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Yoga for Asthma and Bronchitis

Written by: mec-mec

Yoga is a system inclusive of physical and mental training that can benefit people of all ages. It involves Asanas (body postures) and Pranayama (art of breath control), among which of its physical uses are to reduce stress-related conditions, help with circulatory and respiratory disorders such as Asthma and Bronchitis, and improve over-all health.

Asthma and Bronchitis are two chronic lung ailments that can cause damage to the lungs. These should be treated immediately to avoid any complications.

Yoga for Asthma and Bronchitis

Asthma

This is a very common respiratory complaint, which involves a severe narrowing of the bronchial tubes (bronchi). These tubes lead from the windpipe – called the trachea – into the lungs and they carry the oxygen we breathe in to all parts of the lungs and provide a path for the carbon dioxide to escape up the trachea when we breathe out. This narrowing of the bronchi causes difficulty in breathing, specifically when breathing out.

The typical attack is characterized by a sudden shortness of breath and wheezing, also sometimes accompanied by coughing. The bringing up of phlegm is not a prominent part of the attack, but if it occurs, the patient may also have Bronchitis. Asthma attack is triggered by infections like common cold and sinusitis, irritants or allergens breathed in like fumes and dust, food allergens, psychological changes, physical exertion, and even medicinal drugs. Identifying the causes and treating the symptoms early on can help prevent attacks and make it worse.

Yoga for Asthma and Bronchitis

Bronchitis

Bronchitis is a more critical lung ailment compared to Asthma – a Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)– and is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. This is a serious infection of the lungs and bronchial tubes, which can become chronic. Breathing polluted air and smoking are mainly responsible for this ailment.

This particular disorder has inflamed bronchial tubes caused by a bacterial or viral infection. It may develop suddenly, following a head cold (acute Bronchitis), or it may persist or return regularly for many years, causing progressive degeneration of bronchi and lungs (chronic Bronchitis). The color of the sputum (phlegm) shows how serious the form of chronic Bronchitis is. On one hand, initial symptoms for acute Bronchitis include head cold, running nose, fever and chills, aching muscles, and possibly back pain. The most obvious feature that follows is persistent cough. On the other hand, chronic Bronchitis is characterized by cough with sputum (phlegm), and other symptoms depend on how much or how little emphysema is present.

Certain people are more susceptible than others; men are more so than women, outnumbering them ten to one – the reasons why are unclear. Smokers are 50 times more likely to get chronic Bronchitis than non-smokers. Generally, it occurs with greater frequency in winter, in damp, cold climates, and in heavily polluted environments. Chilling, overcrowding, fatigue, and excessive smoking are contributory factors.

Yoga Exercises including the poses, breathing, and relaxation techniques put you in control of your mind and emotions, making you more relaxed and allowing you to breathe easier. This will also help your lungs work better and enhance airflow during Asthma attacks.

Here are the Yoga poses to help you feel better and take control over Asthma and Bronchitis, together with proper medication and your doctor’s help:

Seated Poses - Easy Pose (Sukhasana) Easy Pose (Sukhasana)
This is one of the classic Meditative Poses and is usually performed after doing the Corpse Pose. The Easy Pose helps in straightening the spine, slowing down metabolism, promoting inner tranquility, and keeping your mind still.

Warm-Up Poses - Shoulder Lifts Shoulder Lifts
Many people hold tension in their necks and shoulders, leading to stiffness, bad posture, and tension headaches. Yoga practice can ease tension, increase flexibility, and tone the muscles. This section covers the steps on how to practice Shoulder Lifts.

Twist Yoga Poses - Half Spinal Twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana) Half Spinal Twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana)
If done properly, the Half Spinal Twist lengthens and strengthens the spine. It is also beneficial for your liver, kidneys, as well as adrenal glands. Practice this Yoga Pose under the supervision of a Yoga instructor. In this section, learn how to perform the Half Spinal Twist.

Supine Poses - Wind Relieving Pose (Pavanamuktasana) Wind Relieving Pose (Pavanamuktasana)
The term Pavanamuktasana comes from the Sanskrit word 'pavana' which means air or wind and 'mukta' which means freedom or release. The Wind Relieving Pose works mainly on the digestive system. specifically, it helps in eliminating excess gas in the stomach.

Yoga Exercise - Corpse Pose (Savasana) Yoga Exercise - Corpse Pose (Savasana)
The Corpse Yoga Pose is considered as a classic relaxation Yoga Pose and is practiced before or in between Asanas as well as a Final Relaxation. While it looks deceptively simple, it is actually difficult to perform. Learn more on how to do it with the help of this article.

Anuloma Viloma Anuloma Viloma
Anuloma Viloma is also called the Alternate Nostril Breathing Technique. In this Breathing Technique, you inhale through one nostril, retain the breath, and exhale through the other nostril. Learn how to do this technique for beginners by following the steps found in this article.

Relaxation Yoga Pose Relaxation Pose
There are three parts to proper relaxation - physical, mental and spiritual relaxation. Relaxation Yoga Pose relaxes your body and mind, and makes you feel refreshed after doing the asanas and the pranayamas.This is why it is an essential part of Yoga practice.


The general lifestyle involved in Yoga serves as a good therapy for respiratory problems. A healthy diet can build your resistance against cold, allergies, and other environmental causes of Asthma, Bronchitis, and other chronic respiratory disorders. It also promotes a non-smoking lifestyle.


