Yoga for stress and asthma has gained wide acceptance since a few years. Last year, my office organized a football match for all the members of our office. Our boss had personally asked all the members to join the team. To form a strong team. But jiya, declined to join us. She said “you all play and enjoy, I will support you all from the stands”. All my other colleagues taught, something was there which was making her stay back. When I talked to her personally. I realized Jiya was suffering from asthma and was fearing if she would have another attack.
From Jiya’s example we can make out. Many people face the same problem. Which restrain them from playing their favorite sport. Enjoying their life to the maximum level. They take all kind of medicines to overcome this attacks. But never go for yoga.
Do you suffer from the same issue? Try yoga for asthma and stress!! one of the simplest and effective medicine for your breathing problem.
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This is a chronic respiratory disorder which inflames the airways in the lungs. Research shows that stress can worsen this condition. Also, children’s born to stressed out parents has a higher risk of developing this disorder.
Here are certain yoga poses to tackle this asthma
Dandasana (staff pose or stick pose) yoga for stress and asthma
Staff pose is a great exercise which can improve your posture. It uses the seated version of tadasana. You should definitely practice this. As it gives strength to the areas like the abdomen, upper back and the chest. Consume meals at least before (4-6 hours) so that the food gets digested easily. Practice this asana early in the morning in an empty stomach. In case of difficulty in waking up early. Its alright if you workout this in the evening.
How to perform Dandasana yoga pose for asthma and stress?
- First sit straight on the floor. Keeping your back straight and legs extended out in front of you. Make sure, legs are parallel to each other with feet directing upwards.
- Now, press your buttocks on the ground. Align your head, where its crown should face the ceiling. Then flex the feet and squeeze your heels.
- In this step, keep your palms near to your hips on the ground. So, this can balance your spine and relax the shoulders. Your torso should be erect and relaxed. Next, relax your both legs. Then land the lower half of the body firmly to the ground. Now, breathe normally. Stay in this posture for 20-30 seconds.
Beginner’s tip: Your body weight must be balanced between the buttocks. For this, move your hips from one side to another. After feeling balanced out, ensure that both the tailbone and pubic bone (are at same distance) from the ground.
- Variation 1: In case of thigh hamstrings. Where you find it complicated to sit extending your legs out. Fold a blanket and keep under the buttocks. So, all the tension will get eliminated from your hips and legs. Making one possible to sit comfortably.
- Variation 2: For people with weak upper back and abdomen. Its best to do this pose with a support of a wall.
- Variation 3: If you are having long arm. Straighten your arms fully and place your palms flat on the ground. Then release the shoulder blades downwards to your back.
- Variation 4: Individuals with carpal tunnel syndrome must place their fingers directing behind them.
Benefits: This asana can strengthen the back muscles. Extends the shoulder and chest muscles. One of the best treatment method for asthma and back pain. Above all, it will relax you from stress by heightening the level of concentration.
- Don’t perform this workout in case of lower back or wrist injury.
- Its best to practice staff pose under the guidance of a tutor. Never overstretch your body. Otherwise, this will end up in something else.
Preparatory poses: Adho Mukha Svanasana, Uttanasana.
Follow up poses: Purvottanasana, Bharadvaja’s Twist.
Baddha Konasana (Cobblers pose) yoga for stress and asthma
Well, this is extremely simple. This is also called as butterfly pose. Since, it can open the hips joined by the feet. Similarly, the up-down movements feels as if the butterfly is in motion. Try to workout this asana early in the morning. But, leave a gap of 4-6 hours between the practice and the workout. Stomach and bowels should be empty while performing this pose.
How to perform Cobblers yoga for stress and asthma?
- First, sit erect extending both your legs out. You may breathe out and fold the knees while pushing the heels in the direction of the pelvis. Next, squeeze the soles of your feet together. Allow your knees drop to the sides.
- In the this step, bring your heels close to the pelvis (to the maximum level). Now, with your thumb and the first finger clasp the big thumbs of the feet. On attaining a stable pose, check that the pubis and tailbone are at the same distance from the ground. Pelvis is maintained in neutral position. With perineum parallel to the ground.
- Now, you may try to lower the heads of the thigh bones towards the ground. So, the knees will automatically come down. Stay in this pose from 1-5 minutes. In the end, raise your knees and stretch your legs.
Beginner’s tip: Its best if you make use of a support. Until you attain perfection in this asana.
Variation 1: To intensify the pose, place your feet away from the mid-line. So as to form a wider angle between the lower and upper area of the legs.
Variation 2: On attaining this pose. Just exhale and lean forward. Where your torso is between your knees. Then push forward from the hips. Pull your elbows against the calves and place your head on the ground.
Benefits: The asana lowers menstrual pain and irregular periods. Stimulates the spine and abdominal regions. Its worth for our heart and improves circulation in the whole body. Reduces fatigue and stress. Apart from this, it enhances the functioning of the reproductive system in women. My yoga teacher says “ regular practice of this pose, makes one stay away from all kinds of diseases”.
