World Asthma Day: Yoga poses for relief from asthma
Yoga asanas and techniques are a powerful and effective way to manage any respiratory disorders such as asthma. One of the major goals of yoga is that it helps to eliminate stress from the mind and body. Mainly factors like anxiety and stress can also lead to breathlessness and shallow breathing. With regular practice of yoga, you can easily improve the efficiency and health of your lungs. You can perform yoga poses for asthma and other breathing ailments and pranayama or breathing exercises twice a day for making your lungs stronger.
Triggers for Asthma
Here are some of the environmental and lifestyle triggers for asthma.
- Severe air pollution which leads to poor air quality
- Smoking cigarettes
- Industrial dust
- Cold air
- Pollen and allergies are some of the most common triggers for asthma.
- It is especially risky for children to contract asthma as they have smaller airways than adults.
Grand Master Akshar, yoga master, spiritual guru, and lifestyle coach, spoke to Health Shots about certain effective yoga poses for asthma patients.
Yoga for lung health
Yoga is a holistic solution to take care of your lungs. It can also aid in terms of better recovery and management of asthma. Yoga is also an extremely valuable practice to decrease the symptoms of asthma.
Akshar says, “Poses like Baddha Konasana, Halasana, Janu Sirsasana, Bakasana can be made a part of your routine. You can also include pranayama techniques such as Bhastrika pranayama, Anulom Vilom pranayama, Khand Pranayama and Kapal Bhati.”
Benefits of yoga for asthma patients
- Practicing yoga increases the oxygen capacity of your lungs.
- It also clears your airways and nasal passages.
- It allows for the healing of respiratory issues like asthma, bronchitis etc.
- It speeds up recovery, and even helps in prevention of respiratory related issues.
- The ideal time to practice yoga is early in the morning on an empty stomach.
Yoga therapy with Siddha walk
Before you begin your yoga asanas and breathing exercises, you can perform Siddha walk. Siddha walk is also known by other names like Infinity walk, yoga walk, and mind walk. “It is an ancient yogic practice that gives you innumerable benefits for the mind, body and soul. You need to walk in the figure of 8 first from south to north direction and then change the direction for the next round. It needs to be done for 21 minutes in both directions,” says Akshar.
4 yoga poses for asthma
Practice these following postures after consulting your medical physician. Please ensure that you perform these exercises under the guidance or supervision of a trained yoga teacher.
1. Naukasana or boat pose
Sit on your mat with your legs stretched forward and keep your back straight. Inhale and lift both legs up holding them at a degree of 30 to 45 degrees. Keep your back straight and balance on your sit bones.
2. Sukhasana or Easy Pose
Sit in a cross legged position with your back straight. Inhale and exhale normally and close your eyes with your arms on your knees.
3. Sarpasana or Cobra Pose
For Sarpasana, lie down on your stomach and interlace your fingers behind your back. As you take an inhalation, lift your head, chest and shoulders upwards as much as you can. Stretch your interlocked hands behind you. Do not allow your feet to lift off from the floor.
4. Salabhasana variation or Locust Pose
Lie on your stomach with palms under your shoulders. Keep your legs together. Inhale and raise your right hand and left leg up behind with your knee straight. You should also lift the head and chest up. Exhale and slowly release and repeat on the other side. Hold the pose for 10-15 seconds.
If you are a beginner at yoga, it is suggested that you start practicing these asanas slowly along with their breathing techniques. You can also include pranayama for five minutes a day and gradually increase the duration. Hold each pose for 10-15 seconds and repeat 2-3 times.