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Yoga for people with asthma


Yoga can be beneficial for people with asthma as it can help improve lung function, reduce stress, and promote relaxation. However, it's important to approach yoga with caution and consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new exercise routine, especially if you have asthma or any other health condition. Here are some general guidelines for practicing yoga with asthma:

  1. Focus on gentle, slow-paced poses: Avoid vigorous or strenuous poses that may trigger asthma symptoms. Instead, opt for gentle, slow-paced poses that help to open up the chest, stretch the muscles around the ribcage, and promote relaxation. Examples of such poses include child's pose (Balasana), seated forward fold (Paschimottanasana), and gentle chest openers like supported bridge pose (Setu Bandhasana) using props like a bolster.

  2. Emphasize diaphragmatic breathing: Deep breathing can help improve lung capacity and control breath, which is especially beneficial for people with asthma. Practice diaphragmatic breathing, also known as belly breathing, by inhaling deeply through your nose, allowing your belly to expand, and then exhaling fully through your mouth, allowing your belly to contract. This type of breathing can help reduce stress and anxiety, which are common triggers for asthma symptoms.

  3. Avoid triggers: Be mindful of environmental triggers that may worsen your asthma symptoms during your yoga practice. Avoid practicing yoga in dusty or smoky environments, and make sure you're practicing in a well-ventilated space. If you have allergies, use a clean mat and props to avoid exposure to allergens. Additionally, be cautious with scented candles, incense, or strong perfumes, as they may trigger asthma symptoms in some people.

  4. Modify as needed: Listen to your body and modify your yoga practice as needed to suit your comfort level. If a pose or breathing technique feels uncomfortable or triggers asthma symptoms, stop immediately and rest. Use props such as blocks, bolsters, and blankets to support your practice and make poses more accessible.

  5. Practice relaxation techniques: Yoga includes relaxation techniques like meditation and Savasana (corpse pose) that can help calm the nervous system and reduce stress, which can be beneficial for people with asthma. Incorporate relaxation techniques into your yoga practice to help manage stress and promote overall well-being.

  6. Communicate with your instructor: If you're taking a yoga class, inform your instructor about your asthma condition and any specific concerns you may have. A qualified instructor can provide modifications or suggest appropriate poses and breathing techniques for you.

Remember to always consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new exercise routine, including yoga, if you have asthma or any other health condition. Listen to your body, practice mindfully, and pay attention to any symptoms or discomfort. With proper precautions and modifications, yoga can be a beneficial practice for people with asthma.