General Health

Yoga Poses for Asthma Relief: Step by Step Guide

Yoga is a wonderful discipline with a spectrum of physical and mental health benefits for the human body. One of the important benefits of yoga include breathing relief for asthma patients. The traditional calming concept of Yoga helps in opening up the lungs, increase lung capacity, and regaining regular breathing to decrease the intensity and recurrence of asthma episodes.

This article enlists nine beneficial yoga poses for the benefit of asthmatics.

Sukhasana

This pose is very light on the human body and is usually performed along with deep breathing exercises.

Steps:

  1. Sit down on the ground with your back firmly erect.
  2. Cross the legs and bring the knees slowly to the ground.
  3. Take deep breaths to calm the mind and the body.

Nadi Shodhan Pranayama

The words ‘Nadi Shodhana’ involves the inhaling and exhaling actions and refers to cleaning up the channels of circulation with the aim of maintaining an energy balance and regulating airflow via the nasal passages.

Steps:

  1. Sit upright with chest wide, shoulders broad, and back erect.
  2. The left palm should be on the lap, and the right hand should be in front of you.
  3. Place the right index and middle fingers in the space between the brows. The thumb and ring finger are the fingers used for this pose.
  4. Close the eyes gradually and take a deep breath, then relax.
  5. Inhale from the left nostril while closing the right nostril with the right thumb.
  6. Close the left nostril with the ring finger. Retain the breath for a few seconds while closing both the nostrils.
  7. Open the right nostril and gently exhale from the right nostril
  8. Gradually inhale from the right nostril, closing both the nostrils
  9. Now open the left nostril and breathe out through it.

Upavistha Konasana (or Seated wide-angle Pose)

Steps

  1. With palms on the floor, sit straight with legs extended out at 90 degrees.
  2. Extend your legs as far as possible to the sides. Point the toes up and flex your feet.
  3. Press through your big toe mounds and root down with your femurs.
  4. Exhale and bend at your hips, moving your hands forward and bringing your body to the floor between your knees, inhaling and lengthening your spine.
  5. Maintain a straight back and avoid bending the spine.
  6. Return to your original position slowly.

Kapalabhati

Kapalabhati pranayama comprises rapid and strong exhalations followed by long, calm inhalations.

Steps:

  1. Sit straight. Put your hands on your knees, palms towards the ceiling.
  2. Inhale slowly and deeply.
  3. Pull your navel back against your spine as you exhale. Do as much as you are able. To feel the abdominal muscles contract, place your right hand on your stomach.
  4. Breathing flows into your lungs effortlessly as you relax the navel and abdomen.
  5. One round of Kapal Bhati requires 20 such breaths.
  6. Relax with your eyes closed after finishing the round and pay attention to the feelings in your body.

Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)

Steps:

  1. Start with your hands at your hips on the mat.
  2. Tilt from the hips, not the lower back, by bending your knees slightly and bending your body over your legs.
  3. Your hands may settle adjacent to your feet or in front of you on the ground.
  4. To stretch your spine, inhale and expand your chest.
  5. Exhale and slowly straighten both legs without hyperextending them. Raise your kneecaps and gently rotate your inner thighs back.
  6. Stretch your torso down on an exhale without curving your back. Draw your shoulders down your back toward your hips while lengthening your neck and lowering the top towards the ground.

Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)

Steps:

  1. On a plain surface, lie down on your front.
  2. Look ahead with your feet together and toes against the floor.
  3. Keep your palms beside your chest now.
  4. With your elbows pointed upwards, keep your arms tight to your body.
  5. Raise your shoulders with your arms and raise your chest like a push-up.
  6. Raise your torso with your arms’ strength. Look up while holding your breath.
  7. Maintain this posture for at least 15-20 seconds.
  8. Exhale now and slowly lower yourself to the beginning position.
  9. Take a deep breath and relax.

Author

Pooja Toshniwal Paharia

Dr. Pooja Toshniwal Paharia is a Consultant Oral and Maxillofacial Physician and Radiologist, M.DS (Oral Medicine and Radiology) from Mumbai. She strongly believes in evidence-based radiodiagnosis and therapeutic regimens for benign, potentially malignant, or malignant lesions and conditions either arising from the oral and maxillofacial structures or manifesting in the associated regions.

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