Pranayama, which is a practice of controlling breath, is a simple technique for relief from symptoms of Asthma. Before moving to benefits of Pranayama for asthma, let’s look at the three key objectives of this technique: Benefits of Pranayama for asthma
- A gradual decrease in the frequency of breathing
- Being able to attain a ratio of 1:2 for the duration of inspiration and expiration of breath. This means one should be able to hold their breath at the end of inspiration for a period that is twice the time taken to expel breath.
- Focusing the mind on breathing.
How Does Pranayama Help People Who Have Asthma?
- In a study published in the North American Journal of Medical Sciences, pranayama has shown to improve lung function on a short-term basis.
- In the same study, Pranayama has shown to reduce exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (constriction of airways in the lungs).
- In children, Pranayama has shown to increase the strength of inspiratory and expiratory muscles.
- Pranayama improves the hyper responsiveness of the airways making a patient more resistant to allergens. Allergic asthma is the most common type of asthma.
- Stress is one of the most common triggers of asthma. Pranayama releases tension and helps in coping up with anxiety.
In summary, pranayama is a safe and non-invasive technique to support the treatment of asthma. However, you should ensure you’re following the right breathing technique. If you’re new to pranayama, it is advisable to work with a certified Yoga practitioner before trying pranayama on your own.
Balaji, P. A., Varne, S. R., & Ali, S. S. (2012). Physiological Effects of Yogic Practices and Transcendental Meditation in Health and Disease. North American Journal of Medical Sciences, 442-448
Saxena1, T. S. (2009). The effect of various breathing exercises (pranayama) in patients with bronchial asthma of mild to moderate severity. International Journal of Yoga.