Buzz 46Buzz 46: 6 Yoga Poses To Alleviate The Symptoms Of Asthma

Buzz 46: 6 Yoga Poses To Alleviate The Symptoms Of Asthma

World Asthma Day is celebrated on the first Tuesday of May every year. This year, it will be commemorated on 2nd May. The objective of the day is to spread awareness about the health condition, which is increasingly on the rise across the globe. Organised by Global Initiative For Asthma (GINA), it also offers a platform for people and other entities to brainstorm and discuss the way forward towards fighting the medical condition. It also seeks to make citizens with the medical condition aware of its possible symptoms and know the treatment options. Every year, a specific theme is decided for the day. In 2023, the theme is “Asthma Care for All.”

History & Significance Of World Asthma Day

To talk about World Asthma Day significance and history in some detail, let’s start from the beginning. In 1993, the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) collaborated with the World Health Organization (WHO) to commemorate one day for spreading awareness about the global cause of fighting asthma by organising awareness campaigns. Hence, the second Tuesday of every year was finalised as World Asthma Day. GINA, in close association with other healthcare organisations, also hold free screenings for asthma on this day. Debates, quiz competitions, and expert interviews are also an integral part of the events. The first World Asthma Day history can be traced back to 1998, where more than 35 countries participated in the first-ever campaign of its kind. The venue was on the sidelines of the World Asthma Meeting in Barcelona, Spain. Over two decades of the global annual event, it has witnessed increasingly more nations participate in the cause each year. 

On the day, GINA organises the distribution of resources and materials to raise awareness about the health condition of asthma. The theme of the day is decided by it well in advance, so the resources can be published and distributed accordingly. GINA also subsides over the World Asthma Day Internet Headquarters. 

6 Alarming World Asthma Day Facts About Asthma

  1. Among children, boys are more likely to develop asthma as compared to girls while, among adults, women are more prone to the medical condition than men.
  2. Asthma is the most common chronic health condition among children.
  3. It is a Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) that can affect both children and adults.
  4. The number of people diagnosed with asthma jumped by 15%.
  5. According to 2019 statistics, an estimated 262 million people across the world are affected by the medical condition.
  6. The 2019 survey also records that the disease has caused 4,61,000 deaths.

5 Benefits Of Yoga For People With Asthma

  1. Yoga is a great stress-buster. It reduces anxiety levels, which can aggravate the symptoms of asthma, and promotes relaxation.
  2. The fitness technique ensures easy breathing, improves respiratory function, and enhances lung capacity.
  3. It can reduce inflammation in the body. Hence, medical conditions like asthma, which is a fallout of inflammation in various organs of the body, can also be kept under control.
  4. Yoga does wonders in boosting the immune system, making you less susceptible to being affected by health conditions.
  5. It can also reduce the severity and frequency of asthma attacks.

6 Yoga For Asthma You Can Practise To Alleviate The Symptoms

Here are 6 asanas for asthma that you should practise every day to keep the symptoms under check.

1. Kapalabhati Pranayama (Breath of Fire / Skull-Shining Breath)

Buzz 46: 6 Yoga Poses To Alleviate The Symptoms Of Asthma

This yoga posture specialises in improving your breath work by enhancing oxygen supply, which is exactly what an individual with asthma needs to keep the symptoms of the medical condition under check. It cleanses the sinuses, lungs, and respiratory systems. It also strengthens the abdominal muscles and diaphragm. However, people with high blood pressure and low lung capacity should refrain from practising this asana. 

How To Do It:

  1. Start by sitting in a comfortable position.
  2. Keep your back straight and your eyes closed.
  3. Rest your hands on your knees with the palms facing upward.
  4. Inhale through the nostrils deeply.
  5. While inhaling, contract your low belly and exhale in a short burst.
  6. Immediately after you exhale, inhale quickly and then exhale again slowly. Your focus should be on exhaling.
  7. Do this inhale-exhale routine 100 to 120 times in a minute. However, do not overexert yourself and stop the moment you feel dizzy.
  8. Do this for at least 2 minutes.

