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Yoga and Asthma

Several studies have shown Yoga to be a powerful therapy in reducing the frequency and intensity of asthma attacks. I also found that when I'm practicing Yoga regularly, I can decrease my prescription meds.

Yoga is all about pranayama (breathing), which is great for meditation, but it's also good for your lungs. It increases the lung’s airflow, air capacity, stamina, and efficiency.

You can practice different pranayama techniques, they all have great names. One of my favorites is Breath of Fire, where you do quick exhalations out your nose, which pumps your abdominal muscles, and releases stagnant air from the body.

You can also practice inhaling deeply, and holding the breath in for a few seconds (or as long as you can), and then exhaling and holding your body empty for a few seconds (or more). Do this a few times and make sure you're not holding the breath too long - you shouldn't feel stressed or uncomfortable.

Certain poses can be beneficial if you suffer from asthma too. Want to see which ones? Then

Back bending postures open the chest, improving both lung and heart functioning. If your trouble during an asthma attack is exhaling, practice upper back bends and chest opening postures like Wheel and Camel regularly. Practice forward bends and lower back bending poses if it is more difficult to inhale during an attack. Don't do these during an attack though, just add them into your daily exercise routine (you exercise regularly, right?)

Inverted postures like headstands and Downward Facing Dog pose can also help drain excess mucus from the lungs and balance the immune system.

Relaxation poses like Savasana (lying on your back) can also help to regulate the breath and reduce anxiety, to help prevent an attack, or help you stay calm during an attack.

Fit's Tips: If you want to learn more about how Yoga can help asthma, check out this book called Yoga Beats Asthma ($14.71 through Amazon).

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