By Faye Martins
Is practicing yoga for asthma beneficial? Sometimes, you read that yoga helps everything. Is all of this “good yoga talk” a bunch of hype to market classes? Here’s the truth: Yogic breathing techniques and some postures (asanas) that open the chest are a big help to someone who can’t breathe. About hype: Maybe somebody promises cures, but I can’t give promises because even a medical prescription doesn’t work for everybody.
The fact is: people will still refuse to breathe properly and practice yoga posturing to their last day. Medicine can’t help that and neither can yoga. In some cities the number one booming business is a drug rehab clinic, followed by your local liquor store, scratch ticket center, and cigarette stand. There is no false promise or short–term trickery in yoga. If everyone practiced yogic techniques, planet earth would be a very healthy, peaceful, and safe place to live. On top of that, I’ll bet you would see massive use of energy that is environmentally friendly (solar, wind, water, etc.).
With that rant said, let’s think about kids yoga for asthma. An unfortunate fact of life is that asthma is a chronic respiratory condition that affects many children and adults in the world, causing alarming attacks and difficulty breathing. It can hold many children back during physical activity, and this can make them feel like the odd one out among their peers. Fortunately, the regular practice of yoga has been known to lessen the impact of asthma on young lives.
One of the main reasons yoga training is effective in the control of asthma is that it teaches proper breathing technique. It is important to teach children to work on breathing exercises to strengthen the lungs and airways. Simply lying in a corpse position and observing their own breathing technique and work to improve it can do wonders. Breathing exercises that focus on extended exhales which fully deflate the lungs are also beneficial.
Yoga is also great for kids with asthma because of its anti-stress benefits. Stress can often trigger those alarming and sometimes life-threatening asthma attacks, and yoga can help by promoting relaxation of the mind. It can teach children relaxation techniques to keep their heads cool and less prone to attacks in especially stressful situations.
There are several poses that are especially beneficial to asthmatics and should be a main point of focus during sessions. Perform poses that incorporate movement with breath; so the child can learn to have better use of their lungs. A simple move that teaches this is just sitting or standing and raising arms on an inhale breath and slowly lowering them as you breathe out. Chest openers also give kids literally more room to breathe by improving lung capacity. Try poses such as cobra, camel, fish, pyramid, or bow pose. Be sure to accommodate beginners with rolled towels under the feet or legs to make stretching easier. Seated twists series are great as well; they improve posture, which makes for better breathing.
It is true that asthma is a chronic condition that must be carefully monitored, but that doesn’t mean it has to completely hold a child back. Practicing yoga for asthma can be incredibly beneficial toward giving children a new lease on life and a more positive outlook on their situation.
© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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