2. Pavanamuktasana (Wind-Relieving Pose)

The yoga position specialises in relieving air that might be trapped in your abdomen, which generally causes discomfort to your body as well as strained breathing. Doing this yoga proves to be effective among people with asthma as it ensures easy breathing movement.

How To Do It

  1. Lie on your back and raise your legs off the floor.
  2. Bend your legs from the knees, bringing the knees towards your chest to exert pressure on the abdomen area.
  3. Hold your knees with your hands.
  4. Lift your head, so your chin touches the knees.
  5. Maintain this position for about a minute while breathing deeply.
  6. Return to the starting position and relax.

3. Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose)

This yoga posture improves breathing and works magic in relieving you of stress and anxiety. However, you should avoid practising this if you have a neck, back, or shoulder injury.

How To Do It:

  1. Lie down on your back and bend the legs from your knees. The knees should face the ceiling and must be kept hip-width apart.
  2. Now, move the feet closer to the buttocks and keep the sole of the feet pressed to the floor.
  3. Inhale and lift the hips off the floor.
  4. Lift the chest up by exerting pressure on your shoulders and chest.
  5. Take your hips higher once you become a pro at this yoga asana.

4. Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)

Buzz 46: 6 Yoga Poses To Alleviate The Symptoms Of Asthma

This preposition works your respiratory system, eliminating breathing problems. Avoid practising this pose if you have severe asthma or spondylitis. Pregnant women should also avoid doing this asana. People with back injuries should also avoid this yoga asana.

How To Do It

  1. Lie down on your stomach with your hands on either side, parallel to your body, and your toes pressed on the mat.
  2. Inhale and simultaneously lift your head and chest gradually by pushing your hands against the floor.
  3. Slightly bend your elbows, relax and gradually take your shoulders closer to the floor.
  4. Arch your neck and look upward gently.
  5. Breathe normally while holding the posture.
  6. Finally, drop your chest on the floor gradually. 

5. Ardha Matsyendrasana (Sitting Half Spinal Twist)

Another very effective yoga asana is for those who have asthma. It clears respiratory organs, easing breathwork. Listen to your body and twist accordingly, to avoid exerting and injuring yourself. Also, remember to not strain your neck, to prevent injuries yet again.

How To Do It

  1. Sit cross-legged on your mat.
  2. Lift your right knee and place its sole on the mat outside your left knee.
  3. Inhale and raise your left hand to the ceiling stretching it up
  4. Exhale and bring your left elbow down to the outside of your right knee while twisting your torso to the right side from the base of your spine.
  5. Place your right hand on the mat behind your hips for support or if comfortable wrap it around your waist, and turn your head to the right looking past your right shoulder.
  6. Keep shoulders in one line.
  7. Breathe normally while holding the posture.
  8. To release slowly unwind and repeat on the other side.

6. Savasana (Corpse Pose)

Buzz 46: 6 Yoga Poses To Alleviate The Symptoms Of Asthma

The easiest of all yoga asanas, the pose de-stresses and relaxes you to the core. It is a meditative posture that encourages easy breathing, proving to be beneficial for alleviating asthmatic symptoms.

How To Do It:

  1. Lie down flat on your back, with both your hands kept on either side, parallel to your body.
  2. Focus solely on your breathing movements and don’t let your mind wander while you’re at it. Try following a rhythmic-inhale-exhale movement. 

The incidence of asthma, as we discussed, is rising across the globe. It is often the result of poor air quality or hereditary, or due to allergies. Mostly, we cannot prevent ourselves from developing this health condition. But the symptoms can be kept under control through lifestyle changes and keeping away from triggers, which vary between individuals. In severe cases, medicines may also be recommended, along with the above-mentioned natural treatments. Yoga can help with asthma by keeping the symptoms under check. Follow the above yoga for asthma daily and stay away from your triggers and, ta-da, your health condition may become a distant reality for you.

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