Breathe in Peace: Cure Asthma with Yoga
Asthma is a body condition that causes inflammation of the air passages in the lungs. Basically, the air passages are pathways through which air is circulated in the lungs. Due to the inflammation, the air passages become red and sticky mucus or phlegm is produced; the airways become narrow, making it difficult for people to breathe. Breathing difficulties result in coughing, wheezing, a tight feeling in the chest and shortness of breath. Allergies, pollution, cold air and stress often trigger asthmatic attacks.
The term Asthma is derived from the Greek word aazein, which means panting. According to the Russian scientist, Dr. Konstantin Buteyko, asthma is caused by hyperventilation or over-breathing. The regular practice of some exercises can eliminate the need of drug treatment and subsequently cure this disease. In fact, research reveals that exercises, particular certain yoga poses are quite effective in curing asthma.
In the recent times, one such study was conducted that involved 106 asthma patients (all adults). While half of the participants had undergone strict medication, the other half received yoga training for two weeks. Those who received yoga training kept practicing on their own for years. After a gap of 4 years, it was found that those who were engaged in daily yoga sessions recovered faster. They got a fewer asthma attacks and their lungs functioning improved than those who were on strict medication.
Here is a list of few breathing techniques and yoga poses that can help you counter asthma attacks more effectively:
Basically, yogic breathing techniques help in improving the capacity of the lungs. A few breathing techniques include:
Nadi Shodhan Pranayama (Alternate Nostril Breathing Technique)
This particular breathing technique calms your mind and relieves your body of accumulated stress. It improves respiration and has a healing effect on respiratory tract issues.
Kapal Bhati Pranayama (Skull Shining Breathing Technique)
It energizes your nervous system, relaxes your mind. It also clears all the energy channels or nadis and improves blood circulation in the body.
Other yoga poses that work effectively for asthma are:
Ardha Matsyendrasana (Sitting Half Spinal Twist)
This particular yoga pose helps in increasing the supply of oxygen to the lungs, thereby reducing the probability of asthma attacks.
Pavanamuktasana (Wind Relieving Pose)
It is quite effective for people suffering from asthma. When you perform this pose, the abdominal organs get a massaging effect. This particular pose helps in improving digestion and releasing gas from the body.
Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose)
Regular practice opens up the lungs, chest and reduces thyroid problems. It also helps in improving digestion.
Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
You expand your chest while performing this pose. This particular pose opens up the lungs and improves blood circulation in the body.
Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose)
This particular pose calms the mind, relieves stress and is effective for people suffering from asthma and sinusitis.
Badhakonasana (Butterfly Pose)
This particular pose improves blood circulation in the body, relieves fatigues and works wonders on asthma.
Poorvottanasana (Upward Plank Pose)
Apart from improving the respiratory system, this particular pose stimulates the thyroid glands and strengthens the arms, wrists and spine.
Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
Perform this pose at the end of the yoga session. This is basically the meditative state in which your mind and body become calm and relaxed. Reduced stress and anxiety level help in combating asthma.
When you practice these poses regularly, it reduces the chances of an asthma attack. Yoga practice improves your health condition, enabling you to live life to the fullest.
Caution: You can always seek help from a yoga practitioner who would guide you to follow the steps appropriately. Remember, the steps, if not followed correctly, can have a negative impact on your health.
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