8 Effective Yoga Asanas To Control and Manage Asthma – Femina

Despite innumerable medical advances we’ve made in the last few decades, asthma – its causes and cures – still remains a mystery. Asthma, which affects the lungs by constricting the airways and making it harder for the person to breathe, is a by-product of many factors, some physiological and others because of environmental conditions.

In simple terms, asthma is a very strong response of the body’s immune system to fight the infiltration of substances in the lungs. Although there is no cure for asthma, leading a healthy lifestyle is credited to alleviating the problem to a point where the symptoms are almost negligible – and practising yoga asanas for asthma is observed to be especially helpful.
Yoga helps in strengthening the lungs as it focuses on not only holding the asana but breathing through the same, allowing the respiratory system to work while the body is in unnatural poses. This in turn strengthens it. Practising yoga asanas for asthma has helped control asthma effectively and in some cases, asanas are used for preventing asthma attacks altogether.
Here are a few yoga asanas for asthma that are very beneficial in controlling and managing asthma.
Sukasana Pose (Easy Pose)
Sukhasana, the easy cross-legged sitting posture, broadens the collarbones and chest. It focuses entirely on breathing control and is, in fact, a great workout for the lungs. It uses the abdominal breathing technique which is the foundation of all yoga asanas.
Tip: Sukasana also helps in relaxing the mind and controlling stress, which is also a trigger for asthma.
Nadi Shodhan Pranayama (Alternate Nostril Breathing Technique) for Asthma
Even a few minutes of practising this yoga asana for asthma patients is helpful. It involves inhaling from one nostril and exhaling through the other and repeating the exercise by changing the sides. It is credited with purifying the blood of toxins, regulating oxygen supply.
Tip: It is advisable to complete 9 rounds of breathing alternatively through each nostril. This pranayama can be performed multiple times in a day.
Dandasana (Staff Pose) for Asthma
Dandasana or the staff pose looks simple but is effective in alleviating the symptoms of asthma. This pose helps by stretching the chest, strengthening the core and muscles of the back. Breathing in this pose is challenging which thereby helps strengthen the lung muscles.
Tip: One way to ensure your back remains upright is by taking support against the wall.
Upavistha Konasana (Seated Wide Angle Pose) for Asthma
This pose requires hinging from the hip with the legs wide open thereby lengthening the upper body while completely stretching the chest and back. Breathing while holding this asana helps in improving lung functioning.
Tip: This asana gives the best results when performed on an empty stomach, preferably in the morning.
Uttanasana (Forward Bend Pose) for Asthma
This asana essentially stretches the muscles of the hamstring and the abdomen and requires bending from the hip. At this point your body switches from sympathetic to the parasympathetic nervous system, helping you relax. It also helps open up lungs and helps in alleviating the symptoms of asthma.
Tip: It is advisable to hold this position for at least five deep breaths before coming back to the normal position.
Baddhakonasana (Butterfly Pose) for Asthma
Although this pose works on the deepest part of the hips the most, the asana requires the back to be stretched and the chest forward and expanded. This in turn helps in breathing. It is advisable to stay in this asana for 6 to 8 breaths with inhalations.
Tip: For making the position more comfortable, especially if you are a beginner, use blocks under your thighs or knees.
Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose) for Asthma
This is a backward bend asana that gives a deep stretch in the neck, the throat, the chest and the lungs. In the final bridge pose, hold this position for a few breaths. During inhalation, let the chest open up and fill the stomach with air. The stomach shrinks and the chest contracts during exhalation.
Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose) for Asthma
Bhujangasana or the Cobra pose is great for relieving lower back pain, boosting energy and overall mood. It is one of the best yoga asanas for asthma patients as it provides a good opening in the chest and throat and facilitates easy breathing.
Tip: Avoid straining your back by finding a height that you can work with comfortably.
A. Asthma is a condition that affects the lungs by inflaming the airways that carry air in and out of your lungs. It is often a response of one’s immune system against foreign substances present in the lungs which could range from allergens in the surrounding environment to viral infections that one contracts in the early stages in life when the immune system is not fully developed. In some cases, people are even genetically predisposed to have asthma. Many such factors make asthma a disease that cannot be cured permanently. However, it can be controlled to a point where it becomes negligible. Regularly practising yoga helps in managing the symptoms.
A. Pop culture has made us think that yoga is about mastering difficult asanas like the handstand and headstand. Sure, it entails putting the body in unnatural poses, but it is actually breathing through these varied exercises that makes yoga beneficial. Many poses enhance the body’s respiratory system by working the lungs and helping in increasing their capacity. Improved breathing also helps in enhanced circulation, restoring hormonal balance, etc. Yoga utilizes abdominal, clavicular, and thoracic breathing techniques. The way we inhale and exhale while performing yoga also helps in improving our breathing.
A. The exact cause of asthma is unknown. While the disease is mild for some, for others, the symptoms are severe, often leading to asthma attacks. Here are the most important factors that contribute to asthma:

A. Genetic predisposition: Some people are genetically predisposed to get asthma as it runs in the family.

B. Allergens: Asthma develops in the early stages of life when one’s immune system is not fully developed. In such stages, when someone comes in contact with environmental pollutants or allergens or is exposed to viral infections, it is likely to trigger a strong response resulting in asthma. When it comes to adult-onset asthma, the cause can usually be narrowed down to exposure to certain chemicals or even dust. People with seasonal allergies, too, face asthma symptoms due to changes in weather conditions or when exposed to seasonal allergens like pollen.

Respiratory diseases: People who develop respiratory diseases or infections as children are prone to asthma as they have compromised lung functions (inflammation and lung tissue damage) when compared to others.
A. Asthma cannot be reserved, however, it can be controlled to a point where it is almost negligible. Many people with asthma can go about living their lives very normally. When it comes to treatment, precaution is the best plan of action. It is advisable to identify your triggers and avoid them. Many people’s asthma is a response to being exposed to dust, pollens, animal hair, environmental pollution, smoking (even passive), and cold air. In some people, excessive physical activities like running for a longer duration can also trigger asthma. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and being mindful of one’s triggers are the best ways to avoid asthma.
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8 Effective Yoga Asanas To Control and Manage Asthma
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2 thoughts on “8 Effective Yoga Asanas To Control and Manage Asthma – Femina”

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