Breath is the last thing that stays until before death. This statement speaks volumes about its importance. But what if you are unable to breathe? Sounds nightmarish, right? Well, this is what more than 25 million Americans suffer from, and it is nothing else but asthma! Yes, you read it right. Asthma is a pandemic that is not only common in the US but around the globe as well as more than 339 million people suffer from this deadly disease. But have you ever heard that practicing yoga for asthma could aid in preventing asthmatic attacks?
If you are still unaware of the magic that yoga, then read this article on yoga for asthma and thank the internet. Scroll down as we tell you the benefits, best asanas of yoga for asthma and their effect on the people.
A Glimpse of Yoga for Asthma
Breathing is a natural process and is a gift by the almighty to humankind. People who have asthma are partially bereft of this beautiful God’s gift. Breathing becomes a tough task for them on various occasions.
Yoga for asthma can be a fantastic solution to cope up with this issue. It fosters breathing by improving breathing patterns and habits.
Also, yoga asanas for asthma help to cure stress, strain, and pressure in the mind and body which in turn aids the sufferer in curing the symptoms of asthma.
Some quick facts on asthma and its severity:
- Asthma is getting more and more common amidst children as more than 57%(1) of the people that have asthma in the US are children that make roughly about one in every ten children.
- More than 82 billion dollars(2) are spent over asthma medication every year in the US alone.
- Breathing exercises or pranayama(3) that constitute a 1:2 ratio of inhalation and exhalation are found to be entirely beneficial for asthma.
Is Yoga a practical solution to cure asthma?
Yes! Practicing yoga for breathing problem is an absolute practical solution when valued for its efficacy. Given below are some of the benefits which asthma patients get post yoga practice.
- One of the significant problems which asthma patients face is fast breathing. Yoga Poses for asthma help the person to master the art of slow breathing. By practicing slow breathing, one can quickly get control of the breathing process.
- Yoga for asthmatics helps them to grab control of their nervous reflexes. It restricts excessive movement of the parasympathetic nerves in the body.
- Yoga asanas for curing asthma help to calm down the stressed chest muscles which in turn improve breathing. Asanas which involve overturning of body alleviate mucus from the lungs.
- Meditation is an inevitable part of yoga. It helps to calm down the senses of your body and result in the overall development of the body.
- While exercises might strain your lungs, yoga is soothing and peaceful. It works tremendously well irrespective of the cause of asthma.
[Read: Home Remedies for Asthma]
Top 6 Asanas of Yoga for Asthmatics That Can Be a Whiff Of Fresh Air
There are many effective yet simple asanas of yoga for asthma treatment. The best five comprise this article. Have a look:
Sukhasana gives best results when practiced in the morning. Practicing it on an empty stomach is not a requirement of this asana.
How to do?
While performing Sukhasana all you have to do is sit down in a normal way by keeping your legs folded and your back straight.
- Sukhasana improves breathing and helps in controlling unnecessary stress
- It broadens the chest
- Relaxes the brain
2. Upavistha Konasana
Upavistha Konasana or the seated wide angle pose. One should practice this pose on an empty stomach in the morning or the evening with a gap of four to six hours in between meals.
Perform this asana for thirty to sixty seconds.
How to do it?
- For Upavistha Konasana asana, sit down on your hips and spread your legs wide open to the maximum limit. If possible, a complete split.
- Then slowly bend forward and try resting your upper body on the ground.Hold for 30-60 seconds then come back to the original position and repeat.
- This amazing asana helps to open up the lungs which foster breathing.
- It provides a calming effect on the brain and removes stress from the mind.
3. Ardha Matsyendrasana
Also known as sitting half spinal twist, it is a good to practice in the morning on an empty stomach and cleans bowels.
Perform the asana for thirty to sixty seconds.
How to do it?
- Sit down on flat ground.
- Now, cross your legs and bring your right leg near the left hip and your left leg near the right knee.
- Now twist your spine and look back by keeping your left hand behind you and your right hand locked with the left knee pointing upwards.
- Repeat this pose for the other side as well.
