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Yoga To Ease The Symptoms Of Asthma
Image Pose Description
yoga pose Chest Openers I
yoga pose Buteyko MethodSit upright in a comfortable chair (or stand) and relax. Close eyes. Tilt head slightly up. Gently, shallowly, and slowly breathe through nose while keeping mouth closed. Exhale slowly until you feel your lungs have been emptied of air.
Benefits: Used by asthmatics during asthma attacks.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/J9RgpWyTgmk
yoga pose Shoulder Shrugs StandingStand or sit. Keep arms and jaw relaxed. Inhale and flood upper back with breath as if unlocking a dam and its waters have surged forth. Hold breath and raise shoulders straight up toward your ears and send shoulders straight back behind you in a circular motion. Keep back straight and chest upright (don't push chest forward). Exhale and contract upper shoulder blades together and slowly drag them down. Feel shoulder blades becoming loose.
Alternatives: Samashthiti (standing with feet together).
Benefits: Improves posture.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/7CvyjOwVxnI
Modifications: Eyes closed.
yoga pose Shoulder RotationsPlace right hand on right shoulder and left hand on left shoulder. Inhale and rotate shoulders up towards ears (neck and head relaxed). Exhale and rotate shoulders back and down by squeezing shoulder blades together. Change direction. Feel shoulders becoming unglued.
Benefits: Improves posture.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/SzWxM_W4DNA
Modifications: Eyes closed.
yoga pose Mountain Arms UpFeet hip width apart. Tuck chin in. Legs slightly bent. Shoulders back and down. Raise arms overhead.
Alternatives: Samashthiti (feet together).
Benefits: Improves posture. Strengthens legs and arms. Engages core.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/nwiyZSmfpWY?rel=0
Modifications: Helicopter (twist).
Precautions : Pregnant.
yoga pose Mountain Hands Behind BackStand with feet together. Place both palms on lower back with fingers pointing up. Engage core. Elongate spine. Shoulders back. Hold.
Benefits: Improves posture. Increases blood circulation.
yoga pose Mountain Palm LockStand with feet together. Interlock fingers behind back. Straighten arms and lower shoulders. Raise hands and bring shoulder blades together. Gaze up. Feel chest opening. Hold.
Benefits: Deepens breath. Stimulates thyroid gland. Opens chest. Improves posture.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/2HTvZp5rPrg
yoga pose Palm Tree IStand in Mountain. Feet together. Inhale, raise arms up. Palms together. Gaze towards palms. Stretch upward. Hold. Release.
Benefits: Stimulates thyroid gland. Promotes deeper breath.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/6TUS8UwfCO0
yoga pose Palm Tree IIStand straight. Legs shoulder-width apart. Interlock fingers and exhale while raising arms above head. Turn palms towards ceiling. Inhale. Exhale, return to start.
Benefits: Stretches arms. Lengthens body.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/v49WzOti7kY
yoga pose Chest Openers II
yoga pose Extended ChildOn all fours. Wrists below shoulders. Knees under hips. Use hands to walk forward and lower chest to floor. Drop buttocks until they reach halfway to feet. Arms straight. Forehead touches floor. Push hips back and stretch spine.
Benefits: Stretches arms, shoulders, spine, hips.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/eqVMAPM00DM
Modifications: A) Interlock fingers behind back. B) Knees together (instead of separated). C) Curl the toes under (instead of flat). D) Place a rolled towel under your shins (take the stress off of your ankles). E) Place a yoga blanket underneath the knees for padding. F) Place a folded towel underneath the knees for padding. G) Place a bolster or pillow under your stomach or chest and stay for up 10 minutes. H) Go deeper into the hip stretch by spreading your knees wider.
Precautions : Knee injury.
yoga pose Downward Facing Dog Knees BentStart in Mountain. Forward bend. Step feet back one at time. Lift buttocks. Lengthen spine. Bend knees. Tuck chin in. Look at feet. Release jaw.
Alternatives: Down Dog. Dolphin.
Benefits: Stretches spine, hams, shoulders. Calms nervous system.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/GuxnaIcILFQ
Modifications: Use wall. Head on block. Leg up. Arm up. Wide stance.
Precautions : Pregnant. HBP. Headache.
yoga pose Down Dog PedalCome into Downward Facing Dog. Come up onto toes. Exhale, lower right heel to mat. Inhale, raise up onto toes. Exhale, lower left heel. Repeat.
Alternatives: Dolphin. Down Dog with raised leg.
Benefits: Stretches spine, hams, shoulders. Calms nervous system.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/L6EDfyBQdzo
Modifications: Use wall. Head on block. Leg up. Arm up. Wide stance.
Precautions : Pregnant. High blood pressure. Headache.
yoga pose PlankBegin on hands and knees. Knees under hips. Hands under shoulders. Roll shoulders back and down. Fingertips point forward. Don't splay elbows. Lift up in your middle as you step one foot straight back and then the other. Keep legs engaged in supporting the plank position. Hold.
Alternatives: Dolphin. One Legged Side Plank.
Benefits: Strengthens arms, wrists, spine. Tones abs.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/pSWYGXSNjdE?rel=0
Modifications: Knees on floor. Use wall to place feet for support.
Precautions : Carpal tunnel syndrome
yoga pose Knees Chest ChinBegin in Plank Pose. Shoulders directly above wrists. Lower knees to floor. Keep toes tucked under. Hug elbows in. Keeping hips lifted and palms flat, bring chest to mat. Touch chin to mat.
Alternatives: Dolphin.
Benefits: Strengthens arms, wrists, spine. Tones abs.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/UHvIaMSH-GI?rel=0
Modifications: Knees on floor.
Precautions : Carpal tunnel syndrome. Pregnancy.
yoga pose CrocodileRelax on stomach. Arms folded on floor above head. Widen legs. Roll feet so heels point in. Squeeze buttocks. Press pelvis into floor. Rest forehead on arms.
Alternatives: Leg or arm lift.
Benefits: Stretches back, legs, buttocks. Reduce stress. Improve posture.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/MZynS2i3n28?rel=0
Modifications: Place forehead in Yoni Mudra.
Precautions : Pregnancy.
