Asthma affects the airways in the body which causes difficulty in breathing. Inflammation of the air passages makes them narrow which causes asthma symptoms like whistling noise with breathing, shortness of breath, chest tightness and coughing. Some of the most common factors that aggravate asthma include dust, mites, pollen, smoke, pollution, weather changes, cold & cough and respiratory infections. Usually, anti-inflammatory drugs, long-acting bronchodilators, quick-relief drugs, inhalers are used to manage asthma and prevent frequent asthma attacks.
Yoga — breathing exercises and asanas help asthmatics deal with the condition in a better way. Hansaji Jayadeva Yogendra of The Yoga Institute, says, “The mind and breath go together. In order to ensure that our body functions well, we have to see to it that our breathing is perfect. Our aim should be to increase the volume of oxygen in our body. This will improve our immunity and overall wellbeing.” One such yoga asana that increases the supply of oxygen to all the parts in our body is konasana. This asana involves twisting, stretching and bending all of which help the lungs to drain out excess mucus. It also helps increase the supply of oxygen to the upper part of the body. This is very helpful for managing asthma, sinusitis, laryngitis, pharyngitis and other respiratory disorders.
Instructions to perform konasana:
Stand straight and move your feet to stand about 3 feet apart. Lift your hands and keep them at shoulder level. Make sure the palms are facing upwards.
Inhaling, open your hands in T position. Exhaling, look at your right palm.
Breathing normally, twist your body to the left at the waist, slowly go down, touch your left toe and look at your left palm. Wait for a few breaths.
Inhaling, look at your right palm and bring it back to T position. Now exhaling, look at your left palm and twist your body to the right at the waist. Slowly go down, touch your right toe and look at your right palm. Wait for a few breaths.
Now exhale and turn your palms and hands down.