Treat Respiratory Disorders with this Pranayam Yoga

When addressing respiratory discomfort, it’s essential to proceed with care, pinpointing areas that may trigger emotional responses and managing anxiety. There’s a common belief that one’s nose and lungs can react to thoughts and emotions. Yoga offers a holistic approach to combating respiratory issues, aiming to bring the mind under control and promote tranquility, thus facilitating the body’s natural healing processes.

In yoga philosophy, certain afflictions contribute significantly to our suffering, and it’s imperative to overcome them to achieve mental stability. These afflictions include ignorance (avidya), ego (asmita), excessive attachment (raga), aversion (dvesa – whether it’s clinging to the status quo or its extreme), and attachment to life (abhinivesa). Yoga poses such as Sukhasana and Padmasana are designed to calm the mind, aiding in the dissolution of these troublesome afflictions.

Pranayama for Respiratory Disorders

Breathing exercises are often overlooked in the treatment of respiratory disorders like asthma, yet they can be incredibly beneficial, especially when practiced consistently. Many patients believe they can perform these exercises independently, and with dedication and energy, they can effectively gain control over their respiratory muscles.

Here are some specific breathing exercises from Yogendra Pranayama that can be particularly helpful:

  1. Yogendra Pranayam 2: Stand with your feet apart and hold your sides at chest level. Inhale deeply, allowing your chest to rise, and exhale, allowing it to fall. Repeat this movement ten times, focusing on the sensation.
  2. Yogendra Pranayam 4: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet together, close to your body. Place your hand on your navel and observe your breath. Inhale deeply, expanding your abdomen for 3 seconds, then exhale, allowing it to fall for 3 seconds. Repeat this sequence ten times, ensuring that your chest remains still.
  3. Yogendra Pranayama 7 (Kevala Kumbhaka): Sit comfortably in Sukhasana, Padmasana, or Vajrasana. Take a short exhalation, then inhale deeply in a steady, rhythmic manner, engaging all respiratory muscles. Hold your breath for as long as possible, aiming for twice the duration of your inhalation. Exhale naturally. Start with a 5-second inhalation and 10-second retention, gradually increasing to 30 seconds inhalation and 60 seconds retention. Maintain focus on the tip of your nose or close your eyes. Avoid any strain during breath retention, keeping it relaxed and effortless, with no movement of the abdomen or chest.

By incorporating these breathing exercises into your routine with patience and persistence, you can gain better control over your respiratory health and potentially alleviate symptoms associated with respiratory disorders like asthma.

  • Sit in Sukhasana, Padmasana or Vajrasana. Inhale and hold your breath for double the count
  • Then, exhale in a long continuous rhythmic manner. Try to prolong the exhalation to as many counts as possible. For example, inhale for three seconds, retain for six seconds and exhale for twelve seconds
  • Gradually, over a period of time increase the counts so that exhalation is maintained for thirty seconds with a proportionate increase in inhalation and retention
  • Always maintain a short suspension of breath before inhaling
  • While doing this technique, concentrate on the flow and depth of your breath. The exhalation should be smooth and not jerky
  • Use all the respiratory muscles smoothly—the intercostals and last the diaphragm, so that the abdomen is slowly compressed and drawn in towards the back. Practice ten rounds.

The treatment of respiratory conditions with yoga also emphasises on one’s diet. You should avoid spicy and fried foods. Foods that increase mucous secretions like pickles, chutneys, ice cream and iced drinks should also be avoided.