- The above asana stretches the chest which induces more oxygen into the lungs. It helps to improve the oxygen capacity intake of the lungs.
- It also helps to reduce the possibility of an asthma attack.
[Read: Yoga for Digestion Problems]
Do Bhujangasana or the cobra pose in the morning on an empty stomach and clean bowels. Hold on to this pose for fifteen to thirty seconds.
How to do it?
- Lie down in a way that your stomach touches the ground.
- Now, slowly bend backward and create a pose that resembles the raised hood of a cobra.
- It improves blood circulation and oxygen movement in the body.
- Opens up your chest and clears the lung passages.
- It also stretches the muscles of your chest.
Purvottanasana or the upward plank pose is for thirty to sixty seconds in the morning.
How to do it?
- Stand straight and place your hands behind your hips. Fingertips should point towards the feet.
- Now bend your knees and put your feet on the floor.
- Exhale. Raise your hips up by pressing your hands and feet firmly on the ground. Make sure your hips are in the same line as your shoulders.
- Stretch your arms out.
- Now straighten your legs and keep your toes in outwards direction.
- Lift your hips as high as possible while keeping your legs firm.
- Let your shoulders roll onto your back as you lift your chest up.
- Be cautious of your neck while you let your head drop behind you.
- Hold the position till the time you are comfortable.
- It helps in improving the working of the respiratory system.
- It also keeps a proper check on your hormones
Shavasana or the corpse pose is the ending asana of yoga for asthma. You can indulge in the pose at any time of the day. An empty stomach is not necessary if not preceded or succeeded by any other asana.
How to do it?
- Lie on your back with your arms in the sides and feet and palms open.
- Close your eyes and loosen your jaw.
- Focus on the pattern of your breathing making it slow and deep.
- Stay in the pose until you feel relaxed.
- It alleviates all sorts of stress and anxiety.
- The pose refreshes the mind and helps to keep it calm and cool.
[Read: Reduce Belly Fat with Yoga]
Which pranayama can be a cure for asthma?
After reading about different asanas of yoga for lungs problem, these are the different pranayamas which can help an asthmatic patient in getting relief include:
- Anulom Vilom Pranayama
How to do it?
- Sit in the position of Padmasana and close your eyes.
- Cover the right nose with the right thumb and inhale slowly from the left nose.
- Inhale as much oxygen as you can comfortably.
- As you remove your thumb from the right nose, exhale.
- While exhaling, use your middle finger to cover the left nose.
- Now inhale with your right nose and repeat the process for five minutes.
- It helps to improve the working of the lungs.
- Cures mental issues such as stress and anxiety which avoid getting asthma attacks.
- Improves immune system.
- Also, it is ideal for maintaining the heart’s health.
Nadi Shodhan Pranayam
How to do?
- Cover your right nostril with your right thumb and exhale gently using the left nostril.
- Keeping the right nostril covered, inhale through the left nostril. Make sure to inhale deeply.
- With the help of the ring finger and the pinky finger of the right hand, cover the left nostril and open the right one
- Exhale through this right nostril and then inhale through it while keeping the left nostril covered
- Helps in clearing respiratory channels.
- Reduces stress.
- Fills in oxygen in the body.
How to do it?
- Sit straight. Place your hands on the knees and open your palms to the sky.
- Take a deep breath.
- While exhaling, pull your navel back in towards the spine.
- Don’t strain yourself. Do as much as you can.
- As you relax the navel, the oxygen flows into your lungs.
- One should do twenty such rounds to complete one round of Kapalbhati Pranayam.
- It improves the overall functioning of the respiratory system of the body
Asthma is an undesirable state which not only hampers a person’s physical body but also weakens one’s mental health as well. This article gave you an insight into the whereabouts of yoga for asthma cure. Yoga is indeed one of the best methods to deal with asthma as it is 100 percent natural.
Yoga is a well-known and well-researched field which has brought wonders in the area of medication. It is always advisable to consult your doctor about the yoga asanas for treating asthma which you can pursue depending upon the severity of your disease.
Now you know how to cure asthma by yoga, you can incorporate yoga and pranayama in your daily routine to get rid of asthma from the root!