Yoga for lungs: Effective exercises for enhancing lung capacity and easing breathing | Health - Hindustan Times

Yoga for lungs: Effective exercises for enhancing lung capacity and easing breathing

ByZarafshan Shiraz, New Delhi
Jun 25, 2024 03:00 PM IST

Here's how Yoga can improve your lung capacity and ease symptoms of respiratory conditions

Yoga experts claim that this fitness practice offers a holistic approach to improving lung capacity and managing respiratory conditions by combining breathing techniques, strengthening exercises, stress reduction and mindful movement. In other words, Yoga offers several benefits for improving lung capacity and easing symptoms of respiratory conditions.

Yoga for lungs: Effective exercises for enhancing lung capacity and easing breathing (Photo by Mor Shani on Unsplash)
Yoga for lungs: Effective exercises for enhancing lung capacity and easing breathing (Photo by Mor Shani on Unsplash)

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Himalayan Siddhaa Akshar, Founder of Akshar Yoga Kendraa, asserted that by incorporating Yoga into a regular routine, individuals can experience enhanced respiratory function, reduced symptoms and improved overall well-being. Here's how -

  1. Breathing Techniques (Pranayama): Pranayama focuses on breath control and can significantly enhance lung function. Techniques like deep breathing, diaphragmatic breathing, and alternate nostril breathing can expand lung capacity, increase oxygen intake, and improve respiratory efficiency.
  2. Strengthening Respiratory Muscles: Yoga poses (asanas) such as Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana), Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana), and Fish Pose (Matsyasana) engage and strengthen the muscles involved in breathing, including the diaphragm and intercostal muscles. Stronger respiratory muscles enhance lung capacity and efficiency.
  3. Improving Posture: Poor posture can restrict lung expansion and reduce respiratory function. Yoga helps correct posture imbalances by promoting alignment and awareness of body positioning. Poses like Mountain Pose (Tadasana) and Warrior Pose (Virabhadrasana) encourage proper spinal alignment, allowing for better lung expansion and airflow.
  4. Reducing Stress: Chronic stress can exacerbate respiratory conditions and impair lung function. Yoga's emphasis on relaxation, mindfulness, and stress reduction techniques like meditation and deep breathing can alleviate stress, enhance mental well-being, and improve overall respiratory health.
  5. Enhancing Lung Flexibility: Certain Yoga poses involve stretching and expanding the chest and ribcage, which can enhance lung flexibility and capacity. Poses like Camel Pose (Ustrasana), Bow Pose (Dhanurasana), and Cow Pose (Bitilasana) encourage deep inhalation and full expansion of the lungs.
  6. Increasing Oxygen Circulation: Yoga practices that emphasize controlled breathing and mindful movement improve oxygen circulation throughout the body. This enhanced oxygenation supports overall respiratory health, boosts energy levels, and reduces symptoms of respiratory conditions like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
  7. Promoting Relaxation Response: Yoga stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, triggering the body's relaxation response. This relaxation response can help alleviate symptoms associated with respiratory conditions such as wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness.
  8. Boosting Immune Function: Regular Yoga practice has been shown to strengthen the immune system, reducing the risk of respiratory infections and illnesses. By enhancing immune function, Yoga can help prevent exacerbations of respiratory conditions and promote faster recovery from respiratory-related ailments.
  9. Improving Lung Efficiency: Yoga encourages mindful breathing techniques that optimize lung function and efficiency. By practicing conscious breathing patterns, individuals can improve their respiratory rate, tidal volume and overall lung ventilation, leading to better oxygen exchange and carbon dioxide elimination.
  10. Supporting Lifestyle Modifications: Incorporating Yoga into a comprehensive treatment plan for respiratory conditions can support other lifestyle modifications such as smoking cessation, maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding environmental triggers that exacerbate respiratory symptoms.

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