Yoga has long been touted as a beneficial exercise for physical and mental health, but a new study provides evidence that the practice can also be beneficial for people suffering from asthma. We have briefly outlined the benefits herewith in regards to Yoga for asthmatics together with 6 ‘go to’ poses. Researchers at the University of California San Diego compared the lung function of 26 people before and after they performed yoga exercises for six sessions. The participants’ asthma was significantly improved, with their lung capacity increasing by an average of 3.2 percent after the yoga sessions. The researchers say that their findings support the theory that yoga can be a useful complement to conventional treatments for asthma. Another current study seems to go one step further with more positive and enhanced results. This research published in the journal Chest, is the first to prove that yoga can improve asthma sufferers’ lung function by 20%, on average, in just eight weeks.
The researchers say the results suggest that perhaps asthma sufferers should consider incorporating yoga into their treatment regimens. Furthermore Yoga and aerobic exercise are two of the most common complementary health practices among people
with asthma, and both have been shown to improve lung function. Yoga involves physical poses and movements that help to relax the body and mind and, in turn, reduce stress. Yoga has also been shown to improve blood flow to the lungs, which is important for breathing, opening up the lungs and the absorption of oxygen. This reduces the risk of asthma attacks and the need for conventional asthma treatment.
Yoga exercises to try for asthma include The Bridge, Baby Cobra, Supine spinal twist, the Cat Cow, Low Lunge and inversions. These are some of the best and most widely recognised ways to improve lung function and reduce asthma symptoms. If you’re looking for a yoga class that focuses on improving lung function, try Restorative Yoga or Yoga for Asthma. Both of these yoga styles emphasize the lungs and the chest, which are often under active in people with asthma.
The Bridge: Lying on the back on a firm, flat surface, place the soles of the feet on the ground and keep the knees and spine relaxed and extended, while keeping the head and neck straight. Inhale and lift the hips, opening the chest and allowing the belly to expand. This exercise can also simulate digestion while opening the chest.
Baby Cobra: Lie on the stomach on a firm, flat surface, move the torso up and down to lengthen and strengthen the spine, keeping the chest and shoulders open. Inhale and lift the chest. Exhale and lower the chest. This exercise improves spinal flexibility while also encouraging deep breathing.
Supine Spinal Twist: Supine Spinal Twist: Lie on a firm, flat surface with the head turned to the side. Exhale and rotate the spine clockwise. Inhale and rotate the spine counter-clockwise. This exercise strengthens the spine and helps to open the chest, shoulders, and back.
The Cat-Cow , or Chakravakasana improves balance and posture and also ideal for those suffering with back pain.
The synchronized breathing movement also helps you relax and de-stress. Start on your hands and knees with your
hands directly under the shoulders and the knees under the hips. Round the back with each exhale and pull the belly
in to the spine. Gently drop the belly while arching the back with each inhale. Keep your chest open and the neck
elongated. This exercise opens the chest and improves lung capacity. An ideal restorative pose. Attempt to do as
many as you can in one minute.