in purifying the frontal sinuses. Additionally, it is beneficial for respiratory conditions such as asthma and colds, and helps reduce phlegm in the body. To perform Surya Bhedana, block the left nostril with the right ring finger, inhale through the right nostril filling the lungs completely, then block the right nostril with the right thumb. Next, perform the Jalandhara Bandha (chin lock) and Moola Bandha (pelvic lock), hold the breath briefly, release both locks, and exhale. It’s advised not to hold the breath for an extended period, and if possible, practice this pranayama under guidance. Pandey cautions that individuals with conditions like high blood pressure should avoid this practice, and those who have undergone surgery should consult their doctor before attempting this pranayama.


Kapalbhati stands as one of the most dynamic breathing exercises, characterized by rapid exhalations that enhance lung strength and capacity. To practice, sit comfortably with a straight spine. Inhale deeply and then forcefully exhale while pulling your navel inward. Maintain a rapid and forceful exhalation rhythm. As you relax your abdominal muscles, natural inhalation will occur. Aim for 20-30 repetitions of Kapalbhati in one session. Pandey suggests that individuals with high blood pressure should refrain from practicing this pranayama.


In contrast to Kapalbhati’s emphasis on forceful exhalation, Bhastrika involves both active inhalation and exhalation accompanied by hand movements. According to Pandey, Bhastrika serves as a beneficial practice for respiratory issues such as sinus problems and bronchitis. To perform Bhastrika, sit in either vajrasana or sukhasana. Make fists with your palms and position them near your shoulders. Inhale deeply as you raise your hands and open your fists. Then, forcefully exhale as you bring your hands down and close the fists. Repeat this motion for 20-30 repetitions. Pandey advises individuals with conditions like high blood pressure and pregnant women to avoid Bhastrika. Furthermore, it’s recommended not to practice Bhastrika on a full stomach.

Anulom Vilom

Anulom Vilom

Anulom-Vilom, also known as alternate nostril breathing, stands out as a gentle and simple pranayama technique. It involves deep inhalations and exhalations without any forceful breathing or abrupt exhalations. Anulom-Vilom is beneficial for respiratory issues and promotes improved breathing. To practice, place your right thumb on your right nostril, your right ring finger on your left nostril, and your index and middle fingers between your eyebrows. Inhale deeply through your left nostril, then block it and exhale through your right nostril. Next, inhale deeply through your right nostril, then exhale through your left nostril. This completes one round of Anulom-Vilom. Aim to practice 10-15 rounds for optimal results. Manisha advises always concluding the final round by exhaling through the left nostril to complete the cycle of Anulom-Vilom.

In discussing yoga poses, Pandey emphasized the efficacy of performing Suryanamaskar during the winter season. Suryanamaskar consists of a series of asanas that provide a full-body stretch from head to toe. With each asana, practitioners engage in synchronized inhalation and exhalation. This combination of stretching and controlled breathing generates internal heat, which in turn promotes respiratory health, ultimately serving as a preventative measure against colds and sinus issues during the winter months.


Engaging in pranayama and yoga practices can significantly improve overall health and help prevent various diseases. However, it’s essential to approach these practices mindfully, especially if you have any pre-existing conditions or disorders. Consulting with your doctor or informing your yoga instructor about your health status is advisable. They can then make necessary modifications to the asanas to suit your specific needs and ensure a safe and effective practice.