Reviewed by Suchitra Marwah
Asthma is one of the most common respiratory diseases in today’s world. Almost 300 million people are affected by asthma worldwide.
It is a chronic lung disease that inflames and narrows the airway passage. It causes chest tightness, recurring periods of wheezing, shortness of breath, and coughing.
Environmental changes, global warming and pollution are all causes that contribute to asthma.
Biological factors that cause asthma include family history of the condition, respiratory infections, certain medications, and more.
Not everyone can afford asthma treatment as its medication and therapy are expensive to pay for, but fret not! Yoga and Ayurveda can help you relieve asthma symptoms.
Yoga’s benefits for relieving symptoms of asthma have been backed by scientific evidence as well. A study published in the Ethiopian Journal of Health Science had 24 volunteering asthmatic patients who were divided into two groups – Yoga and controlled group. Both the groups were observed for four weeks.
The Yoga group showed more than a 50% reduction in the usage of medications and the practice led to a 10% increment in the peak expiratory flow (PEFR). Whereas PEFR was only increased 2% in the control group. Yoga exercise had also resulted in a decreased number of day and night attacks.
This was possible because Yoga relaxes the respiratory tract and daily practice for at least 25-30 mins can help promote healthy breathing. With Yoga, asthma does not control you, you control it.
Yoga Poses and Techniques You Should Try for Better Breathing
Here are some of the best Yoga poses you can try to manage asthma better:
Pranayama: Pranayama is said to be one of the best breathing techniques in Yoga. It promotes the clearing of the bronchial tract which promotes better breathing and relieves other symptoms of asthma.
Ujjayi or Victorious Breathing: It helps in improving lung function, especially diaphragmatic breathing leading to better breathing.
Ardha Matsyendrasana or Seated Spinal Twist: This pose stretches your back muscles and reduces tension in the trunk. It also the chest and improves the supply of oxygen to the lungs.
Bhujangasana or Cobra Pose: It provides a conscious opening in the chest and stretches in the shoulders.
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana or Bridge Pose: This pose is like a backbend that opens the chest, heart, and shoulders.
Ardha Matsyendrasana: It restricts asthma from restricting you as it opens the chest and improves the supply of oxygen to the lungs.
Poorvottanasana or Upward Plank Pose: It improves the passage of the respiratory system.
Apart from respiratory benefits yoga has enormous benefits such as:
- Helps in controlling diabetes
- Stimulates the thyroid gland
- Strengthens wrists, arms, back, and spine
- Helps in reducing anxiety and pressure
- Improves blood circulation
- Relieves fatigue
- Improves digestion
- Reduces period pain
A common disease like asthma is not impossible to battle, and in this fight against asthma, Yoga can help in a wide range. Though there might not be a direct connection between Yoga and asthma cure, there is enough proof that it helps in relieving the symptoms and helps you breathe better. Studies have shown that Yoga has resulted in a decreased number of day and night attacks and the usage of expensive drugs. It has also shown a significant improvement in the PEFR. Therefore, if you are someone with asthma, you must consider Yoga as a complementary therapy for the condition.