10 Breath Relieving Asanas and Pranayamas For Asthma

Asthma is a serious lung condition that leads to difficulties in breathing, chest tightness, and wheezing. There are many ways to treat this condition but Ayurveda suggests an elaborated treatment plan for asthma patients that includes yoga. Yoga is a wholesome exercise routine that brings total mindfulness through movement. Regular yoga practice improves the overall functioning of organs, organ systems, metabolism, body processes, breathing process, flexibility, and balance. 

In this blog, we plan to bring forth a few aspects of yoga for asthma treatment. As an asthma patient, you might want to understand the process of exercise and what measures you should take to begin with. There are certain yoga breathing exercises for asthma that, if practised regularly, can alleviate the major symptoms of asthma and strengthen the respiratory system relieving your body from the ill effects of asthma. 

How does Yoga help In Relieving Asthma?

Asthma attacks cause narrowing and inflammation in the respiratory tract. The medication used for asthma relaxes the muscles surrounding the airways and brings down mucus and swelling. Yoga is a complementary treatment for asthma that can increase the effectiveness of medications and decrease the frequency of asthma attacks to a considerable level. Clinical studies conducted in the last few decades concluded yoga for asthma encourages deep breathing, opens up the chest muscles, and establishes a strong connection between movement and breath. The physical and mental benefits of yoga for asthma patients can be categorized into two different sets: 

Physical Benefits

  • More flexibility 
  • Better athletic performance
  • A well-balanced metabolism
  • Improved circulatory and cardio system
  • Better strength and muscle tone
  • Improved vitality, respiration, and energy
  • Healthy weight loss
  • More immunity against injuries

Mental Benefits

  • Mental calmness and clarity
  • Complete mind relaxation
  • Improved management of stress
  • More body awareness
  • Sharper concentration

Yoga For Asthma Cure

There is a set of yoga poses and breathing exercises that can help in alleviating the symptoms of an asthma attack. However, before you begin with any of these poses please make sure you consult your doctor and ask them how much you can flex based on your health. Here are a few poses that are recommended under yoga for asthma regime: 

    1. Nadi Shodhan Pranayama (Alternate Nostril breathing): It is one of the first pranayamas that you should begin your yoga with. It calms down the mind and relieves the accumulated stress from the mind and muscles. This kind of breathing technique is known to have a healing effect on various circulatory and respiratory problems. 
    2. Kapal Bhati (Skull shining breathing technique):  One of the most recommended yoga breathing exercises for asthma patients, it relaxes one’s mind and energizes the nervous system. Regular practise of this pranayama also clears the energy channels (nadis) and improves overall blood pressure. It is also quite useful in rectifying hormonal activity in the gynaecological system and strengthening the internal systems against hectic and strenuous lifestyles. Highly recommended for people with a pressing schedule and an overactive work life. 
    3. Bridge Pose: Bridge pose or the setu bandhasana is very effective in opening up the chest muscles. It is also quite useful in stimulating digestion thus detoxifies the system internally. Ayurveda states that accumulated toxins in the body are one of the leading causes of asthma attacks. So, poses that help in the detoxification of accumulated toxins is considered very effective in the treatment of asthma. 
    4. Ardh Matsyendrasana (Sitting Half Spinal Twist): The asana plays a key role in opening up the chest muscles and improving the oxygen supply throughout the lungs. Regular practice of this asana can be very helpful in reducing the probability of asthma attacks. 
    5. Pavanamuktasana: Also known as the wind relieving pose, it is considered quite effective in relieving the tensions from the digestive and abdominal areas. It massages the abdominal organs and helps to relieve gas from the digestive system. 
    6. Bhujangasana or the cobra pose: The cobra pose is quite useful in expanding the chest, unblocking the blockages in healthy blood circulation and strengthening the spinal muscles. It is considered useful in opening up the chest muscles thus easing the breathing process and helping the asthma patients get relief from asthma symptoms and effects.
    7. Adho Mukha Svanasana: Commonly known as the downward-facing dog pose, this asana is effective in relaxing the mind and relieving stress. It is recommended for those who suffer from sinusitis and asthma. Also, people who get asthma attacks due to stress or emotional turmoils should practise this asana on a regular basis.
    8. Bandhakosana or the butterfly pose: The butterfly pose is known for stimulating blood circulation and relieving fatigue from pelvic and leg muscles. It also helps in toning the thigh muscles and has a therapeutic effect on asthma symptoms. Best results can be achieved with regular practice.
    9. Poorvottanasana: Commonly known as the reverse plank or the upward plank pose, it works to improve the respiratory system, strengthening the wrists, back, spine, and arms. The asana is also known to have a stimulating effect on the thyroid gland and really helps in improving the condition.
    10. Shavasana or corpse asana: It is the last asana that should be performed after you have practised the other nine asanas. To perform this asana, you just need to lie down on the floor like a corpse. It is known to have a meditative and rejuvenating effect on the body. Shavasana is quite useful in bringing down anxiety and pressure from one’s mind. 
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