From physical strength, flexibility and balance, all the way to battling depression and anxiety, yoga has been widely used as a healing tool for almost any physical or psychological ailment. Yoga benefits are well-known and practically impossible to enumerate, but one thing’s for certain: no matter your age, level of fitness or experience, yoga for asthma is a rewarding practice that can improve your health even if you suffer from asthma.
Keep your Asthma under control What Wikipedia Can’t Tell You About Yoga for Asthma
In fact, studies have shown that yoga for asthma has a surprisingly positive effect on your wellbeing when it comes to coping with this respiratory issue. Here are just some of many ways yoga will help you keep your asthma in check.
The power of Pranayama
Prana represents your life force, and the practice of pranayama is comprised of exercises designed to control the breath, to restore balance to your body and your mind alike. Every asana, or yoga pose, includes some form of breath control, but the separate practice of breathing exercises has a whole range of benefits for improving your health and your respiratory wellbeing.
Thanks to regular pranayama exercises, such as sasankasana (the rabbit pose) and anuloma viloma (alternate nostril breathing), you can gain greater control of your breathing, reduce the number of breaths per minute, while increasing the amount of oxygen that enters your bloodstream, which results in a healthier heart, stronger lungs and puts less pressure on your asthma-struck bronchi. In the long run, these techniques will help you put your asthma under control, and breathe more easily.
Some of the simplest yoga asanas are incredibly efficient in providing stress relief within a matter of minutes, by lowering the levels of stress hormones, your blood pressure and also deepening your breath. Gentle stretching and positions that remove tension from your body are ideal for soothing your mind and relaxing your muscles, including your respiratory muscles. A calm nervous system and relaxed respiratory muscles thus lead to fewer and less severe asthma attacks.
However, those who suffer from asthma need to be extra careful when choosing their environment and the suitable positions for their health. It’s essential that you exercise in a room with clean, irritant-free air, which you can ensure with the help of several tools. You can check air purifier ratings online and reviews from other people, and you can even add greenery to the room where you plan to do yoga.
Otherwise, the polluted air will counteract the effects of your efforts. If you suffer from asthma, your safest bet is to practice in an environment you can control to a certain extent, at least in the beginning. Set yourself up with a mat and a quite environment, and start breathing.
Strength and resilience
Despite its seemingly simple and easily controlled movements, yoga can pose quite a challenge even on professional athletes. Using your own bodyweight to perform complex poses while maintaining control over your breath can test your endurance and help you burn calories as any other workout can, but also improve your flexibility, balance, coordination and cognitive capacities.
The greatest perk of yoga for asthma patients is that it’s exercised in a controlled environment and it allows you to gradually progress without putting too much stress on your lungs. In addition, yoga for asthma has a powerful effect on improving your immune system, making you less prone to viruses and colds, thus helping your body fight off the most common triggers of asthma. As your lungs get more powerful, you will feel yourself breathe more easily.
Endurance and fitness
Much like any other form of exercise, yoga positions can be adapted to become increasingly challenging, and progressively require additional effort from your cardiovascular and respiratory system to pump more oxygen into your blood. Although you might easily feel shortness of breath due to your level of fitness and asthma combined, as you increase your weekly amount of physical activity, you’ll notice that everyday activities are no longer as difficult as they used to be.
Uphill walking or climbing the stairs will no longer cause your heartrate to rise quickly, because of your improved stamina and endurance. With stronger lungs and a more vital heart, your body will be less prone to asthma attacks and will tackle them much more easily in those rare instances when they do occur.
Don’t underestimate the profound power this holistic method can have on improving your quality of life, as with regular practice in the right environment and with the help of the right medication, you can say goodbye to everyday asthma issues and enjoy your life to the fullest. Don’t exert yourself too much too soon, and remember to always have your inhaler by your side, in case you do experience and unexpected attack. Yoga will help you feel better, but you can’t expect it to do so after the very first few sessions.
Samantha has a B.Sc. in nutrition, and has spent two years working as a personal trainer. Since then, she has embarked on a mission to conquer the blogosphere. When not in the gym or on the track, you can find her at Ripped(dot)me, or in a tea shop.