When you are dealing with respiratory discomforts, you must do it carefully in order to identify areas that trigger emotional reactions and suppress anxiety. It is usually believed that one’s nose and lungs react to thoughts and emotions. Yoga aims at attacking the disease in a holistic manner and directs the mental state in control and quiet. This makes the disease to heal by itself to a great extent.
Yoga defines some afflictions that cause much of our misery and it is crucial to get rid of them in order to steady our mind. These afflictions are ignorance (avidva), ego (asmiia), extreme love (raga), hate (dvesa – clinging to status-quo or extreme) and attachment to life (abhinevesa). Yoga poses such as Sukhasana and Padmasana calm your mind to help you get rid of problematic afflictions.
Pranayama for Respiratory Disorders
We don’t adequately appreciate the value of breathing exercises for treating respiratory disorders like asthma. Most patients feel they can do these exercises for themselves. Breathing exercises can help significantly if you have sufficient perseverance and energy to acquire necessary control of the respiratory muscles.
Yogendra Pranayam 2
- Stand straight with feet apart. Hold yourself at the sides at chest level
- Now, breathing in, make your chest rise up. Now, breathe out and allow it to come down
- Feel this movement. Repeat it ten times.
Yogendra Pranayam 4
- Lie down on your back. Bend your feet at your knees. Keep your feet together, comfortably close to your body. Gently place your hand on your navel and observe your breath
- Raise your abdomen as you inhale for 3 seconds and make it fall as you exhale for 3 seconds. Ensure that there is no movement of the chest. Repeat this ten times.
Yogendra Pranayama 7 (Kevala Kumbhaka)
- Sit in Sukhasana, Padmasana or Vajrasana. Make a short exhalation and then inhale deeply in a steady continuous and rhythmic manner, bringing all the respiratory muscles into play
- Draw the abdomen in and hold your breath for as long as possible. However, try to hold your breath for twice as long as your inhalation
- Then, exhale as naturally as possible
- Keep a count of five seconds inhalation, ten seconds retention, and increase this gradually till you reach a count of thirty seconds inhalation and sixty seconds retention
- While practising this technique, focus your eyes on the tip of the nose or keep them shut
- Avoid any sort of force or strain while holding your breath. Retention should be done in a relaxed and effortless manner, without betraying any movement of the abdomen or chest.
Yogendra Pranayama 8 (Recaka)
- Sit in Sukhasana, Padmasana or Vajrasana. Inhale and hold your breath for double the count
- Then, exhale in a long continuous rhythmic manner. Try to prolong the exhalation to as many counts as possible. For example, inhale for three seconds, retain for six seconds and exhale for twelve seconds
- Gradually, over a period of time increase the counts so that exhalation is maintained for thirty seconds with a proportionate increase in inhalation and retention
- Always maintain a short suspension of breath before inhaling
- While doing this technique, concentrate on the flow and depth of your breath. The exhalation should be smooth and not jerky
- Use all the respiratory muscles smoothly—the intercostals and last the diaphragm, so that the abdomen is slowly compressed and drawn in towards the back. Practice ten rounds.
The treatment of respiratory conditions with yoga also emphasises on one’s diet. You should avoid spicy and fried foods. Foods that increase mucous secretions like pickles, chutneys, ice cream and iced drinks should also be avoided.