Updated: Jul 17, 2021
Asthma & anxiety attacks – these can be one of the worst feelings in the world. Your chest tightens up and just taking a single deep breath can be a struggle. Fortunately, there are some breathing exercises and yoga poses that can really help ease the tension and give us relief during these times.
Yoga has been proven to have a significant impact on one's health, especially in regards to breathing problems. Yoga is essentially a moving meditation. It teaches you to connect your body, mind and breath, and to be present. Now it may not cure your asthma or anxiety, but it will help in dealing with the symptoms.
Here are some yoga poses that help open up the chest and lungs to ease your breathing and relieve any tightness or tension:
8 Yoga poses for asthma or anxiety:
1. Savasana – Lying flat with a block under your upper back. Keep the block horizontal, the bottom long edge directly behind your chest (ladies: approx. in line with your bra strap). Let your head rest on the mat, and your shoulders fall to the sides. Stay for a few minutes, keeping your mind present and breathing in and out slowly.
2. Cat Cow – one breath, one movement. Inhale, your stomach points towards the mat, head comes up, hips pointed up. Your spine should look like the bottom half of a circle. Exhale, round the back, head down. Spine should look like the upper half of a circle.
3. Low lunge – keep your hands interlocked behind, pulling the shoulders back and shoulder blades coming together. Or you can keep your arms in cactus, upper arms outstretched to the sides, forearms pointing up.
4. Wild thing (if in your practice) – from downward dog, lift one leg up, bend the knee and let the leg fall to the opposite side. Your arm (same side as leg), will naturally lift. Push your chest and hips up and open through the shoulders.
5. Cobra – (baby cobra and full cobra both work). Keeping your palms in line with your chest, either push up half-way or extend arms fully, rounding the shoulders back to open the chest.
6. Camel – keep your palms on your hips, fingers pointing down. Open the chest and start rounding your back, focusing on the bend in the upper back. If it’s in your practice, place hand on heels and push hips out for full camel.