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. Back bending postures open the
chest improving both lung and heart functioning. Practice upper back
bends and chest opening postures if it is harder to exhale during
asthma attacks. Practice forward bends and lower back bending poses
if it is more difficult to inhale. Inverted postures drain excess
mucus from the lungs and balance the immune system. A general yoga
practice reduces stress, physical tension, and muscle tightness and
increases overall feelings of well being by activating the parasympathetic
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.
Yoga is not a substitute
for conventional western medication; please consult your medical professional
before starting a yoga practice.
and chest sequence - a general practice
postures for asthma.
Sit Cari or
reduces stress, calms the mind and helps reduce pain and heal the
Heart Chakra Meditation
'can help asthmatics'
and Breathing Exercises for Asthma
the Path to Holistic Health
for Asthma (pdf)
Asthma in Adults
Techniques for Asthma