yoga pose Half BowLie on belly. Legs together. Bring chin to floor. Slide right arm along floor with palm facing down. Bend right knee. Reach left hand back to hold onto the right heel or ankle (opposite hand to foot). Kick right foot into arm to lift right leg. Raise head and chest. Keep neck in line with the spine. Gaze straight ahead. Press down into right arm, or raise right arm (keep parallel to floor). Hold. To release: exhale and lower leg, arm, head, chest to floor. Repeat on other side.
Benefits: Stretches thighs, groins, abs, chest, throat, hip flexors.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/i85RRMmaMRw
Modifications: Use a strap.
Precautions : Back injury.
yoga pose SphinxLie on belly. Legs together. Buttocks firm. Legs active. Elbows under shoulders. Forearms on floor. Lift upper torso and head up.
Alternatives: Crocodile. Locust.
Benefits: Stretches chest, shoulders, and abs. Firms buttocks. Spine mobility.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/xPDs-zyIsWI
Modifications: A) Wall Sphinx (stand facing a wall then place forearms and palms against it). B) Plank To Sphinx (start in Plank and lower to Sphinx). C) One leg raised.
Precautions : Back Injury. Headache.
yoga pose Upward Facing DogLie on tummy. Tops of feet on floor. Bend elbows. Spread palms on floor beside waist. Press hands into floor and slightly backwards (as if trying to push yourself forward along floor). Straighten arms to lift torso and legs. Thighs firm. Buttocks soft. Look straight ahead.
Alternatives: Cobra. Sphinx. Crocodile.
Benefits: Strengthens spine, arms, wrists. Stretches shoulders.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/IVavcaTyQ-Y?rel=0
Modifications: A) Blanket under hips. B) Tip head back slightly. C) One leg raised. D) Both legs raised.
Precautions : Back injury. CTS. Pregnancy.
yoga pose Half BowLie on belly. Legs together. Bring chin to floor. Slide right arm along floor with palm facing down. Bend right knee. Reach left hand back to hold onto the right heel or ankle (opposite hand to foot). Kick right foot into arm to lift right leg. Raise head and chest. Keep neck in line with the spine. Gaze straight ahead. Press down into right arm, or raise right arm (keep parallel to floor). Hold. To release: exhale and lower leg, arm, head, chest to floor. Repeat on other side.
Benefits: Stretches thighs, groins, abs, chest, throat, hip flexors.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/i85RRMmaMRw
Modifications: Use a strap.
Precautions : Back injury.
yoga pose Cat Pulling TailLie on right side. Use right arm as a pillow. Stack hips, knees and feet. Bend bottom knee and reach top hand to take hold of foot. Roll top shoulder back. Draw top leg out in front of you. Drop top shoulder towards mat. Hold. Roll onto opposite side and repeat.
Benefits: Counterpose to forward bends. Compresses lower back. Opens quads and upper thighs.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/hEyCFVVvXls
Modifications: A) Use a strap. B) Cat pulling tail with strap. C) Cat pose with leg raised. D) Bananasa pose E) Dancer pose. F) Lunge pose.
yoga pose Chest Openers III
yoga pose Camel NamasteKneel on floor, feet hip width apart. Bring palms together in Namaste. Lift chest and curve spine. Gently lead head backwards while engaging core. Thighs remain perpendicular to floor.
Alternatives: Camel. Half Camel.
Benefits: Stretches ankles, thighs, groin, abs, chest, throat, psoas.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/-xfxwRTobUM
Modifications: Arms up.
Precautions : High or low blood pressure. Back or neck injury.
yoga pose Baby CamelKneel. Raise buttocks. Raise arms sideways to shoulder level. Lower right hand to left heel (slight twist) and left hand in front (gaze at raised hand). Chin near sternum. Repeat on the other side.
Alternatives: Camel.
Benefits: Stretches ankles, thighs, groin, abdominals, chest, throat, and psoas.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/zEQXV3dDmQ8?rel=0
Modifications: Palms against soles.
Precautions : High or low blood pressure. Back or neck injury.
yoga pose Extended ChildOn all fours. Wrists below shoulders. Knees under hips. Use hands to walk forward and lower chest to floor. Drop buttocks until they reach halfway to feet. Arms straight. Forehead touches floor. Push hips back and stretch spine.
Benefits: Stretches arms, shoulders, spine, hips.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/eqVMAPM00DM
Modifications: A) Interlock fingers behind back. B) Knees together (instead of separated). C) Curl the toes under (instead of flat). D) Place a rolled towel under your shins (take the stress off of your ankles). E) Place a yoga blanket underneath the knees for padding. F) Place a folded towel underneath the knees for padding. G) Place a bolster or pillow under your stomach or chest and stay for up 10 minutes. H) Go deeper into the hip stretch by spreading your knees wider.
Precautions : Knee injury.
yoga pose Breathing Exercises
yoga pose Kaya Kriya BreathStage 1 Feet: In Savasana, slide legs about 2 feet apart. Begin with adham pranayama, rolling legs inward on inhalation, drawing toes together and toward the floor. On exhalation, roll legs/feet outward as far as possible. Inhalation and exhalations performed slowly to a 6-count. Repeat 9 times. Stage 2 Arms: Slide arms slightly away from body. Perform madhyam pranayama while rolling arms outward on inhalation and inward on exhalation. Keep elbows straight and rotate at the shoulder joints, allowing wrists to roll along floor. Repeat 9 times. Stage 3 Head: While performing adhyam pranayama, roll head to right side on inhalation and to the left on exhalation. Repeat 9 times. Full Kaya Kriya Body Cleanse: Perform entire Kaya Kriya by using the complete 3-part yogic breath and performing all 3 previous movements in succession. On a 6-count in-breath, feet are moved inwards, then arms outwards, then head turned to right. Reverse movements are performed on a 6-count out-breath. Continue until completely relaxed.
Benefits: Whole body cleanse.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/A6uGveRgqt8?rel=0
yoga pose Relaxation Chest Opener
yoga pose Supine StarLie on back with legs and arms wide apart. Release lower back to floor. Close eyes. Abdomen rises on inhale and falls on exhale. Feel heavy with each exhalation.
Alternatives: Crocodile. Child.
Benefits: Tune into the body. Calm. Tranquil. Inner Peace. Clarity.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/YBe1nzunHJ0
Modifications: A) Knees bent. B) Blanket under knees. C) Blanket under head.