- Strictly avoid this asana in case of knee injuries, menstruation.
- Sit on a pillow and practice this pose, in case of sciatica pain.
Preparatory poses: Virasana, Supta Padangusthasana, Vriksasana.
Follow up poses: Workout any standing asanas, forward bends after doing this.
Setubandha Sarvangasana (Bridge pose) yoga for stress and asthma
This bridge pose is worth in increasing the lung capacity. Hence, important for the individuals suffering from asthma. Besides this, it relaxes one from stress, fatigue, anxiety, depression and insomnia. Tones the thyroid glands. People who sit in front of the computer must strictly follow this asana. One can practice this in the morning hours at empty stomach. Maintain a gap of 4-6 hours between the meals and the workout. In case of complications, you can also do evening workouts.
How to perform Setubandha Sarvangasana yoga for stress and asthma?
- Start from laying flat on your back. After this, fold the knees and place your feet on the ground (hip-width apart). Just look. Whether your knees and ankles are placed in a straight line. Allow your arms to rest beside your body. Palms should point downwards.
- Next, inhale and raise your back off the ground. Fold in your shoulders with chin touching your chest. Then, allow your feet, arms and shoulders balance the body weight.
- Harden your buttocks as you tighten them. But be sure your thighs are parallel to each other and the ground. Now, interlock your fingers and pull your hands firmly to the floor to raise your torso higher.
- Remain in this pose for 1 minute. Then breathe deeply and slowly. Finally, exhale and leave the pose.
Beginner’s tip: When you fold your shoulders underneath. Don’t push them away powerfully from the ears. This may lead to some kind of injury in the neck. Slowly lift the tops of the shoulders in the direction of the ears.
Variations: Eka Pada Bandha Sarvangasana: Take the position and raise your right knee right into the torso. Next, you have to inhale. Then lengthen the leg that is vertical to the ground. Hold this posture for about 30 seconds. In the last step, exhale and release the foot. Continue the same steps on the left leg.
Benefits: The asana is beneficial for patients with insomnia, osteoporosis, sinusitis, high blood pressure and asthma. Practicing bridge pose can reduce thyroid problems. Gives relief from the stress trapped in the back. Stimulates the spine, neck and chest. Raises the level blood circulation.
- Consult your doctor before performing this pose. For individuals suffering from back and neck injuries.
- Pregnant ladies may workout this pose. But under the guidance of a trained instructor.
Preparatory poses: Virasana, Bhujangasana, Adho Mukha Svanasana.
Follow up poses: Chakrasana, Sarvangasana, Eka Pada Setu Bandha Sarvangasana.
Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward facing dog pose) yoga for stress and asthma
This is a simple which can be performed easily even by the beginners. Practicing this pose helps to release endorphins. Endorphins can make our body and mind relax. Workout in the morning hours for best results. Be sure, the stomach is empty and there is a gap of 4-6 hours.
How to perform Adho Mukha Svanasana yoga for stress and asthma?
- First, begin from four limbs (table form). Then, exhale and lift your hips by straightening the knees and elbows. It should look like a V shape.
- Make sure, your hands come in line with the shoulders. While your feet in line with the hips. Toes must direct in the outward direction. Next, squeeze your hands into the floor. Stretch you neck. Make your ears touch the inner arms.
- Stay in this asana for a few seconds. Then, fold your knees and come to the table pose.
Beginner’s tip: You have to check for certain things like alignment. Note that your arms are right under your hips. Hands are placed below your shoulders. Initially you may practice this against the wall.
- Variation 1: Widen the stretch by raising your body by the balls of the feet. Push your pelvis inside. Bring your heels back to the ground to main the potency.
- Variation 2: In order to concentrate on the arms, twirl a belt around them. Then press against the strap of the belt. To concentrate on the legs, keep the belt above the knees. Then work on the active legs.
Benefits: The inversion of this pose is Navasana. Boat pose is beneficial for the abdominal muscles. In the similar way downward facing dog also strengthens the abdominal muscles. Lifting the hips promotes easy circulation of blood throughout the body. Improves digestion. Stimulates the limbs. Stress is released from the areas like the neck and the cervical spine.
- It is advisable to begin this pose under the guidance of certified trainer.
- Strictly avoid this asana of you suffer from carpel tunnel syndrome, a detached retina, weak eye capillaries, high blood pressure, diarrhea, dislocated shoulder etc.
- Pregnant women must consult their doctor before performing this asana.
Preparatory poses: Phalakasana, Uttanasana.
Follow up poses: Sirsasana, Uttanasana.
Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half spinal twist) yoga for stress and asthma
This pose is one among the 12 basic asanas (used in the Hatha Yoga programs).There are lots of amazing benefits for this pose. One can get easily into this pose. But the real effort lies in the action of twisting. This asana if practiced with full devotion, can make you aware about the condition of your hips, spine and mind. It advisable to workout this in the morning hours. Also, there must be a gap of 4-6 hours after a meal. Your bowels and stomach must be empty.
How to perform Ardha Matsyendrasana yoga for stress and asthma?
- First, sit straight making the legs extended out. Place your feet together with making spine erect. Then fold your left leg. In such a way, the heel of the left foot must lie close to the right hip.
- In this step, keep the right leg near to the left knee by bringing it over the knee. Then, warp your waist, shoulders and neck towards the right. Gaze over your right shoulder. Spine should be maintained erect.
- There are different ways to place your arms. To increase and decrease the level of stretch. But the easiest way is to keep the right hand behind you. Place the left hand on the right knee. Maintain this posture for some seconds (from 30-60 seconds). Breathe slowly and deeply during this process.
- Finally, exhale and slowly release the right hand, then the waist, chest and neck. Repeat these steps on the other side. Exhale and return to the normal state.
Beginner’s tip: Beginners may sit on the blanket to perform this pose. You may fold one arm around the lifted leg and embrace your thigh to your torso. On gaining perfection, you can try for other variations.
Variations: Place the upper left arm to the outer-side of the upper right thigh. Then don’t make any changes to the legs. Let them remain the way they are. Now, exhale and turn the gaze to the right side. Tilt away from the upper thigh and fold the left elbow. Hug your torso against your thigh. Work the upper left arm on the outer leg, till the back of the shoulder squeezes against the knee. Allow your elbow to remain bent. Lift the arms upwards. Lean into form a slight upper back. Remember shoulder blades must be rigid against the back.
Benefits: Half spinal twist makes the spine more flexible. Relieves stiffness and back pain. Cures slipped disc. Eliminates tension and stress which is trapped in the back. Beneficial for urinary and menstrual disorders. Increases circulation of blood to the pelvic area. Massages and tones the pancreas. Thus helping those suffering from diabetes. Also, purifies the blood and detoxifies the internal organs.
- Avoid practicing this asana during pregnancy and menstruation.
- The asana is good for people with slipped disc problem. But they must practice this under the guidance of an instructor. Stop this asana, if the problem is severe.
- Not meant for individuals who have recently undergone heart or brain surgeries.
- People with peptic ulcers and hernia must carefully practice this asana.
Preparatory poses: Baddha Konasana, Janusirsasana, Virasana, Bharadvaja’s Twist, Supta Padangusthasana.
Follow up poses: Janusirsasana, Paschimottanasana.
Kapal Bhati pranayama (Skull shining breathing method) yoga for stress and asthma
This is an effective technique which can relax both the mind and body. It works by clearing all the energy channels. It raises the level of oxygenation of our system. Thus allowing the flow of blood supply to the regions like the head and the face. Regular practice of this pranayama can give you glowing skin. After hearing all these benefits. I can’t control myself from doing this asana. What about you??
How to perform Skull shining breathing yoga for stress and asthma?
- Initially, sit in a cross legged position. Keeping the spine erect.
- In the 2nd step take a deep breathe. Then, exhale quickly making a puffing sound. You must try to concentrate on exhaling. While exhaling bring the abdominal muscles inwards. Always note: your abdomen should rise on inhalation and fold on exhalation.
- Carry the same for 10 breathes. Practice this pranayama regularly in the morning hours. Workout for 5-10 minutes for obtaining better results.
Nadi Shodhan (Alternate nostril breathing) yoga for stress and asthma
Nadi Shodhan relieves our body from the accumulated stress. It is beneficial for many circulatory and respiratory disorders. This can clear the channels and heighten the level of attentiveness. Also, balances the activities of the brain efficiently.
How to perform Nadi Shodhan yoga for stress and asthma?
- Start from any of the poses (either padmasana or sukhasana). Which you feel comfortable.
- Now, in this 2nd step, keep the thumb of your right hand on the right nostril. Squeeze firmly. Meanwhile, you may breathe through the left nostril.
- In the 3rd step, keep the right finger of your right hand on the left nostril. Then press firmly. Next, take your right thumb from the right nostril.
- Release the air slowly through this.
I bet, regular daily practice of these asanas for 15-20 minutes will surely reduce the chances of asthma attack. This can also help you to get rid of this. A few minutes of meditation is good to remove all the negative thoughts from our minds.
“My neighbor Hilda had asthma by birth. She is a ten year old girl, who studies in fifth standard. Hilda had breathing complications and was unable to perform any activities. Like other children of her age. But her life changed after continuous practice of yoga for 5 years. It is unbelievable!! today, Hilda spends one hour playing all her favorite sport without any fear of an asthma attack”.
Hilda has taken a chance and made her life colorful. What about you?? Next is your turn!!!