Ask Mathews: Ways to Keep Your Asthma under Control with Yoga

Physical activity has so many benefits for your overall health, and that’s true when it comes to relieving the symptoms of asthma, too. Yoga is definitely one of the most popular types of exercise among asthmatics, simply because it lowers their stress levels and helps them breathe properly, which helps a lot when dealing with asthma on a daily basis. Stay with us and keep on reading if you want to know how to keep your asthma under control with yoga!

Asanas and pranayamas for keeping your asthma under control


In case you didn’t know, asana is the Sanskrit word for physical posture. Basically, it describes specific positions that should be held in a relaxed manner for a long period of time. Many asanas were actually derived from the natural movements of different animals, which is exactly why they carry names like ‘cat’, ‘dog’, ‘tiger’, ‘deer’, etc. In fact, these postures serve as examples from nature on how you can help yourself. On the other hand, pranayama is a term that describes conscious control and regulation of breath, which is particularly important for asthmatics. Pranayamas will improve the absorption of oxygen, strength your lungs and heart, eliminate stress, and bring you inner balance.

Nadi Shodan and Kapal Bhati pranayama to help you calm your mind


Deep yogic breaths are particularly beneficial for asthmatics, since they use the lungs to their maximum capacity and help them learn to breathe correctly. Nadi Shodan, or the alternate nostril breathing technique, is an ideal pranayama for the very beginning of your yoga class. It will calm your mind and help your body relax. Another pranayama is Kapal Bhati, or the skull shining breathing technique. It’s known for energizing the nervous system and relaxing the mind. Apart from that, it also improves blood circulation and clears all the energy channels aka the nadis.

Savasana as a natural asthma relief


Savasana is one of the best yoga poses when it comes to asthma relief, because it lowers your stress levels and allows you to breathe properly. This is how you should do it: lie on your back with your arms at your sides and your palms and feet open. Soften your jaw and close your eyes, and start focusing your attention on your breathing. Once it slows down, make it deep and rhythmic. Stay in this pose for 5 to 10 minutes and you’ll see that every part of your body will relax to the max.

Sukhasana for helping lungs function properly


Sukhasana is another extremely beneficial pose when it comes to asthmatics. Similarly to savasana, it also focuses on proper breathing and stress control, which is exactly why it helps relieve the symptoms of asthma and improves lung functions. If you want to practice sukhasana, you should start seated with your legs crossed. However, if you feel discomfort in your hips or lower back, make sure to roll up a towel and place it under your tailbone for extra support. Then place your left hand on the belly and the right one on your heart, and close your eyes. Lift the chest for good posture, and hold the pose for about 5 minutes, with even and slow breathing.

Pay extra attention to the environment you exercise in


The environment you exercise in has a huge role in lowering your stress levels, and therefore in relieving asthma symptoms which can be linked with stress. Besides that, pleasant environments also have a great effect on blood pressure and overall cardiovascular health. Asthmatics should pay a lot of attention to the environment they practice in, simply because the air needs to be as clean as possible in order for them to function properly. Air purifiers are always a good idea, just don’t forget to look up some air purifier reviews before opting for a particular device!

As you can see, yoga is extremely beneficial for asthmatics, since it relieves the symptoms of this condition and helps you learn to breathe properly. Make sure to learn all pranayamas and asanas that can potentially help you deal with asthma, since that’s one of the best ways to cope with this condition and do something great for your body at the same time!

~ Mathews McGarry, Associate Editor

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