Yoga for Asthma

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Yoga has a range of benefits that can help in surprising ways. One of these ways is to improve the lives of asthma sufferers which is a debilitating breathing condition and can significantly lower the quality of life endured by its sufferers. Here are the benefits of yoga for those suffering from yoga.

By helping asthma sufferers to stay calm, slow their breathing, and relieve the stress they can improve their mental and physical health in dealing with the condition. While it can’t be said to be a cure, it can be noted that it helps alleviate the suffering of asthma sufferers. So it should be seen as a preventative measure that helps sufferers deal with an existing condition by calming the mind and inhaling deeply in a controlled manner. Exposure to allergens and toxins might set off an asthma attack but it is how it is dealt with that is the crucial matter that must be dealt with.

Breath awareness is the key to dealing with this issue. Regular stretching of the muscles that involve breathing is a good idea because it helps the asthma sufferer to relax during an attack which is vital for dealing with this unfortunate event. And then of course there are the other health benefits of yoga such as developing a better mind and body which puts the asthma sufferer in a better position to deal with life’s challenges.

Yoga exercises for asthma should be aimed at opening up the throat and chest in order to promote breathing. Other exercises that develop the shoulders and chest would be of benefit as well but here are some that can help you deal with asthma and its consequences.

The Bound Angle Pose is called Baddha Konasana.By sitting on the floor with the ankles facing each and the legs tucked in as far as is possible this should aid in breathing in a controlled and relaxed manner. Obviously it’s not possible for everyone to have their legs lying on the ground flat when doing this pose so a lot of practice will be necessary to master this pose.

The Bow Pose or Dhanurasana is far more challenging but is highly beneficial. By lying on the floor with your chest on the ground you grab your ankles after bending your legs. You then pull your head and chest off the ground and hold the pose. It takes concentration and controlled breathing to hold this pose and it’ll be highly beneficial for the back as well. Concentrate on opening up your chest and make sure to breathe as deeply as possible in order to improve your breathing technique.

The Bridge Pose is a relatively easy pose that is suitable for beginners and can aid in relaxing your breathing. Simply lie on the floor with your back on the ground. Bend your knees in order to support yourself and push up your hips off the ground as high as they’ll go. See how long you can hold the pose. A good target is 10 seconds as this will enable you to concentrate on quality, not quantity. 

The Camel Pose is otherwise known as Ustrasana and this pose will really up the chest to maximum advantage and will help to develop your deep breathing technique. To attain the correct pose you should first get on your knees and then grab your ankles with your hands. The toes should stay on the ground and then lean your head and shoulders back as far as possible. This is a great opportunity to breathe in and out as deeply as possible in a controlled manner so make sure you do so slowly and as deeply as possible.

The Cat Pose or Marjaryasana is one of the simplest poses in all of yoga. Simply put your knees on the ground, lean over and support your upper body by placing the palms of your hand on the ground. The next step is to lift your chest as high as it can go while holding the position and breathing in as deeply as possible. Concentrate on breathing as deeply as possible and repeat as many times as you like but make sure the emphasis is on maximizing breath control and developing calmness.

The Cobra Pose, otherwise known as  Bhujangasana is another simple pose that can assist with deep breathing thus producing calmness and alleviating stress. Lie on the ground with your chest facing downwards. Place your hand’s palm facing downwards by our shoulders. Use these to push your upper body off the ground so as to form a curl with your head arched back as far as possible. This should really open up your shoulders and chest and really enable you to breathe deeply as possible. Make sure to breathe slowly and deeply as possible. It’s a relatively easy pose to hold so the emphasis should be on concentrating the mind at the moment using exemplary breathing techniques that really bring about a sense of calmness and awareness to the practitioner of this iconic pose.

Of course, asthma can’t be cured by yoga alone so other measures should be sought out as well to alleviate it. Consulting with a medical doctor is obviously an important step as is diet. Full research should be conducted to see if yoga does indeed have a net beneficial effect and the overwhelming answer is that it can be valuable support in helping you deal with the condition. Yoga practitioners should make sure they practice in an ideal environment that includes appropriate music, incense, and a helpful teacher who understands yoga and the benefits that it can bring. Make sure to master the easier poses first and learn to use this opportunity to fully develop deep breathing, concentration, and calmness. This is especially useful when an asthma attack develops. 

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The good news is that asthma can be overcome as my brother proved. My brother suffered from a condition in his childhood and had a ventilator. Within about 10 years or so he had developed his fitness to the point where he had joined the special forces in the military and was able to carry massive loads over long distances. He could do this because he had developed his breathing technique so if yoga can do that then it should be taken seriously by anyone looking to alleviate their suffering.

Nick Hanlon

I'm an Aussie interested in topical issues.

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