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There’s help for Asthma in Yoga

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When one thinks of Yoga, they automatically think of seemingly impossible
poses or exercise. However, Yoga is more than that. It is a tool for
aiding with several ailments and for asthma patients it can be very

Yoga for Asthma

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Perhaps it was predestined that I should have had asthma as a kid,
discover Yoga as an adult, correct my respiratory health with it and now
be blessed to write about my experiences with using Yoga (amongst other
things) to control my asthma symptoms.

If this is the case, then I am honored. Either way it goes, I can say
with much confidence that based on my experiences, one helpful exercise
for alleviating Asthma symptoms and dealing with its many inconveniences
is Yoga.

Owing to its gentle poses and stretches and the deep breathing involved
in Yoga, certain poses-when used correctly-can be very helpful for
smoothening the chronic inflammation of the bronchial tubes (airways)
that causes swelling and narrowing (constriction) of the airways as is
the case in Asthma patients.

Furthermore, when using Yoga as an exercise for asthma control, one need
not worry about the common exercise-induced asthma attacks that may come
as a result of vigorous activity as these poses are very calm and involve
very little motion…hey, it’s Yoga after all.

Now, friends, based on my experiences and several studies that support
these facts, the following poses can be a powerful add-on therapy to
reduce the frequency and intensity of asthma attacks as well as to
decrease medication use.

<b>The Shoulder Stand & It’s Counter Poses for Asthma.</b>

Inversion poses in yoga drain excess mucus from the lungs and balance the
immune system. Now, let me introduce you to perhaps the simplest of these
poses, the shoulder stand pose.

Although the Shoulder-Stand has been coined by several Yoga sages as a
near panacea or cure-all, as far as Asthma is concerned, it is indeed
very helpful in regards to relieving excess encumbrances in the
respiratory organs and owing to its deep breathing, it increases the
lung’s airflow, capacity, stamina and efficiency.

Here comes the best part, its counter poses. You see, some yoga poses,
owing to the execution of them that is, have to be offset by a pose in an
opposite spinal direction (another subject, but hopefully you get the

Now friends, this Shoulder-stand pose has 2 main counter-poses: the
Bridge and the Fish Poses. (No worries they are very simple to perform.)
Both of these poses are back bending postures that open up the chest
improving both lung and heart functioning.

As a matter of fact, the very last pose (the fish pose) is one of the
specific poses mentioned by Sri Swami Devananda and IBS Iyengar (two of
the most authoritative figures in modern day yoga) as being specifically
useful for removing spasms from the bronchial tubes and thus relieving

<b>Other Helpful Poses:</b>

There are other poses such as the forward bends which you can practice
specifically if it is more difficult to inhale. These include the Head-
knee Pose (Passchimothanasa) and it basically involves grabbing your
toes, ankles or feet with the head lowered as far as possible to touch
the knees.

Now, friends, remember I mentioned counter-poses right? Well, for this
particular pose, its counter-poses basically are backward bending poses
that include the Incline Pose and Bow Pose.

Both of these (especially the latter) open up the chest and should be
practiced to aid with exhaling during asthma attacks.

Last, but not least is the simple, yet extremely effective Relaxation

Yes, you guessed it right, just simply lie flat on your back and breathe
in a controlled and rhythmic pattern. By practicing rhythmic, controlled
breathing techniques daily, the respiratory muscles and lungs develop the
ability to breathe more slowly all the time, meaning less stress on the
airways in general.

In addition to these poses, let me briefly mention the ‘Bellow’s breath
exercise’ (a yoga breathing exercise) as this helps tremendously. As the
name may suggest, it involves purposely pumping the stomach in an inward
motion and exhaling through the nose simultaneously in controlled
movements. This removes spasms and tones up the respiratory system

At this point, it must be mentioned that Yoga does call for a healthy
diet in its use and
as a physical and spiritual system; it does call for a mostly vegetarian
Friends, for asthma problems, you may want to strongly consider this as
giving up all processed foods and animal products such as meat, milk,
eggs and the like from your diet is a must and a fact that has been in
effect in several programs aimed at correcting respiratory health such as
the "Breath Retaining Program For Asthmatics" developed by the Russian,
Dr. Buteyko. Within weeks of adhering to this advice, many a chronic
asthmatic has been able to give up the use of ventolin inhalers.

So the next time asthma sends you to the doctor, you may do well to ask
for a new prescription for asthma treatment-Yoga. I believe it won’t hurt
and possibly could help you immensely.