Pranayama for asthma
Pranayama means “the breath of life” and it is undoubtedly one of the best healing techniques for asthma.
Practising pranayama regularly helps you to take control of your breath. As a result, your breathing is optimal and effective and your respiratory passages get more opened. Apart from this, your muscles and cells are nourished deeply as they receive more oxygen.
We have provided you with a complete guide to pranayama for asthma
Sitting postures to begin with pranayama
You need to know the 2 types of sitting postures before starting pranayamas. They are:
Sukha Asana (cross legged posture)
You sit in a relaxed way, keeping your back or spine straight. Rest your palms on your folded knees by stretching your hand.
Padma Asana (Lotus pose)
Your legs will be folded like lotus petals. However, avoid sitting on full padma asana (both legs placed over opposite thighs) if you are a beginner. Instead sit with one leg over the opposite thigh while other below.
Different types of pranayamas
Anuloma viloma is also known as alternate nostril breathing. It restores breathing and opens up the airways. You need to learn the breathing technique correctly to reduce frequency of asthma attack.
Sit comfortably in Sukha asana or Padma asana with your eyes shut. Close the right nostril with thumb and inhale through the left nostril. Then close the left nostril with the ring finger and exhale with the right nostril. Now inhale through the right nostril, keeping the left nostril closed. Then close the right nostril with the thumb and breathe out through the left nostril. This is how you alternately use both the nostrils to inhale and exhale.
Also known as bellows breathing, kapalabhati is a cleansing exercise of the body performed by forceful exhalation along with contractions of the stomach.
Sit comfortably in Sukha asana or Padma asana. Depending on your body’s ability to control breathing, you can try the 3 types of bellow breathing techniques.
- The first one entails a gap of one second in between two successive forceful exhalations.
- In the second type, there’s a gap of 30 seconds in between two successive forceful exhalations
- The third type is quite rapid, wherein there’s no gap in between two forceful exhalations.
We suggest you to follow the second type initially and gradually move to the rest two types.
Ujjayi is also known as the victorious breath. It is a complete breathing technique where you smoothly inhale and exhale. The absorbed energy improves your health and performance of the lungs.
Sit comfortably in Sukha asana or Padma asana with your eyes closed. Now inhale air and breathe out with your mouth (not nose) making the sound “HHHAAA”. In the next steps you breathe only through nose.
Raise your hand above your head and join them while breathing in. Contract your abdomen. Breathe out gradually while bringing your hands down. Release your abdomen.
Bhastrika is known as chest pranayama as it’s the only technique where chest breathing is done. A strong surge of air is produced through forceful inhalation and exhalation.
Sit in Sukha asana or Padma asana with your eyes closed. Keep your hands on your thighs and do normal breathing for first few seconds. Now take your hands behind and take a deep long breathe in. You can feel contraction in your abdominal muscles. Bring your hands on your things and breathe out forcefully with a jerk in the nostrils.
Learn these pranayamas under the guidance of a yoga trainer to get best results.
Written by: healthplus24.com team
Date last updated: February 05, 2016