It started with covid-19 and now there’s smog all around. Clearly, 2020 is proving to be the worst year for your lungs. That’s why it has become critical to pay more attention to your lungs, so that they can function better. What’s better than turning to yoga for lungs?
Yoga asanas and techniques are known to alleviate stress, and improve the efficiency of lungs, making them stronger. Along with asanas, pranayama or breathing exercises in yoga include techniques such as bhastrika pranayama, anulom vilom pranayama,and kapal bhati.
All these exercises help to strengthen the capacity of your lungs, making your airways and nasal passages much clearer. Practice these breathing techniques at medium speed (madhyam gati). The best time to practice these yoga poses is at the crack of dawn, as it will keep you active, energetic, positive, and focused for the rest of the day.
Whether it’s yoga or any other form of exercise, warm-up is a must, says yoga expert Grand Master Akshar. The warm-up can consist of gentle rotations of the neck, arms, wrists, hips, and ankles to slowly warm up the joints.
You can also walk around briskly, and stretch and mobilize your muscles. This will prepare your body for the practice, and keep you safe from exercise-related injuries. It is very important that you warm up sufficiently, before attempting any back bending poses.
Now, it’s time to try these five poses to get stronger lungs:
Begin by standing straight in samasthiti. Raise your arms over your head, and stretch upward ensuring that your palms face each other. Keep your head in between your arms, and gently bend back. Keep your knees straight, and your eyes should remain open.
Begin by lying down on your stomach, bend your knees and hold your ankles with your palms. Have a strong grip. Lift your legs and arms as high as you can. Look up and hold the posture for a while.
Kneel on the yoga mat, and place your hands on the hips. Simultaneously, arch your back and slide your palms over your feet, till your arms are straight. Do not strain or flex your neck, but keep it in a neutral position.
Stay in this posture for a couple of breaths. Breathe out and slowly come back to the initial pose. Withdraw your hands and bring them back to your hips, as you straighten up.
Begin in padahastasana. Extend your left leg back, drop your knee and extend your toes out. Stretch your arms over your head, and look upwards. Ensure that your right knee is aligned with your ankle. Bend your upper body back, and form an arch (which resembles half a moon). Hold the pose for a while. Repeat the same with the other leg.
Lie down on your back, fold your legs at your knees, and ensure that your feet are placed firmly on the floor. Bend your arms at the elbows with your palms facing the sky. Rotate your arms at the shoulders, and place your palms on the floor on either side beside your head.
Inhale, put pressure on your palms and legs, and lift your entire body up to form an arch. Relax your neck and allow your head to fall gently behind.
Yoga asanas offer holistic solutions that help to improve the health of your lungs. Practice heart openers such as bow and wheel pose, in order to strengthen the lungs and improve their capacity to take in oxygen. Lung cleansing techniques, including asanas and breathing exercises, can help dislodge mucus from the lungs and airways.
“Ayurveda suggests drinking hot water with turmeric, honey and ginger for better lung health. You can also use steam therapy, if you suffer from congestion or chronic respiratory conditions,” he concludes.
So, practice these five yoga poses and let your lungs enjoy good health!