Yoga For Asthma (Or Anyone Who Wants to Breathe Deeply)
What’s happening in the physical body is often a manifestation of something deeper. For most people a build-up of memories and feelings get stored in the energetic body. Long-held beliefs about everything from our limitations to our fears make us carry our posture in a way that’s out of balance.
Asthma centers around the lungs, physically speaking. Emotionally, it’s related to the heart center. Feeling sad or heavy-hearted creates one of those mind-to-body postural connections, and for most it means the chest is not lifted. This may be clear and obvious in posture, or it may strictly be an inner emotional state. Either way, breathing is more difficult.
Dedicated Daily Practices
On an emotional level, showing up consistently for yourself and creating sacred space to honor how you feel goes a long way towards healing on all levels, not just with asthma.
- What can you do daily to bolster your feelings of self-love?
- Can you do more of what brings you joy and lightness?
- How do you honor whatever hurt, grief or sadness you feel?
- Do you have healthy ways of releasing feelings of fear, heavy-heartedness, unworthiness and other challenging emotions?
Creating Openness & Building Stamina
Creating space for the lungs and expansion in the chest is key to breathing more easily. Back bends are the perfect poses to do this.
- Supda Baddha Konasana :: Reclining Cobbler’s pose
- Setu Bandha :: Bridge pose, hips on a block
- Lying over a rolled blanket under your shoulder blades.
- Poorvottanasana :: Upward Facing Plank
- Ustrasana :: Camel pose
- Urdhva Dhanurasana :: Wheel pose
- Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana :: Upward Facing Dog pose
You can also give your lungs more openness and build the inner strength to hold yourself up by doing seated poses. Try:
- Dandasana :: Staff pose
- Sukhasana :: Simple Cross Legs
- Virasana :: Hero pose
- Padmasana :: Lotus
Learn to get a steady rhythm with Ujjayi breathing on a daily basis. Practice it on its own, outside of your asana practice and on an empty stomach for best results.
You can do ujjayi pranayama seated, or lying down with a bolster long ways under your spine (hips on the floor). Work towards consistent, daily practice. The goal is to make your breath long, steady and slow.
When you begin this daily habit, commit to only one minute at first. Do that daily for a week, then add another thirty seconds to a minute. Do that new, increased duration for another week, then add on again. Work up to five minutes and you’ll be amazed at how you feel!