Yoga for Asthma – Poses and Breathing Techniques

yoga for asthama

How Asthma Affects

Chronic asthma is a lung illness that produces periodic episodes of wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, and coughing. It narrows and irritates the airways by contraction of the smooth muscle in the bronchioles.

In most individuals, there is a sudden onset of cold symptoms, such as nasal congestion and sneezing. As the attack ensues, there is an increasing insufficiency of air, causing distress and anxiety where the individual loses control of their breathing process.

Exhalation demands a continuous effort as thick mucous builds up pressure in the lungs. It also leads to decreased levels of oxygen in the body. Yoga for asthma leads to rebalance and healing of the body and mind.


How Yoga Helps In Asthma

Hath yoga is a physical approach that links the mind and body through the breath, enabling them to work cohesively, which aids in the management of asthma.

Numerous studies have demonstrated that yoga treatment significantly improved the severity and duration of episodes, the number of attacks per week, and the need for medication. 

The combined effects of pranayama and yoga asana make it one of the best yoga practices for asthma and to prevent acute asthma attacks. Persistent practice will lead to increased energy and clearing up of clogged pranic energy. 


Yoga Poses For Asthma

Regularly stretching the shoulders, chest, and back and breathing muscles are excellent ways to train the muscles to relax during an asthma attack.

The following poses are some of the best poses for asthma prevention. Perform each asana while paying close attention to your body and breath.


Surya Namaskar

Young sporty fit woman doing yoga Sun salutation Surya Namaskar

The Sun Salutation, or the Surya Namaskar, consists of 12 postures that activate all the muscles. It can be used as a warm-up. Surya Namaskar encourages the flow of lymphatic fluid, which strengthens the immune system, making it easier to prevent infections and the common cold. 


Rabbit Pose

Yoga pose for asthama ( Rabbit Pose)

  1. Sit in Vajrasana with knees bent. Rest your hands on your knees.
  2. Spread the knees apart, keeping contact between the big toes. 
  3. Take a deep inhale. 
  4. Exhale and lean forward, extending your arms
  5. Place chin down on the floor and look forward.


Cobra Stretch


  1. Lie face down on the mat. Bring your legs to a hip-width distance.
  2. Place your palms down, just below the shoulder blades. Bend the elbows.
  3. As you take a breath, Raise the upper body by pulling your chest away from the floor.
  4. Maintain comfortable inhalation and exhalation and hold for 15-30 mins. 
  5. Lower down gently as you exhale.

Read more about – Cobra Stretch


Cat and Cow

Cat and cow pose

  1. Starting on all fours, place your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips to perform the cat-cow stretch. 
  2. Breathe in as you drop your belly, arch your back, and raise your head (Cow Pose). 
  3. Breathe while bending your back and bringing your chin to your chest (Cat Pose). 


Hand Raised Pose

Raised Arms Pose (Hasta Uttanasana)

  1. Come to a standing posture.
  2. Inhale, raise your hand and extend your arms upward. 
  3. Exhale, gently lean back and stretch the spine while maintaining an upward look.


Standing Seal Pose

Yoga pose for asthama ( satanding seal pose)

  1. Stand straight with feet apart. 
  2. Put the arms out behind your back and interlock your fingers. 
  3. Inhale, rotate your arms such that your palms are facing up.
  4. Exhale, bend forward from the waist and lift your arms as high behind the back as you can.
  5. Hold for 8- 10 breaths
  6. Gently release the pose and return to a comfortable position. 


Cow Face Pose

Cow Face Pose

  1. Sit in the Dandasan pose and extend the legs in front.
  2. Move your right heel over to the left hip’s side and align the left heel with your right hip.
  3. Elongate the spine
  4. Inhale, raises the arm. Exhale, bend the left elbow to rest the hand on the back.
  5. Lift the right arm, bend the elbow so that it faces the ground, and clasp the fingers together.
  6. Avoid letting the head lean forward. Maintain an upright spine.
  7. Hold for 8-10 breaths. And gently release the hands. 
  8. Repeat with the other side.


Yoga Breathing Exercises For Asthma

Pranyama helps to improve voluntary control over the breathing system and prevent acute episodes. It improves the respiratory capacity and strengthens the lungs. The following are the best breathing exercises for asthma.


Alternate Nostril Breathing

yoga pose for asthama(Alternate Nostril Breathing

  1. Establish a connection with your breath. 
  2. Make the Vishnu mudra. Fold the index and middle fingers inward until they make contact with the palm. You will seal the right nostril with your right thumb and the left nostril with your right ring finger.
  3. Inhale from the left nostril. To shut the right nostril, use your thumb. 
  4. Take a moment to pause at the top of your head.
  5. Exhale from the right nostril. At the bottom of the exhale, pause slightly.
  6. Inhale through the right nostril.
  7. Exhale from the left nostril.
  8. This is one round. Continue for 10-15 minutes.


Bhastrika Pranayama

yoga pose for asthama(Bhastrika Pranayama)

  1. Select a comfortable sitting posture. Rest the hands on your knees. 
  2. Elongate the spine, head, and neck. Close your eyes.
  3. To begin, take a full yoga breath in and then release it quickly and powerfully without holding back. Let the abdomen contract dynamically as you exhale, pulling the navel toward the spine and the diaphragm upward toward the lungs.
  4. Instantly, after this exhalation, take a vital breath in without straining. When you take a breath in, let your abdomen expand fully, pushing the navel away from the spine and the diaphragm down toward the pelvic floor.
  5. Exhale hard and forcefully. 
  6. Pay attention to the duration and force of both the inhale and the exhale.
  7. Perform 10 rounds.
  8. After holding the breath for a little while at the peak of the tenth inhale, gently release with a long, full exhale. Then, inhale deeply and release the air gradually. 
  9. This is one round.

Yoga offers several health benefits and may be able to lessen some asthmatic symptoms. It’s essential to find a practice that is comfortable for you. Take it gently at first, and be careful not to push yourself, which might damage you or cause pain.

Meghna Banerjee