Yoga Poses for Lung Health
This sequence of Yoga poses for lung health power up your Lungs. When you exercise your body, your lungs and your heart work to add oxygen to the muscles. Regular movement helps to strengthen your muscles. Your body becomes more efficient at getting oxygen into your blood.
How Yoga Helps to Strengthen the Lungs
Yoga and breathing work to stretch and strengthen the muscles of breathing including the diaphragm. These movements can increase your lung capacity, help you to breathe with more ease.
Learn more about how the diaphragm works in this short video. The mechanics of diaphragmatic breathing.
Yoga Poses for Healthy Lungs
Standing Yoga Sequence for Improved Lung Health
Yoga Exercises for Healthy Lungs
This yoga sequence can be performed at work or outside.
Since you don’t need to get onto the floor, this Standing Yoga Sequence for Improved Lung Health can be done anywhere.
Add a breathing exercise to this Yoga Sequence.
Given below are the step-by-step instructions to follow for the practice of Diaphragmatic Breathing:
- Begin the practice either seated on a chair or on the floor in Sukhasana (Easy Pose).
- Start by keeping the neck and shoulders loose as you connect to the natural movement of the body with the breathing. Stay connected to this natural movement for about 20 seconds.
- Now, place one hand on your chest (at the sternum) and the other hand below the rib cage, close to the navel.
- Take deep breaths through the nostrils, expand the abdominal area (making a balloon), as you fill the air into the lungs. Watch how the belly moves forward, slightly moving the upper abdomen upwards.
- Make a conscious effort to expand the abdomen, as this will support the diaphragm from contracting to expand the lungs to take maximum air.
- To experience this breath, bring your awareness to the eyebrow center so that you can feel the stomach moving in and out along the hand placed right below the rib cage.
- As you inhale, watch and make sure the other hand does not move on the chest too much.
- After full inhalation, hold for a few seconds. Then, slowly contract the belly pushing the diaphragm. With expansion, the lungs contract to exhale all the air comfortable.
- While exhaling, the neck and shoulders should be kept comfortable. Also this should be a natural movement without too much effort. After the exhalation, hold for a few seconds before inhaling again. But again this too should be natural.
- Inhale and exhale in a rhythmic way taking the practice for about 6-8 breaths, connecting to the movement of the abdomen. Initially it would be a challenge to breath deep and stay connected to the body movement, but gradually with practice this will become natural and easy.
- All along in the practice keep the back straight, facial muscles relaxed, shoulder and neck relaxed. As part of any yoga sequence this can be started at the beginning of the session, and then at the end, but before pranayama and meditation.
- Initially Diaphragmatic Breathing can be done twice a day for about 3 minutes. Gradually increasing to 5 minutes each time.. Gradually increase the timings and also experience if you can sustain slow breathing for a longer time.
- Once its undisturbed, it would be a natural breath on the belly and zero effort is noticed on this pattern of breathing.
Note: The practice can be done in supine to have better awareness. While in supine place a book on the belly and experience the shift in the rise and fall of the belly while you inhale and exhale. With each inhalation the book should move upwards, and vice versa with exhalation.
Articles of Interest
Yoga, meditation, and physical fitness have many benefits. Exercise for those that live with lung health conditions can sometimes be a challenge. Yoga is considered a safe exercise option for those with breathing challenges.
Not only do these yoga poses help with strengthening, but they also help the body cope with stress, pain, and anxiety.
As always, it is suggested that you consult with your health care provider before beginning any new exercise routine.
About the Author: Gina Scianimanico is a practicing Licensed Massage Therapist in Florida with over 14 years experience. As a LMT, Yoga Teacher, Herbalist, and Educator, she holds space for each individuals unique needs. Using a creative variety of techniques, she offers workshops, classes, massage, and yoga services.