One of the most effective methods for relieving asthma symptoms is practicing breathing exercise. If you are suffering from asthma, then it is highly advisable that you practice breathing exercises to control your asthma symptoms, as it would help you improve your lung capacity and control your asthma attack. Asthma is one of the most common respiratory illnesses in the world with millions of people affected by it each year. If left untreated, asthma can lead to severe breathing problems such as shortness of breath, coughing, tight chest and much more.
When you have an asthma attack, your lungs become inflamed due to the fact that there is an overproduction of mucus and phlegm in your body. In order to relieve your breathing problem, you should perform the breathing exercise known as “Exhaling with Focus” found in Hatha Yoga. This type of breathing exercise is one of the best ways to help you increase your lung capacity by allowing the air to be exhaled fully and from the lungs instead of being lost in the wind.
When your lungs become overstressed or full of mucus, you begin to experience difficulty in breathing. People with unhealthy lungs are much more prone to breathing problems and experience much higher levels of asthma symptoms than those individuals who have normal lungs. The best way to treat unhealthy lungs and prevent the onset of asthma is through the practice of breathing exercise.
The Hatha Vinyasa style of Yoga teaches breathing problems through three different breathing exercises. These exercises are named the Anuloma Yogicana, Sarvangasana, and Bhastrika. These breathing exercises are very useful in reducing the symptoms of asthma in some asthmatics. Here are the details of each of these yoga exercises:
Breathing And Posture Correction Exercises
“Bhramari” is the first exercise in the set which deals with breathing problem. Inhaling deeply through the nose will force the stomach acids and liquids from the stomach into the bloodstream. This process will push any residual wastes that may be present in the lungs back into the lungs. When the stomach acids enter the bloodstream, they act as a magnet and pull down the lining of the lungs causing any unhealthy gases in the body to be eliminated.
“Sarvangasana” is the second exercise in the set and deals with expanding the lungs. Through slight variation of this pose, it will enable you to increase the oxygen intake by drawing air into the lungs, forcing the carbon dioxide to expand into the atmosphere. When this happens, there is less force for the lungs to draw air in and there is a greater chance of preventing asthma attacks.
“Nadi-Suddhi” is the final exercise that will be taught in Hatha Yoga. “Nadi-Suddhi” means “breath through eyes closed” and it involves opening your two eyes while placing your palms on the ground and gently pressing your tongue to the roof of your mouth. From there, inhale deeply through your nose and press your lips to the roof of your mouth as you exhale. The pressure of this action will open up your breathing channels and increase the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide.
Bhramari (Bitter Gourd) and Kshar (Kichwa) are both exercises that help the mind to control the breathing. Bhramari is usually performed with both the hands placed firmly on the floor at shoulder width, and the Kichwa with the palms on the floor and the fingers pointing upwards. Both of these forms of Bhramari are performed slowly and deliberately. While with the Kichwa, remember to inhale and exhale as deeply as possible, while keeping the knees straight.
Kapalbhati is a breathing exercise for the abdomen and can be done by either the teacher or the student. One posture used to develop belly breathing is the half-moon (or Ufful) posture. Kapalbhati is a gentle, peaceful movement of the abdominal muscles. The teacher may encourage the students to breathe into their belly at the end of each class. This can be done by simply placing your hand on your belly and exhaling while slowly moving your hand up your abdomen.
In The End
Nadi-suddhi is similar to Bhastrika but involves inhale and exhale instead of exhalation and inhale. Again, the students must concentrate on both breathing and movement in order to accomplish the desired effect. The nadi-suddhi practitioner should close his/her eyes and gently move both feet to the right and left as breathing and movement in the abdomen increases. When the students have opened their eyes, they should move their hands to the left nostril, exhale, and slowly turn to the right.