Ear barotrauma is the technical name for the feeling of pressure you may get that causes you to seek ways to unblock your ears. The root of the problem is simply an imbalance of pressure between your middle ear and the pressure outside your body. It can happen with altitude changes or nasal congestion, and there are yoga poses that can help alleviate the congestion that is causing your ear pressure. As always, consult your doctor first for diagnosis of the underlying problem.
Start with a neti pot, a small container that resembles a teapot with a long, narrow spout. Fill the neti pot with homemade or store-bought saline solution. Tipping your head to one side, pour the neti pot water through your top nostril. It will flow into your sinuses and out your bottom nostril. Make sure to tip your head forward after rinsing your sinuses to allow any extra water to drain from your nose. Use a neti pot to clear your sinuses whether or not you are congested before practicing yoga to free your nasal passages for better yoga breathing.
Standing Forward Bend
Use gravity to your advantage, improving circulation to your brain and sinuses with a standing forward bend pose that will help relieve the symptoms of your sinusitis. Stand with your feet together and hands by your sides. Prior to beginning the pose, pull your abdominal muscles in and relax your shoulders. Bend forward keeping your abs pulled in and sliding your hands down your legs. Aim to get your hands flat on the ground next to your feet; however, use a yoga block placed on the ground in front of your feet if your hamstrings are not flexible enough for you to touch the ground. Once upside down, stretch the top of your head toward the ground, elongating your torso.
This all-over body stretch has therapeutic benefits for your sinuses and in turn your blocked ears. In downward-facing dog, you place your hands and feet on the ground forming an upside down "V" shape with your body. Keep your hands shoulder-width apart and widespread. Your feet should be hip-width apart with your heels pressed into the ground. Stretch your tailbone toward the ceiling as you press the fronts of your shoulders toward the ground. Relax your neck by gliding your shoulder blades toward your hips, and keep your abdominal muscles pulled into your spine.
Seated Forward Bend
If your ear blockage and nasal congestion are severe, the above inverted poses may be too uncomfortable. Seated forward bend is a great alternative that will benefit your sinusitis, clearing your ears without adding too much additional pressure from gravity. Sit on the ground with both straight legs extended in front of you. Pull your abs in toward your spine, and lean your torso forward toward your legs. With your hands on the sides of your legs, stretch forward as far as your flexibility allows. If you are especially tight, placing a rolled up towel underneath your rear end may help.