3th May is World Asthma Day and is the right time to share yoga asana to manage asthma.
It has been well reported by studies that “Yoga exercise among asthmatic patients resulted in a decreased number of day and night attacks and use of drugs. It also shows significant improvement in the peak expiratory flow rate. A further large-scale study is recommended.”
Yoga & Asthma Management
Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
- Lie on your back with your arms at your sides and your feet and palms dropped open.
- Close your eyes and soften your jaw, taking your focus inward.
- Start to focus your attention on your breath and slow it down, making it deep and rhythmic, relaxing every part of your body. Stay in the pose for 5 to 10 minutes, maintaining slow, even breathing.
- If you have trouble lying down on the floor, you can also do this pose on a bed or other flat surface.
- Start seated, with your legs crossed. If you feel some discomfort in your hips or lower back, roll up a towel and place it under your sit bones for extra support.
- Take your right hand and place it on your heart, place the left hand on your belly, and close your eyes.
- Draw in the stomach and lift the chest for good posture. Let out your breath slowly and hold the pose for five minutes, with slow, even breathing.
- Sit straight on a chair if you are not able to sit comfortably on the floor. Remember to keep your back against the back of the chair for a seated mountain pose.
- Start with your arms relaxed at your sides and then reach with your arms over your head and interlace the fingers and hold for 30 seconds to one minute while breathing slowly; lower your arms then repeat several times.
This pose stretches the back muscles, helps you breathe more deeply, and is calming.
- Standing with your legs hip-width apart, fold your body forward, and put a little bend in the knees to relieve any strain in the lower back.
- Fold your arms, holding each elbow with the opposite hand, and let your body hang as you take five deep breaths with your eyes closed.
Note: In case you have low blood pressure or are prone to getting woozy when you bend over, use a chair instead. Either stand in front of the chair and lean forward or grab the back of a chair and bend forward.
Matsyendrasana (Seated Spinal Twist)
This pose promotes targets your torso, back, and respiratory muscles — the diaphragm is helpful in asthma management.
- While seated on the floor or forward on the seat of a chair, place your right hand on the floor or seat of the chair.
- Slowly bring your left hand to the outside of your right knee and lengthen your spine, gently twisting your torso as you move. Gently look over your right shoulder.
- Breathe in and out slowly, inhaling and feeling your spine lengthening and relaxing. Hold for a breath or two and return to center. Repeat on the other side.
- This pose can also be done while lying on your back on the floor. On your mat, bring your knees up to your chest.
- Let your knees fall slowly toward the floor to your right as you gently turn your upper body to the left. If you can, bring your arms up and over to your left as you gently let your head fall to the left.
- Hold this pose for a breath or two and then repeat it on the other side.
This pose helps to stretch the chest and neck muscles.
- Lie on your front on your mat with your feet pointed behind you and place your hands on either side, palms down on the floor, right beneath your shoulders.
- As you begin to lift up, slide your elbows under your shoulders and reach your fingers forward; press your shoulders down as you hold in a sphinx pose.
- If you wish to go further, slowly straighten your arms as you lift your chest up further off the floor.
- Breathe in and out as you gaze in front of you, keeping your chin parallel to the ground with a long spine.
- If this doesn’t feel comfortable, you can modify the pose further by standing and looking up slightly as you inhale and exhale several times, stretching the front of your neck.
- Next, drop your chin to your chest as you exhale to stretch the back muscles of your neck.
Breathing exercises used in yoga have been found to help some people with asthma control breathing and relieve stress, a common asthma trigger.