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Pneumonia affects 155 million children under the age of 5 years and kills 1.6 million people annually. It is a preventable and treatable disease, but experts believe that COVID-19 could increase pneumonia deaths by more than 75 per cent.
In the case of children, protection against pneumonia starts right at birth with continued breastfeeding for at least the first six months of life. It is essential for the child to receive good quality nutrition with adequate minerals and vitamins to build immunity and develop the ability to fight the disease.
When it comes to adults, one of the best ways to prevent and even manage the condition of pneumonia is through yoga. Practising yoga can keep your lungs and body healthy. When you make yoga an integral part of your daily life, you’re actually strengthening the muscles of the chest which increases lung capacity and boosts oxygen intake. So, try to practise yoga 3 to 4 days a week for a minimum of 30 minutes. Include asanas, pranayama and meditation techniques in your practice.
These 5 asanas can do wonders for your lung health and it is recommended you practice them with a keen focus on your breathing:
1. Hastha Uthanasana
Begin in Samasthithi. Lift your arms up, keeping your head in between your arms, and gently bend backwards. Keep your knees straight and eyes open.
Sit down on your mat, kneeling on your knees. Place your pelvis on your heels and keep them slightly apart from each other. Place your palms on your knees. Straighten your back and look forward.
Begin in Dandasana with the legs stretched forward. Raise your arms and keep your back straight. Exhale and bend forward as you reach out your arms to grip your big toes with your fingers. Try to touch your knees with your nose.
Kneel down and sit with your hands on the hips. Arch your back and place your palms on your feet. Keep your neck in a neutral position. Hold this posture for a few breaths. Exhale and slowly return to the initial pose.
Kneel down sitting on your heels, inhale and raise your arms above the head. Exhale and bend your upper body forward. Place your forehead on the floor, resting your pelvis on the heels.
Yoga is an ancient science for holistic wellness. The postures in yoga are designed to keep your lungs healthy and strong. When your lungs are working efficiently, it also improves your breathing and oxygen intake.
Healthy lungs play a key role in warding off any lung disease, boosting your immunity and helping you maintain peak physical health. Start by making a few lifestyle changes and practice techniques such as diaphragmatic breathing, simple deep breathing and pranayama exercises such as Khand Pranayama, Anulom Vilom and Kapal Bhati.