Can Yoga Help Relieve Your Asthma?
By Lubna Sheikh on 6th June 2017
If you’ve been to a yoga class, you’ve probably been instructed to focus on your breath. With so much emphasis on inhaling and exhaling, it would seem logical that a regular yoga practice would have benefits for people who have problems with their airways, right?
For years, researchers have been trying to understand if there are benefits of yoga for asthma, and a recent roundup of these studies shows promising evidence that the practice might bring some relief.
Certain yoga poses and breathing practices, called pranayama, might help release suppressed emotion, reduce anxiety and self-consciousness, and relax muscle tension, all of which help asthma sufferers breathe better.
Researchers also say that meditation may also help people with asthma improve their airways and respiratory muscles, which are adversely affected by asthma symptoms. This makes sense because when you’re chilled out, it’s easier to breathe.
- Yoga is a blend of breathing techniques and postures
- Together they work toward healing and stregthening your body
- Anulom Vilom is also known as the alternate breathing technique
Think yoga is all huffing and puffing while you struggle to perform uncomfortable postures? Think again! Yoga is a blend of breathing techniques and postures that work together to heal your body from within and strengthen it from the outside.
A range of breathing techniques, pranayam and asanas help you achieve overall well-being – from calming the mind, reducing stress, boosting metabolism and immunity to balancing hormones and various bodily processes.
This article is dedicated to one of the most widely practiced and most basic breathing techniques of Yoga called Anulom Vilom.
Anulom Vilom, also known as the alternate breathing technique, is excellent for respiratory problems and asthma.
It facilitates proper functioning of the lungs, mitigates stress, lifts up your mood and keeps stress at bay.
Benefits of Anulom Vilom
- Excellent for respiratory issues like asthma and allergies
- Helps in balancing and relaxing the nervous system
- Helps relieve headaches
- Removes toxins from the body
- Builds up stamina in the lungs
- Reduces stress and keeps anxiety and depression at bay
“This yoga pose is perfect for all ages. You must do it at least 60 times, divided throughout the day. The technique is excellent for healing, chakra balancing and getting rid of breathing or respiratory problems. This can be done even after meals. Practicing yoga pose may help speed up the recovery process for those who have recently undergone a surgery. You must start with the stronger nostril. Exhale longer and deeper.” Manisha Kohli from The Yoga Chakra Studio in New Delhi.
How to do Anulom Vilom?
- Always sit in Sukhasana with your hands resting sideways on the knees
- You can also sit in Padmasana
- If you begin from the left then close the right nostril with your right thumb and inhale slowly to fill up your lungs
- Now, exhale slowly from the right nostril
- It is essential to focus on your breath and practice the technique slowly
- Repeat 60 times or for 5 minutes. You can do this any time of the day
- Ensure that your back is straight and shoulders relaxed while you perform the pranayam
Anulom translates to ‘with the grain’ while Vilom stands for ‘against the grain’. This simple breathing exercise – when performed regularly – is known to balance the Tridoshas (three doshas) in the body namely Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
Most ailments are a result of an imbalance in these doshas in the body. Anulom Vilom is probably the easiest and the most effective way to stay fit and healthy.
My name is Lubna and I am a Holistic Food Coach, Natural Chef, Massage Specialist & Yoga teacher. I am passionate about your health and well-being. Now, health and well-being is my life! I practice yoga every morning. I attend and support my community fitness centre and I have recently learned how to swim.