Yoga - A Breath of Life For Asthma Patients

Yoga has a very calming effect on asthma and can greatly improve the quality of life of the sufferers...

Though it is one of the commonest chronic ailments afflicting over 300 million people around the world, yet medical science has not found a foolproof cure for asthma. The disease, caused by the narrowing of the respiratory tubes resulting in wheezing, shortness of breath, can at best be managed.

However, since the fault lies in breathing, yoga has a very calming effect on asthma and can greatly improve the quality of life of the sufferers.

Known in the Hindu stream of medicine as Shwas Rog, asthma can be controlled and in some cases cured with Pranayam, Sudarshan Kriya, and other breathing techniques that bring lasting relief to patients.

The ancient yogic practice involves taking in deep breaths to regulate and direct the Prana Shakti. Pranayam are of different types:

  • Bhastrika
  • Kapalbhati
  • Bahayya kumbhak
  • Anulom-Vilom
  • Bhramri Pranayam
  • Om chanting
  • Nadi Shodhan

Many CDs are available in the market on how to perform Pranayam the right way to increase airflow in the lungs. Asthma patients who practise it regularly notice a dramatic reduction in attacks.

Sudarshan Kriya:

This is a relatively new yogic breathing exercise and was introduced in the early eighties. It has three different breathing rhythms that follow a cyclical pattern. The first rhythm is slow with eight breaths, the second is medium with 15 breaths and the third is fast with 30 breaths. Done under a trained professional Sudarshan Kriya brings great relief to chronic asthma patients as it helps increase air capacity of the lungs, making it easier to breathe.

Surya Namaskar:

One of the most versatile yogic techniques, Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation is not only great for joints, limbs and ligaments, it also brings great relief to asthma patients as well. It is a series of 12 sequences done with synchronised breathing. The first six are the actual salutation to the sun and the next six retrace the movements to come back to the original pose. The vigorous breathing helps ventilate the lungs, clearing the air passage of all obstacles. This brings great respite to asthma patients.


This yogic corpse pose or Savasana works wonders in helping people suffering from asthma. It requires you to lie on your back with your hands on your sides, feet spread apart and eyes closed. Breathing deeply, you are required to concentrate on each part of the body. As you start breathing deeply, the airway constrictions will simply fade away over time. You will feel your lungs filling up and the air passages opening up as you take in the breath and then exhale.

There are a number of other asanas that require abdominal breathing like Supta Virasana, Uttanasana, Sukhasana, Pavanmuktasana and Dandasana that benefit asthma patients. But if you do at least the above four regularly under professional supervision, you will not just see a marked decline in asthma attacks but possibly a complete cure from this respiratory disease. 


Learn what triggers asthma, symptoms and help you find ways to manage the condition from our team of experts at Apollo Cradle.