According to Yoga philosophy, a calm mind produces regular breathing and a relaxed body. So, breathing exercises can definitely help people with Asthma and Bronchitis.

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Article Comments
yogitonmoy
Friday 7th March 2008 at 9:32:12 PM  

First of all, Sun- Salutation is not suitable for Asthma patients, as it takes a lot of strength and stamina to perform. Asthma patients are very week because of their poor lung functioning and they cannot eliminate the entire carbon dioxide from the body in their normal breathing. The simple warm-up exercises that included in http://www.abc-of-yoga.com/info/warm-up-poses.asp are good enough for them. We also can include some deep-breathing exercises according to the requirement of the patient.
Secondly, we should include few postures that involve in expending of chest, such as: Matsyasana or Fish pose, Ustrasana or camel pose, Bhujangasana or Cobra pose etc. These are very helpful to strengthen inter-costal muscles; breathing becomes fuller, so increase breathing capacity of lungs.

Thanks
Yogacharya Tonmoy
www.yogitonmoy.page.tl

g.smitha
Tuesday 17th August 2010 at 12:06:52 PM  

my age is 28 and my weight is 45 iam suffering allergy and i want to weight gain what can i do

sarah
Tuesday 19th October 2010 at 8:08:45 PM  

to yogitonmoy-I am not sure why you think asthma patients are weak. I have asthma and also does my brother, we are far from weak. I take it you DO NOT have asthma. I have rollerbladed marathons and run 4 to 5 times a week. In the past my chest would hurt and my back ache from trying to breath so hard! Through breathing exercises, watching your weight and staying in shape. As of now I am far from weak.

Early
Sunday 9th January 2011 at 3:16:25 PM  

I have asthma also. I just retired from the Army. Asthma can be in many different forms, have different causes, and different triggers as well as severities. Yogitonmy is correct in what asthma does however. The reason for chest and back pain is from your muscles straining to work your diaphram in order to create both positive and negative pressure in your lungs. Although, there are no NON medical treatment for asthma and COPD, yoga and similar exercises if done properly and CONSISTANTLY can reduce the onset, frequencey, and severity of a coughing attack. And, for those of us with asthma or COPD, ANY, ANY relief is good.

lm hemalatha
Thursday 28th April 2011 at 1:04:10 PM  

I am lady yoga teacher.regular doing yogasanas and pranayama and doing some diet we can fully control asthama.from 3 years i treated many ladies.main thing diet plus yoga both are very important. And also always drinking hot water is very important for asthama patients.

dechendema
Wednesday 4th May 2011 at 6:24:43 AM  

i m also suffering from asthma n feeling very difficult to breath and frequently suffering that time i get chest pain and throat pain and shoulder and cough and doctor told me to use mouth spray is there any effect for health as some of my friend use tell me not to use n not good for health i mean it will be a habit to use but i don;t use more when i feel very difficult to breath that time i use please is there any way to cure this asthma disesa.

V. K. Misra
Sunday 8th May 2011 at 12:24:21 PM  

I have asthma problem since last one years please advise me which is best treatment to safe of asthma, & which precoursion is neccessary for asthma.

V. K. Mishra
9210913004

kapil
Tuesday 10th May 2011 at 12:33:24 AM  

hi dear i had pneumonia at the childhood,i belong to a strong and healthy background,but now i have grown up with strong muscles by doing pranayam and yogasana.and i am an athlete of track and field also.so no need to worry.just kill your negative thoughts and convert your weak lungs into strong lungs by doing exercises and pranayama.thanks

Ranveer Singh
Friday 20th May 2011 at 12:01:23 PM  

I have bronchitis asthma problem since last six months. Please advise me for necessary treatment and precautions. Also tell me cunsume of liquire and smoking is very dangerious for me.

Aravind
Sunday 19th June 2011 at 10:19:23 AM  

One of my nostril ( either right or left )is always blocked through out the year and hence i am unable to do anulom vilom pranayama. I have even tried warm up exercises to relieve my nose block - which has not helped. Can anyone guide me with a solution... Thanks in advance

immaculate
Monday 20th June 2011 at 8:15:11 AM  

what can i do to add weight and not having ashhma attrack a very time

amitava
Wednesday 22nd June 2011 at 12:46:07 AM  

ARVIND
try NASAPAN ,Take some luke warm water in your palm ,throuh your open nostrail drink that water slowly,hope things will improve

vinod
Thursday 18th August 2011 at 9:46:37 PM  

I have chest heavyness and have to breathe hard especially during inhalation. There is no sound of wheezing from the lungs but I feel gastric problem. Dr. gave me symptomatic treatment that it could be bronchial asthama and prescribed medicine for the same but those medicine had no effect. please suggest next course of action

srinivas
Sunday 18th September 2011 at 12:04:01 PM  

I am suffering asthma last 10 years. I used lot of medicine in homeopathy and English medicine but it is not cured my health. so please give me suggestion how to improve my health from this disease.

viji
Wednesday 16th November 2011 at 9:52:54 AM  

can you present a video for curing/controlling over the asthma.

kalyanasundaram
Monday 19th December 2011 at 6:20:59 AM  

I hve Been practicing yoga for bronchiol brblems and stiffness in the chest , once i got recvere d quickly but persists same even i do yoga everyday.

ghanashyam
Monday 6th February 2012 at 7:12:22 PM  

i have brochitis problems since last 11 months, please suggest me .


 
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