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Breathe Easy

  • Published at 03:46 pm August 16th, 2018
Yoga

5 yoga poses to alleviate asthma

Asthma is a chronic lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways one breathes through. The inflammation makes the airways swollen and very sensitive to certain inhaled substances. When the airways react, the muscles around them tighten. This narrows the airways further, causing less air to flow into the lungs. The swelling also can worsen, making the airways even narrower. Cells in the airways might make more mucus than usual. This chain reaction can result in asthma symptoms. Asthma causes recurring periods of wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath and coughing.  

Yoga therapy is known to cure asthma and not just manage it. In particular, it lessens the allergic reaction in lungs. It helps in calming down the stressed muscles in your chest; it allows you to breathe more effortlessly. Practicing pranayama or breathing exercise, you are able to control your breathing much better as breathing very fast is one of the major problems of on asthma patient. Although you are breathing fast, the oxygen is not being absorbed by your body. Practicing pranayama would not only improve your breathing but also allow you to control it better. You are able to inhale from the diaphragm. Yoga can help to calm and de-stress your body and prevent the severe impact of an asthma trigger.


Bhastrika Pranayama

This pranayama is done using the full force of the diaphragm and abdomen. It is the best exercise for clearing mucus from the respiratory system. 

Sit comfortably in the crossed legged posture. Place hands on the knees and relax all your muscles, focus and meditate on the breathing pattern for few minutes. Now, breathe in air forcefully through both nostrils, until your lungs are completely full. Breathe out with force, making a hissing sound. This pranayama can be done for 3 to 5 minutes a day.



Alternate Nostril Breathing

This pranayama purifies the mind and body, brings balance to the body and mind. It provides proper oxygen supply and removes carbon dioxide effectively, improving efficiency of the lungs to take up the oxygen.

Sit in a comfortable crossed legged position. Rest your left palm on your left knee, moving your right hand towards the nose. Using the right thumb, softly close the right nostril and inhale through the left nostril, then close it with your finger and hold. Now exhale slowly through the right nostril. With right nostril open, inhale and close it with the thumb and hold. Exhale through the left nostril. Once your exhalation is complete, inhale through the left. Hold before moving to the right. Repeat this pattern five to ten times and release the right hand to the right knee. The time ratio of inhalation, retention and exhalation are 1:4:2.


Fish Pose

 It is one of the best postures for opening up the upper body, and good for respiratory systems to create more room for oxygen.

Lie on your back with your hand under your lower back. Now inhale, press into your elbows to lift your head and prop the top of the head against the mat. Keep normal breath and hold the posture from 30 seconds to 1 minute.


Bridge Pose

This pose is very effective for asthma patients. It keeps your body balanced by opening up your chest and lungs.

Lie on your back and bend the knees such that the feet are flat, the thighs and feet should be parallel and keep your hands on the sides at this stage. Inhale, lift up your hips and support your back with hands. Retain the head and shoulders on the floor and lift the hips up as much as possible, ensure you get a nice arch of the upper back as well, keep normal breath and hold this posture for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Gently release the hands, back and relax.


Camel Pose

This pose stretches the chest and helps your body to expand, tone and relax the airways.

Sit on your knees, keeping your upper body straight. Slowly arch backward towards your toes, trying to keep your chest parallel to your legs. Place your hands on your heels and bend your neck backward. Hold the posture for 30 seconds to 1 minute and breathe normally. Now gently release your hands and lie down.


Tips    

  • Use allergy proof covers on pillows and mattresses and avoid dust.     

  • Avoid areas where people smoke.    

  • Pay attention to air quality.    

The writer is a Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance, USA. Check out his website at www.saldinyoga.com