6 yoga postures to fight asthma and breathe better
Asthma is a lung disease that inflames and narrows the airway and making breathing difficult.The exact cause of this disease is still unknown but it is usually caused by air pollution, respiratory infections, emotions, weather conditions, sulphites in food, and even some medications.
Among the most common symptoms of asthma, cough, difficulty breathing, tightness in the chest, wheezing …
Today there are numerous medical treatments to combat asthma. Apart from the many medications we can take, there are some yoga postures that we can practice to improve our condition and overall health.
6 yoga postures to improve breathing and combat asthma
1.- Posture of the camel (Ustrasana)
- (ustra = camel) The camel’s posture helps to open the chest, thus improving breathing.
- Put yourself on your knees (knees separated with the same width as the hip) and the hip just above the knees (as in the photo).
- Keeping the butt firm but not contracted and pressing the shins and the instep of the foot against the ground, support the hands on the backside and, taking the hip forward, inhale deeply (with the head facing upwards).
- If we have enough flexibility, we should end up with hands on our ankles but if we do not have it, we can keep them on the backside.
- Hold the posture for 30-60 seconds. To finish, we will bring our hands to the front of the pelvis and, while inhaling, we will raise the head and torso upward, bringing the hips back and down.
2.- Posture of the dog upside down (Adhomukhasvana)
- (adho = down; mukha = face; svana = dog)
- Stand up and lean your body in the hip area forward, resting your hands on the ground.
- Keep your hands and feet as wide as the shoulders (our body should draw a kind of inverted “v”) and the fingers of the hands separated and extended..
- We can move our hands away from our feet to make the posture easier if necessary.
- Press your palms and keep your hips back.
- Keep the neck relaxed and hold in this position for 1-3 minutes.
3.- Posture of the dog facing up (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)
- (urdhva mukha = face up, svana = dog)
- Lie on your stomach with your legs stretched out to the back (first contact in contact with the ground).
- Flex the arms by the side of the elbow and place the palms of the hands on the ground just next to the hip so that the forearm is perpendicular to the ground.
- Press the ground firmly with your hands and stretch your arms as you raise your torso and hip (accompanying with an inspiration).
- Try to join your shoulder blades and raise the sternum keeping the look in front (or with the head tilted up slightly).
- Maintain the posture for about 15-30 seconds, accompanied by a quiet and simple breathing.
- To finish the sequence we will return to the initial position accompanying the movement with an exhalation.
4.- Posture of the cobra (bhujangasana)
- (bhujanga = serpent)
- Lie on your stomach with your legs stretched out to the back (upper legs in contact with the ground) and arms extended to the sides.
- Flex the arms at the elbow, bringing the hands back towards the body and resting the palms on the floor next to the shoulders.
- Firmly press your feet, thighs and pubes against the ground.
- As you inhale, press the ground and stretch the arms to raise the chest of the floor (going up while having the pubis, thighs and feet in contact with the ground).
- Try to bring your shoulder blades back with the sternum forward.
- Maintain the posture for about 15-30 seconds, breathing quietly.
- To finish, we will return to the initial position accompanying the movement with an exhalation.
5.- Posture of the bridge (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
- (setu = dam, dike or bridge; bandha = key, lock)
- We begin by lying on the floor on our back (we can place a folded blanket under the shoulders to protect the neck if we wish).
- The next thing we will do is to bend the knees, resting the soles of the feet on the ground (as close as possible to the coccyx).
- Now, accompanying with an exhalation, we will raise the rear pressing the ground with the soles of the feet and arms.
- Put your hands under your back and extend your arms to help us maintain our weight with our shoulders and feet.
- We will raise the rear enough so that the thighs are parallel to the ground and the knees draw a right angle.
- The next thing we will do is raise the chin a few centimeters and keep the shoulders and shoulder blades firm raise the sternum to the chin, thus opening the chest and encouraging breathing.
6.- Leg posture on the wall (Viparita Karani)
- (viparita = inverted, from the reverse, it has been turned around; karani: doing, action)
- Lie on the floor (back down) with your legs resting on the wall.
- It is not necessary to have the buttocks glued at the beginning, since we may lack flexibility (therefore we can start with the butt a few inches from the wall, and go closer little by little as we gain flexibility.
- We can also place a folded blanket under the back for more support if necessary.
- To bring the butt closer to the wall, we will bend the knees pressing the wall with the feet and raise the back of the floor a few centimeters.
- Meanwhile we will bring the support to the wall and support the rear in the new location.
- We will maintain the posture for about 5-15 minutes.