"Can yoga breathing exercises help asthma?"

The key with breathing if you have asthma is to inhale less. You want shorter inhales, longer holds, and longer exhales.

"Can Yoga cure asthma?"

Asthma is a long-term disease that has no cure. The goal of yoga for asthma is to control the disease. Yoga can help ease chronic and troublesome symptoms such as attacks, coughing and shortness of breath. A few minutes spent meditating also helps calming the mind.

"Can I practice yoga if I have severe asthma?"

For many asthma sufferers, physical exertion and vigorous exercise can trigger asthma symptoms. But lack of exercise is not good for anyone. If you have severe asthma you can practice gentle yoga (slow movements or yin).

"Can Yoga cause exercise induced asthma?"

If you have severe asthma and practice advanced vinyasa yoga such as Ashtanga yoga, you have a higher chance of experiencing exercised-induced asthma. Exercised-induced asthma is a narrowing of the airways in the lungs that is triggered by strenuous exercise. It causes shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing and other symptoms during or after exercise. If you have moderate to severe asthma, it's best to practice a more gentle form of yoga.

"How long should I practice yoga for?"

That depends on what type of asthma you have (intermittent, mild, moderate or severe). A daily 15 minute yoga practice will reduce your chances of an asthma attack. And if you feel OK after 15 minutes, you can gradually add more minutes to your practice.

"What are the best poses for asthma?"

A gentle yoga practice with slow movements that help open your chest (which helps breathing) such as: Abdominal Breath, Bow Pose, Camel Pose, Savasana, Downward Facing Dog Pose, Fish Pose, Upward Salute Pose, Sphinx Pose, Cobra Pose, and Upward Facing Dog.