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Yoga for Asthma
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April 27, 2015
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January 8, 2010 - 4:02 pm
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One chronic breathing disorder that may be worsened by faulty respiration is asthma. Asthma is an ailment of the respiratory system that causes constriction of the airways in the lungs, often due to a reaction to external stimuli such as allergens, excessive exercise, or emotional stress, including fear or shock. As the supply of oxygen is diminished, the common symptoms associated with an attack are likely to arise. These are most frequently wheezing, tightness of the chest, shortness of the breath, and coughing. Bronchial constriction occurs, creating spasms that restrict the airways into and out of the lungs. Exhalation becomes extremely difficult and often the natural response is to try to force air into already distended lungs. The need to intake air grows as the attack progresses which sometimes lead to feelings of desperation and fear, both of which are also symptom catalysts. Typically inflammation occurs, leading to the production of excess mucous.

The purpose of mucous is to catch and carry away allergens, but when excess production occurs, the nose, sinuses and airways become more congested, making breathing more difficult. Although the lungs are the primary organs of respiration, there are many other organs that are critical in the respiratory process. The nasal passages, sinuses, trachea and bronchial passages are all dynamic to the purpose of carrying oxygen to the blood and organs of the body. Also important are the muscles that relate to the method of breathing. The primary muscle is the diaphragm, located below the lungs, which contracts during inhalation allowing expansion of the lungs. On the exhalation, the diaphragm relaxes and air is forced out of the lungs.

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