Yoga for Asthma

Written by Dr. Minakshi Welukar.

As proved effective in other illnesses, yoga is equally beneficial in controlling symptoms of asthma. Yoga and breathing techniques improve total lung capacity and facilitate easier breathing in those suffering with asthma.

yoga for asthma

Asthma is a chronic lung disease characterized by the narrowing of airway and airflow obstruction. An asthmatic attack can be trigger by an allergen such as pollen, dust or just seasonal change. It causes extra mucus production that blocks the airways. Subsequently you experience shortness of breath, chest tightness and coughing.

Focus of yoga on breathing helps to build-up lung capacity and improve oxygen availability. Also yogic asanas are a great way to build body stamina and immunity to fight against an asthma triggering allergen.

There is no permanent cure for asthma, and patients have to relay on steroidal medication or always carry a pump to combat with symptoms. Yogic breathing exercises with a particular focus on lungs can help you how to breathe effectively and reduce severity of asthma symptoms.

Yoga offers the following health benefits to those with asthma:

Improve Pulmonary Function

According to a study published in the Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, yoga breathing exercises significantly improves pulmonary (lung) function in any patients with bronchial asthma.

A randomized control trial found out statistically significant improvement in pulmonary function tests in asthmatic people under yoga breathing training. Hence yoga breathing exercises can be used adjunctively with standard drug therapy for betterment of lung function in asthmatic.

Reduce Frequency of Asthmatic Attack

In one clinical trial, yoga therapy has shown an excellent impact in reducing the frequency of day-and-night attacks in asthma sufferer. A study published in Ethiopian Journal of Health Science has also pointed out that regular yoga reduces the need of taking anti-asthmatic drug dosages and improves lung function.

Improve Quality of Life

Adults with asthma showed improved quality of life and reduced asthmatic symptoms with regular practice of yoga, (reported on Medical News Today). Initial warm-ups, deep breathing and stretching done in a ten weeks regimen helps to improve overall health, daily life and well-being in those who suffer from asthma.

Here are some yoga poses that are beneficial to asthmatic patients:

Bridge Pose

Bridge pose, a Setu bandha sarvangasana, stretches your chest muscles and opens it. This action favors easier breathing and improves lung capacity.

Seated Spinal Twist

Seated spinal twist, or Ardha Matsyendrasana, energizes the spine and opens your chest. This supports to increase oxygen supply to the lungs and improve blood purification.

Corpse Pose

Corpse pose, shavasana, where body assume like a dead position impose relaxing impact on an overall body. As every single organ is in a relaxed state required less oxygen to carry out activities. This gives rest to respiratory system and hence asthmatic patient enjoy a calming effect on a body.

Alternate Nostril Breathing

Alternate Nostril Breathing, Anuloma Viloma purifies the nadies and brings balance between your body and mind, reported by Yoga Vidya Gurukul. Anuloma Viloma, the practice of alternate nostril breathing, ensures availability of more oxygen per breath. This helps to supply more oxygen and remove carbon dioxide from your body. Hence it is good for asthma patients who have lower oxygen supply and higher carbon dioxide retention.

Deep Breathing

Deep breathing, a practice of prolong inhalation and exhalation, makes breathing more efficient. It stretches the intercostal muscles of your ribs and diaphragm leading to chest expansion. Enhanced movement of a diaphragm gives a good massage to your lungs and improves total lung capacity.

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