Several studies have shown yoga to be a powerful adjunct therapy to reduce the frequency and intensity of asthma attacks as well as to decrease medication use. Consistent practice of yoga postures and pranayama (breathing exercises) increases the lung’s airflow, air capacity, stamina and efficiency.
Pranayama cultivates the ability to maintain a relaxed and controlled breath that can prevent or reduce asthma attacks. Pranayama exercises should be practiced according to what usually triggers the asthma attacks. Dirga pranayama is for all conditions and will encourage slow deep breathing patterns. For stress and emotional upsets use Nadi Sodhana, for asthma triggered by cold air practice Ujjayi pranayama, and for allergic arthritis use Sit Cari or Shitali pranayamas. To help strengthen the lungs and reduce mucus congestion use Kapalabhati pranayama, practicing it very slowly and gently in short durations.
Meditation reduces stress, calms the mind and helps relax the lungs and heal the body. Use one of the following by itself and/or at the beginning and end of your yoga practice: Yoga Meditation, Heart Chakra Meditation, Mantra Meditation.
Yoga is not a substitute for conventional western medication; please consult your medical professional before starting a yoga practice.