Yoga for Asthma – Great Yoga Poses to Ease Breathing

Yoga for Asthma - Great Yoga Poses to Ease Breathing

Yoga is an ancient Indian practice that has helped people around the world from different ailments. Millions of people across the globe have asthma and if you are one among them, consider using yoga to get relief.

How Can Yoga Help with Asthma?

Asthma, as most of you know is an inflammatory disease that makes the airways narrow. They produce extra mucus, swell up, and makes it difficult to breathe. Other symptoms include wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, and tightness of chest. The signs and their intensity vary from one person to another. There is no treatment for asthma, but you can always reduce the symptoms. Using asthma for this purpose will give you great results.

Yoga helps by improving your lung capacity and facilitating proper breathing. The respiratory benefits of yoga are many. Breathing exercises like pranayama enhance the functioning of the lungs and make breathing easy.

Yoga can also reduce asthma attacks, and this has been proved in several studies. It reduces the dependency on drugs and is known to improve the rate of peak expiratory flow rate. However, a lot of research still needs to be conducted to establish some of these facts.

Yoga Poses for Asthma Relief

Here, are some of the yoga poses that you can try to ease breathing:

1. Sukhasana (Pleasant Pose)

Sukhasana

Steps

  • Stretch out your feet after sitting down with your spine straight
  • Now cross your knees and keep them wide. Cross your shins and keep your feet under the knees
  • Keep your feet relaxed while resting the outer edges on the floor and keeping your pelvis in the neutral position
  • Now put one of your palms on the other and place them on your lap
  • Make your shoulders firm and elongate the tailbone
  • Take deep breaths
  • Do this for 10-15 minutes

How Does It Help?

This yoga pose is a great option for both advanced practitioners and beginners. It focuses completely on your breathing and improves lung function.

2. Savasana (Corpse Pose)

Savasana

Steps

  • Take a yoga mat and lie on your back with your feet and arms relaxed
  • Soften and relax your jaws after closing your eyes
  • Take all your attention to your breath and slowly slow it down
  • Take deep rhymic breaths and relax every part of your body
  • Do this for 5-10 minutes

How Does It Help?

Savasana also helps by managing your stress. It also helps in breath management.

3. Setu Bhandasana

Setu Bhandasana

You will need to form a bridge with your body.

Steps

  • Take a yoga mat and lie flat on your back with your arms and palms facing down and your arms being parallel to your body
  • Now bend your knees in a such a way that your feet are flat on the floor
  • Inhale, press your feet firmly on the floor and lift your hip from the floor
  • Now slowly try to light your upper body with your body weight being on your shoulders
  • Be in this position and take 8-10 deep breaths
  • Exhale and slowly lower down your spine
  • Stand up after taking  a few more deep breaths

How Does It Help?

The bridge pose, as it is sometimes called, helps in opening up your chests and lungs. It has a lot of other benefits like improving the functioning of your thyroid glands, bone strengthening, improving digestion, and enhancing immunity. Setu Bhadasana also relaxes your tired muscles.

4. Bending Pose

Bending Pose

This is a simple pose that you can try to reduce your asthma symptoms.

Steps

  • Stand straight with your legs hip-width apart
  • Bend your body forward while bending your knees a little to relieve any lower back strain
  • Lift your body and fold it a little forward with your knees still bent
  • Now fold your arms with your palms holding elbows of the opposite hands
  • Now let your body hang and close your eyes closed
  • Take deep breaths

How Does It Help?

This too helps by opening up your lungs.

5. Baddhakonasana

Baddhakonasana

Also known as the butterfly pose, this is one of the most recommended yoga poses for asthma patients.

Steps

  • Sit on a yoga mat with your legs relaxing on the floor
  • Bring your feet inward by bending your knees
  • Now bring your feet together and ensure the distance between your feet and pelvis is about 6 inches
  • Hold your feet tightly with your hands
  • Push your thighs and knees down while inhaling deeply
  • Now start moving your things up and down—breathe normally
  • Start slowly and then increase your speed gradually
  • Keep doing this for 8-10 minutes
  • Slowly bring your legs to rest
  • Take a deep breath and stretch your legs slowly

How Does It Help?

This relaxing asthma yoga exercise gives relief from asthma symptoms by stretching your body. It improves circulation to the entire body, including lungs, by stimulating your heart. Doing this can also give you relief from fatigue.

6. Bhujangasana

Bhujangasana

This is also known as the snake pose

Steps

  • Lie down on the yoga mat on your stomach and stretch your legs
  • Now place your palms parallel to your shoulders
  • Make sure your toes and chin are touching the floor
  • Slowly raise your chest and bend backwards while inhaling
  • Stay in this position for 20-30 seconds
  • Exhale and return to your original position
  • Take a deep breath and relax
  • Repeat this for at least five times taking a break of 15 seconds between each

How Does It Help?

This is an excellent exercise for asthma patients and helps by improving the circulation of blood and oxygen in the entire body. It also helps in the proper expansion of the lungs and chest.

7. Straddled Splits

Straddled Splits

This can improve your lung capacity

Steps

  • Sit on your yoga mat
  • Stretch your legs as much as possible both being wide apart and the heels flexed
  • Now make your things firm, inhale deeply and put your arms on the front on the floor
  • Now, as you exhale, bend your body forward and make your hands walk in front of you
  • Take five deep breaths before getting back to the starting position

How Does It Help?

This yoga pose will open up your lungs by stretching your upper body.

8. Pranayama

Pranayama

End your yoga routine with this.

Steps

  • Sit on the yoga mat with your legs crossed
  • Keep your head, spine, and neck in one straight line
  • Close your eyes and shift all your attention to breathing
  • Breathe from your abdomen
  • Balance out rapid breaths with slower ones
  • Repeat this for 8-10 minutes

How It Helps

As already mentioned above, pranayama makes breathing easy and improves the functioning of the lungs. It is a great yoga exercise for all.

FAQs

Some questions you might have are:

1. Which Pranayama is Best for Asthma?

There is no pranayama that can be considered the best for asthma. Some of the recommended ones apart from the usual pranayama are Anulom Vilom pranayama, Nadi shodan pranayama, and kapalbhati pranayama. While doing these yoga exercises, having the correct yoga mudra is very important.

2. Can Asthma Patient Do Kapalbhati?

Kapalbhati pranayama can prove to become very effective in improving your breathing.

3. Is Hot Yoga Safe for Asthma Patient?

Yes, it is. Hot yoga induces humidity, and heat and these can serve to be beneficial for asthma patients. It helps in improving normal breathing technique and also expands chest and lung capacity.

Asthma cure with yoga is not an option as yoga alone can’t help. It is never recommended to depend on yoga only. You will still need to continue with your medications, more so if your asthma is severe. Yoga can only improve your general health by expanding your lungs and chest capacity; making it easier to inhale and exhale.

Also Read:

Health Benefits of Yoga for Your Entire Family
Yoga Poses for Managing Pain
Tips for Living a Yoga Lifestyle