Recently I have been doing research on the possible benefits of yoga for asthma sufferers. According to the CDC, Asthma affects 14-15 million Americans, including almost 5 million children. The environment people live in and the way they live play a part in determining whether or not they have asthma attacks. Air pollution and other respiratory irritants are often key triggers in asthma, however stress has been cited as another major factor. We at YoKid are extremely interested in the benefits of yoga techniques for children suffering from stress-related asthma. The CDC is developing a national strategy to assist states in developing asthma prevention programs and we think yoga techniques can be a big part of this strategy!
“Breathing exercises used in yoga have been found to help some asthmatics control breathing and reduce stress, a common asthma trigger. Breathing techniques and improved control of breathing by yoga may contribute to the control of asthma symptoms in some people.” Breathing exercises emphasized in yoga have the potential to improve lung function and quality of life for persons with asthma.
A study “Yoga For Bronchial Asthma” by H.R. Nagendra Vivekananda at the Kendra Yoga Research Foundation in Bangalore, India claims “by regular exercise of Yogasana and Pranayama the constriction of the bronchial tubes gets very much reduced. With this one can control the attack of asthma to a great extent and subsequently gradually asthma can be cured from the roots.” They provide sound advice for asthma patients and anyone in general seeking to preserve their health.
1. Regular practice of selected yoga asanas, pranayama,
2. Proper diet,
3. Avoid the things which strain the nerves.
They also provide a list of poses recommended for asthma patients: Ekpada Uttansana (one-leg raised pose), Tadasana (mountain pose), Yoga Mudra, Ushtrasana (camel pose), Simhasana (lion pose), Sarvangsana (shoulder stand), Matsyasana (fish pose), Shavasana (corpse pose), Pranayaman (breath control), Ujjayee pranayama (deep throat breathing). For more info about these postures click here.
We realize that asthma is not curable and Yoga cannot substitute for asthma medications. But it can certainly be used to compliment medical regiments if approved by a doctor. There is a great need for more inquiry in to the benefits of yoga techniques for child and adult asthma sufferers. There is a critical need to protect our children and future generations from asthma. I say let’s do what we can!