Over the years, I have been frequently asked about the benefits of yoga for asthma sufferers. Obviously, I could not possibly speak on everyone's behalf. However, from personal experience, my answer would be yes. As an asthmatic (who has had a respiratory arrest), I have found that yoga has transformed my life in several ways. Perhaps most significantly, it has enabled me to have greater control over breathing. I am now able to recognise the onset of asthma symptoms and use yogic breathing exercises to relax. Another benefit is that I have been able to drastically reduced the use of prescribed asthma medication.
On a more scientific note, medical studies have also shown that practising yoga on a regular basis is beneficial for asthma sufferers. During an asthma attack, the upper back and chest become tight from wheezing, coughing and struggling to breath. This is where yogic breathing exercises come into play. They exercise the lungs and encourage a full diaphragmatic breath. As a result, learning to breathe deeply in a calm controlled way can help to reduce symptoms when they arise. It goes without saying that you should always seek your doctor's advice before adjusting your medication. The same applies when taking up any new form of physical activity.
What poses in yoga are good for asthma? There are many yoga poses that can bring relief to the thoracic area. In particular, those that include twisting and some bending of the back. These lengthen and open up areas that have become tight through shallow breathing and wheezing. In this short video, you will see the 5 best yoga poses for asthma relief.
YOGA FOR ASTHMA SUFFERERS
At our Yoga Mama Wellness studio in Putney, we offer Yin Yoga (with Cherie Lathey) both as group classes or 1:1 sessions. These gentle classes are suitable for asthma sufferers. At present, group classes are running online. However, we look forward to returning to the studio when social distancing restrictions are lifted. In addition, we also run monthly online Restorative Yoga workshops (with Diane King).