Yoga provides a highly effective series of asthma breathing exercises which can help reduce the intensity of asthma attacks and also help reduce their frequency. Approaches such as the Buteyko method are use yoga breathing principles as their foundation (whether they acknowledge this or not).
If you suffer from asthma the traditional offerings for your condition are advice to avoid certain activites, particularly some sports, and to always carry your inhaler with you. The great news is that yoga can help open life up again.
Kids with asthma are often with-held from sports lessons and as a result their overall health suffers through lack of physical exertion. The system of yoga stretching, known as asanas offers a comprehensive system for working your body whilst having conscious control of your breath. This means that the numerous health benefits associated with yoga can safely be yours.
But perhaps the most powerful part of the yoga system is yoga breathing, known as pranayama. Pranayama contains some particularly beneficial asthma breathing exercises.
What Happens In An Asthma Attack?
In an asthma attack the muscles controlling part of the respiratory system can go into spasm. This allows air into the lungs, but air has difficulty in leaving. As well as being uncomfortable this can also prove to be distressing for the sufferer.
If this distress builds into anxiety the sufferer can start trying to gulp air into lungs which are already full, and this can become a full-blown asthma attack, which can often lead to receiving medical help.
How Can Pranayama Help Asthma?
Through regular practice of yoga breathing you learn to control your diaphragmatic and abdominal muscles, and how to relax them at will. This is important as the first reaction when you become aware of a change in breathing can be to contract.
The confidence this new-found ability gives you allows your overall worry-levels to drop, so even if you notice those familiar changes you can begin to take some form of control over what is happening in your body, making it less likely that it will get out of control.
Specific Asthma Breathing Exercises
Alternate nostril breathing is a wonderful technique. If used when actually having an attack use it without retention of the breath. Find out how to do it here
Ujjayi breathing is another powerful technique, again avoiding the retention aspect when actually having an asthma attack.
Meditation Can Help With Asthma
Relaxation techniques play an important role if you are looking for relief from asthma. Meditation is one of the simplest and most effective approaches to this. It is particularly helpful in reducing anxiety and overall levels of stress.