Yoga for Asthma


Yoga in Asthma

What is Asthma?

The word Asthma is of Greek derivation and it means  gasping.  Not all difficulty in breathing is Asthma.

Common features of Asthma are-

  1. Episodes of breathlessness
  2. Wheeze(whistling noise)


Asthma is described as a reversible, chronic lung disease characterized by coughing, wheezing, and inflamed airways. Though asthmatics always have some degree of inflammation, in asthma attack flare  occurs when some trigger provokes increased swelling, mucus production, coughing, and a tightening of the smooth muscle around the airways. As airways close, breathing becomes shallow, fast, and difficult.

Can Stress cause Asthma?

When stressed our breathing pattern becomes faster called hyperventilation.  This is due to constriction of airway. This is a known cause for triggering asthma.


Can Yoga help in Asthma?

Yoga therapy is a technique which corrects problem from most fundamental level.

Integrated approach of Yoga therapy helps at all levels-

  1. Psychological level- Yoga is a method to turn the mind inward and helps to solve our internal psychological and emotional problems. This helps to change our response to demanding situations.
  2. Vital energy (prana) level- Prana is life energy that gives life to each and every cell of body. It is considered that imbalance and blockage in flow of prana causes diseases. Yoga corrects the alterations in prana flow.
  3. Body level-
    1.  At physical level yog asana enhances local relaxation and improves tolerance. Many Asthmatics were able to relax their bronchus during an attack of asthma
    2. Internal bio feedback- With internal awareness of bronchus provides a biofeedback to learn the art of relaxing one’s own bronchus by auto suggestion.
    3. cGMP-cAMP imbalance- the hyper responsiveness in bronchus is due to this chemical imbalance.  This imbalance is due to hyper activity of parasympathetic nerve. Hence Yoga helps by balancing the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems in body.
    4.  Yoga asanas help correct the postural abnormalities and improves respiratory stamina. They may also help in drainage of secretions.
    5. The practice of pranayama involves a controlled awareness of the breath. This technique relaxes the lungs thereby helping the lungs to absorb more oxygen. Increased oxygen boosts the immune system, hence boosts immunity against at future attacks.

Some effective yoga practices in Asthma.

1.Kapalbhati to clear mucus from lung passage.

2.Nadi shudi to balance nervous system.

3. Ujjai pranayam for allergies.

4. Hands in and out breathing.

5. Cat/tiger breathing

6.Chest expansion practices like chakra asana and ardh kati chakra asanas and  cobra pose

7.  Ushtra asana

8. Deep relaxation


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