The past recent years have witnessed quite an increase in the level of air pollution, especially in metro cities like Delhi, which increases the number of lungs patients each year. However, the introduction of the novel coronavirus has unimaginably worsened this situation as infections relating to COVID-19 affect the respiratory tract, especially the Lungs, making pulmonary health the top priority for everyone to prevent and manage these infections.
Our lungs are one of the most important organs of our bodies as they help us breathe in oxygen for our survival. Proper and healthy functioning of the lungs is vital for all the other body parts to function well. And one of the best ways one can improve lung health is through the practice of yoga. Breathing plays the utmost importance in the science of yoga. In fact, it is believed that breath or ‘prana’ is the life force or the primal energy of life –the master form of all energy at every level of being. Hence, there are numerous breathing exercises or ‘Pranayama’ and yogic postures or ‘Asanas’which are known to help in gaining control of your breath, correct poor breathing habits, increase oxygen intake and ultimately improve lung health.
Before we go further with the various exercises, it is important we know the benefits of yoga when it comes to breathing and our overall respiratory and pulmonary health. Here are some of the health benefits of yoga, particularly for the lungs:
- Daily practice of yoga can help strengthen your chest muscles, increase lung capacity and boost oxygen intake.
- It helps in keeping your lungs strong and healthy, thereby improving your breathing and oxygen intake.
- It helps activate the air cells of the lungs, clear mucus from the airways and strengthen the lungs.
- The standing asanas or postures helps strengthen the back muscles and increase oxygenation and lung capacity.
- Regular practice of yoga helps strengthen your life energy and your overall health.
Now that we know how yoga benefits our lung health, here are 6 simple Yoga Pranayama and Asanasyou can try to help strengthen and improve your lung health:
1. Trikonasana or Triangle pose
This Asana opens up the chest cavity, allowing for the easier passage of air to the lungs. It gets rid of all the toxins from the lungs and the body for smooth functioning.
- Stand straight placing your legs 3 feet apart.
- Place your right foot at 90 degrees and your left at 30 degrees.
- Lift your left hand and touch the ground with your right hand. Make sure that both your arms are in a straight line.
- Stretch to the fullest, and focus more on stabilizing your body.
- Inhale and come up. Drop your arms to your side and straighten your feet.
- Repeat the same on the other side now.
2. Dhanurasana or Bow pose
This is thought to be one of the best yoga for lung cleaning. It is easy to follow and is a great way to start your journey into the world of yoga.
- Start by lying down on your stomach
- Bend your knees towards your back and grab onto your ankles.
- Inhale and lift your legs and arms as much as you can.
- Look up and hold the posture as long as you can.
3. Tadasana or Mountain Pose
This asana allows for plenty of fresh air to fill the lungs by expanding the rib cage and abdomen, which helps enhance the performance of the lungs.
- Stand straight with both feet 2 inches apart.
- Inhale deep and raise both arms over the head and stretch upwards with folded hands in a way that your palms face each other.
- Lift both the heels slowly, balancing your entire body on your toes.
- Hold the position for a while and slowly exhale while lowering the hands and heals down.
- Come to the rest position and repeat.
4. NadiShodhan Pranayama or Alternate Nostril Breathing
This breathing techniqueis beneficial for individuals with breathing problem. It helps improve lung function in asthmatic patients while simultaneously help release accumulated stress and help the body to relax.
- Sit comfortably with your spine straight and shoulders relaxed.
- Place your left hand on the left knee, and palms open to the sky.
- Place the tip of the index finger and middle finger of the right hand in between the eyebrows, the ring finger and little finger on the left nostril, and the thumb on the right nostril.
- Alternate the closing and opening of the nostrils with your thumb to the ring finger and little finger while exhaling and inhaling deeply and slowly.
5. ArdhaMatsyendrasana or Sitting Half Spinal Twist
This pose helps in opening up the chest and increase oxygen supply to the lungs while relieving stress and tension trapped in the back.
- Sit straight with your legs stretched and feet together.
- Bend your right leg. Bring your left foot around the right knee corner and take your left hand back.
- Now take your left hand backwards. Stretch your right hand and apply pressure on the knee using your elbow while holding your right foot.
- Put your left hand on the knee and look at the back over your left shoulder.
- Hold the pose for a few seconds, breathe slowly, yet deeply.
6. Bhujangasana or Cobra Pose
Besides other benefits, this pose is particularly beneficial for the lungs as it helps expands the chest and lungs to improve the lung capacity.
- Start by lying down on your stomach with your forehead touching the ground.
- Place both the palms on side of your shoulders, keeping your elbows close to your body.
- Take a deep breath and tighten the hip and the tailbone.
- As you exhale drawing the shoulders back, lift the upper body
- Back and abdominal muscles are stretched
- Look straight or towards the ceiling as much as you are comfortable
- Hold the position for few seconds
- Exhale and return to the face down lying position
These are some of the best yoga pranayama and asanas you can try to enhance your respiratory health and increase your lung capacity. And the best thing about them is that they are easy to follow and can be done with no difficulty. Regular practice of these asanas paired with healthy Ayurvedic teas and juices like Daily Boost Tea and Daily Strength Juice from Preserva Wellness is sure to give you the nourishment needed for solid lungs and improved health.
These two unique products boast all the health benefits of some of the finest and most powerful Ayurvedic herbs and spices that are specifically formulated in a way to support and promote a strong and healthy respiratory system and improve lung health and functioning. They offer an ample amount of health benefitting nutrients and are an ideal solution in reducing risk of asthma, bronchitis and other respiratory and pulmonary disorders.