Symptoms of Cold
The disease is called cold because it is usually contracted in the cold season. Here is the list of the most common cold symptoms.
Sneezing and Scratchy Throat
Sneezing is an awkward sounding, sudden, involuntary burst of air in high force through the nose and mouth. The mucous membranes of the throat and nose get irritated and the result is sneezing. One gets bothered, but there is nothing to worry about as it is not a symptom of any serious disease rather an initial symptom of common cold. This results in uncontrollable cough.
Runny Nose and Sore Throat
Other easily recognizable symptoms of cold are runny nose and sore throat. Runny nose is the result of uncontrolled secretion of serous (thin, water like mucous) which is highly irritating. The membranes in the throat get inflamed and the presence of abnormal mucous makes throat sore and itchy.
Cough, Headache and Mild Fever
The mucus or foreign material accumulated in the respiratory system (lungs and air passages) gets removed with cough. It is the body’s reactive defense mechanism for respiratory irritations.
A prominent cold symptom.
Causes of Common Cold
One may be surprised to know that not only one or two but 200 different viruses are responsible for cold. We may be vulnerable to catch cold in any time of the year, but generally winter and rainy seasons are major carriers of theses viruses. Children get 3-8 cold bouts a year while adults 2-5 per year. Children usually get it from other children.
Two Hundred Different Viruses
Researches show that there are about 200 different varieties of cold causing viruses. Rhino virus is the most common of them and further it has 100 different varieties in it, which are not known to cause any serious danger. Others such as respiratory syncytial virus and parainfluenza can be reason for mild infection for adults. Children are known to suffer sever lower respiratory troubles.
Sars (severe acute respiratory syndrome), responsible for taking Over 3000 lives the world wide, is caused by a special variety of Corona viruses, one of the culprits of cold.
How Long Does Cold Last (2 To 14 Days)
Generally the cold symptoms become apparent after 2-3 days of catching it. But cold can last for any where from 2-14 days occasionally. Doctors say that one must recover in 7 days. Anything beyond 2 weeks may be a cause of concern as it may be an allergy symptom, not just cold.
How Does Yoga Help In Preventing Cold?
While medications generally do not give much relief from cold, the breath control techniques taught in yoga help a lot to cope up with cold. The anuloma & vilomas and various yoga poses in addition to kapalabhati bring immediate and long term relief by working on the respiratory system.
Some Useful Yoga Poses For Cold
Yoga cold remedies need practice to perform. Some of them are highly effective if practiced regularly. Here is a list of representative yoga poses for cold.
Yoga Shoulder Stand
Yoga shoulder stand (sarvanga asana) is next best to shirasa asana (headstand) in yoga.
- Get relaxed and lie on back, keep the feet together and hands by the side.
- Breathe a full cycle and lift your legs together so much as to lift the hips and trunk too.
- Make sure to support both the hands with elbows firmly on the ground.
- Let the feet face upwards without swinging.
- Hold here for 10 breaths and take off your hands before returning to normal position.
- Exhale while lowering.
- As you gain in practice, you can do this without the hands supporting your trunk.
- Take a few relaxed breaths and Lie down on abdomen.
- Lift your legs up, backwards, bending at the knees and hold your ankles with your hands.
- Now, while inhaling, lift up head, chest and thighs with knees clearly off the ground.
- Now you are completely supported on your abdomen only.
- Hold it for 4-6 breaths
- Exhale while returning by retracing the sequence in reverse order.
- Rest on knees and palms just below shoulders.
- Hold your spine as straight as possible and look forward.
- Crouch inwards trying to round the spine and gaze at navel.
- Exhale while doing this and take a couple of breaths here.
- Come back to original position inhaling.
- Now go forward to the cow stretch from here, by dropping the back and lifting head as much as possible.
- Return to the original position after a couple of breaths while exhaling.
- Get relaxed and lie down on your back.
- Keep your feet and palms away from the body.
- Starting from toes, concentrate on each organ of body in order to relax fully.
- Let your breaths calm down automatically. Relax in this position for 10-15 minutes.
Relaxation pose is the same as shava asana or Corpse pose.
Yoga has it’s own importance in curing cold apart from medications, by working on respiratory organs, if practiced under expert guidance. Further, all yoga cold remedies are based on the breathe control techniques. Thus, additional practicing of pranayama may help better the cause.