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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Breathe Easy With Yoga - How Yoga Cures Asthma?

Medical experts define Asthma as a disease of respiratory respiratory system and the system manifested are chronic inflammation, labored or shortened breathing, wheezing, coughing and sticky mucous from chest. Lets us discuss first the outline of the article to help readers understand better. We will discuss how yoga benefits to cure and the different yoga poses specially selected to be practiced by asthma patients.

The Symptoms of Asthma
There are no hidden Symptoms of asthma and generally all symptoms are easily recognizable. Generally the inflammation in the trachea (wind pipe, connecting throat to lungs) becomes the first alarming sign and tightness in the chest or shortness of breath confirms that the patient is affected with asthma. At times asthma attacks abruptly all of a sudden and constriction of the wind pipe and chest totally becomes unbearable followed by extremely difficult breathing. But if the patient becomes alert then the dangerous situation of attack can be averted if one pays attention to the warning signals such as the wheezing sound while exhaling and inhaling (breathing) due to the presence of sputum in the respiratory system, coughs etc.

What Triggers Asthma
The main culprits are allergens like cold, house dust, pollen, animal dander, irritants such as smokes, chemical fumes etc. For some people, in certain cases, stress from emotional and exercising reasons can trigger the symptoms.

Some Statistics on Asthma
No case in the medical history has been reported so far where the death is due to Asthma unless the patient is not careful for proper and timely care. However, researches show that death toll due to asthma has been increased since 1970s in the United States as well as around the globe. The no of asthma sufferers in the United States only is about 20 million. More pathetic is that slightly less than half of them (about 9 million) are children below 18 years. Out of the total asthmatics, about 70% have other allergies and 10 million of Americans suffer from allergic asthma. Asthma children have been increased significantly by 160% in the 1980-1994 period. Cases of asthma deaths have been increased to 5000 annually and direct cost of treatment is pegged at $11.5 billion and indirect costs at %4.1 billion. African Americans are 39% more prone than white Americans. Total loss of work days is 24.5 million and school days lost is 12.8 million.

Some Yoga Poses that Help in Combating Asthma (Yoga for Health)
Yoga experts have defined some poses to cure asthma. If practiced sincerely and regularly these yoga poses for asthma may benefit you to fight asthma attacks better. Ongoing debates on how yoga benefits asthma patients are still under study by different researchers. But what has been noticed practically is that yoga helps to cure asthma.

Easy Yoga Pose
One good news for asthma patients is that Sukhasana, is the easiest poses for asthma. Choose a Sitting posture and sit down straight on the floor, keep your legs crossed and clasp your knees easily and that's it. Breathe easy for 5 minutes.

Shoulder Lifts
Choose a posture where you can lie down comfortably on your back straight on the floor. Keep your hands stretched above head and get relaxed. Breathe easily for a few moments and slowly lift up shoulders towards front together with head crouching abdomen as in curls. Breathe in as you get up and breathe out when retracting.

Sun Salutation
Yoga sun salutation, popularly known as Surya namaskara, involves 12 sequential poses that start with stand-at-ease pose and also end with the same. The unique feature is that, the 5th and 6th of them are the standing pose on four limbs where the body lies horizontally on the ground. Care must be taken to ensure that the forehead and nose touches ground. The sequential inhalations and exhalations during the Sun Salutation empower the respiratory system to fight with asthma. This pose also cures backaches. This is among the top 10 yoga asana to relive asthma.

Kapalabhati Breathing Technique
When we talk about Yoga and asthma, the discussion cannot be completed without talking about pranayama, a the most popular and practiced meditated breathing technique. While practicing Kapalabhati, you need to control the movements of the diaphragm (a membrane separating abdomen from chest.) consciously simultaneously controlling inhalations and exhalations while breathing rapidly in short sequences and This strengthens the entire respiratory system.

Anuloma Viloma Breathing Technique
Popular as alternate nostril breathing technique. One needs to breathe in through one nostril and breathe out through the other while holding breath in between. This brings breathing a much needed rhythm.

Best Yoga Poses For Asthma
It is advised to practice Yoga Asanas to cure Asthma, under expert supervision as some yoga poses for asthma need utmost care to practice them. While some practices to cure asthma such as kung fu involve rapid movements, these yoga poses involve slow steps. The thumb rule is controlled breathing under stress. One needs to breathe in while bending and breathe out while straightening unless the focus is on weight reduction.

Pada Hasthasana
As appears from the name, Pada means feet and palms are hastha. This particular posture involves standing while the hands are fully raised, leaning forward fully to touch your feet and forehead, the knees. It has been noticed practically that this yoga gives best results for lungs and heart.

This yoga asana is quite similar to padahasthasana the only difference is that one needs to begin with sitting erect and ensuring that both legs are stretched forward. The next step is to bend forward to touch feet with hands and knees with forehead.

The beginning is quite similar to paschimothanasana where the posture is sitting erect and legs are stretched. Keep the right foot in relaxed position on left knee, lock it by your left armpit and make sure that you body is supported with the help of right palm resting on the floor on the right side. Twist torso to the extent you feel comfortable, to right and breathe 4-5 times. Go back to original position and do it for the next part of your body.

Get relaxed and bend on knees and stretch legs backwards alternately. Simultaneously lift the stretched out leg and both hands to the extent you feel comfortable to hold your foot. Stay there for a couple of breaths.

Start with sitting in padmasana, breathe in to the full capacity of lungs. Hold breath as long as possible. Breathe out from left nostril and keep the right one closed using right thumb. In the next cycle, breathe out from the right nostril, and make sure to close the left nostril using right index finger.

Relatively different breathing technique, that is basically started with a sitting posture in sukhasana (some exponents prefer oadmasana). Breathe in through one nostril and breathe out through the other using alternate nostrils, using the right thumb and index finger to close the alternate nostrils. Hold breath in between inhaling and exhaling as long as comfortable.

Yoga and asthma are quite popular words to fitness freaks. It is advised to consult an instructor for these yoga poses for asthma and follow a regular routine. The yoga poses must be started practicing before winter starts to get optimum results. Apart from extremely cold or rainy season yoga must be practiced early morning in open air.

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