Know Asthma, Yoga Asanas and Pranayamas which benefit Asthma
The English word Asthma has been derived from Greek where it means “ I blow” or “ I Pant”. For a lay man it is a condition where in the afflicted person gasps for air to breathe. This condition is the result of the obstructions produced in the air passages due to excessive mucous secretion, inflammation of the inner membrane comprising the respirator system. The respiratory path begins at the nostrils from where the air is taken in which then passes through a common windpipe - trachea – which further branches into two bronchi entering the two lungs each one subdividing further into a web of narrow air passages known as bronchioles. Each one of these Bronchioles end in sac like structures called alveoli where the exchange of gases – oxygen & carbon dioxide – takes place within the lungs.
Understanding an Asthma Attack?
As a result the victim can inhale but exhalation becomes difficult due to the presence of the mentioned obstructions. Thus if inhalation continues without much exhalation the inhaled air remains trapped within the lungs inflating them in the process. An Asthma attack is the condition where in all the symptoms of Asthma suddenly flare up. The muscles around the bronchioles and Bronchi starts constricting over them further restricting the space within for the passage of the air. The inflammation of the inner membrane of the air passages along with the heavy secretion of the mucous within them combined with the constriction of the muscles surrounding these passages create a scary situation for the sufferer.
The entire sequence of these breath restricting events begin with the irritation of the nerve endings in the airway lining. The trigger – causes- for this nerve irritation can be the presence of allergens like dust, pollens or fumes in the air; hereditary disposition to the asthma. Mild respiratory infections like sore throat ( sore throat can he healed at home), cough, fever etc.; emotional turmoil have also been found to be the main reason behind an asthma attack. In some cases a violent change in the weather is enough to start an attack. Presence of dust mites, dander, certain fumes and smoke are known begetters of an allergic asthma attack.
The symptoms of a severe attack generally surface as one get sup in the morning. Difficulty in inhaling or exhaling or both, generation of a wheezing sound from the lungs, tightness in the chest as the nerves shorten the muscles surrounding it are the common symptoms of asthma. The pre attack warning signs include watery nose and eyes along with sneezing.
Yoga for Asthma
Asthma has been found to be the disease of the sensitive people. Though bronchodilators and corticosteroids are available for instant relief the major precipitator of the attack is known to be the Mind. Inducing relaxation of mind with simple techniques like relaxing with a singing bowl can produce equivalent affect in relieving an asthmatic attack.
Psychological factors – anxiety, fear, shock, worries - play a determining role in the onset of asthma in majority of the patients. That is why yoga exercises for asthma become all the more significant in treating the mind in order to treat asthma. Yoga techniques which work on anxiety helps prevent asthmatic attacks to a great extent.
As per yoga, mind and the breath are interrelated, a disturbed mind, an unsteady mind as par Patanjali, produces a disturbed breathing pattern, asthma being the extreme version of the same. The moment the patient’s mind calms down he is relieved of the symptoms of asthma. Research has found that negative emotions, suppressed emotions and lack of motivation in life automatically cause Asthma because here the lungs constrict or reduce in size leading to a restrictive breathing behavior. If one remains a little aware one can feel the absence of a fuller breath while one is reeling under these negative feelings within oneself. Regularly practicing pranayams the correct way can help enormously increase the benefits of breathing exercises for Asthma. Emotions share a common seat with the master gland (Pituitary gland) in the brain, the Hypothalamus. Thus there is a direct impact of emotional states on the secretion of the hormones in the body. Negative emotions cause smooth muscles in the body to tense up, dilate blood vessels causing runny eyes & nose, reduce the hormonal secretions of the related glands via the hypothalamus and pituitary gland connection.
Ashtanga yoga along with its adjuncts has been found to handle the psychological aspect more potently than the medical science. Asthma cure with yoga is one of the potent home remedies as yoga works on the body through the yoga concepts and its procedures. Yoga concepts like Abhyasa ( Practice) and Vairagya ( Detachment) have been found to be effective tools in handling the emotional assault on one’s health in the long run.
Cure Asthma with Yoga at home
The yoga exercises for Asthma work by impacting, stimulating specific centers in the brain which are responsible for regulating certain personality traits like self-esteem, confidence levels, strength of the mind etc. in one self. Pranayama for asthma, when done with proper knowledge of matra, are the chosen breathing exercises through which the practitioner trains the mind to be more steady and focused leading to a better control of one’s emotions than before. Their are other techniques for training the mind to be steady which can be practiced in conjunction with the yoga techniques for the same.
Anxiety, fear and anger cause most of the nerve endings in and around the chest area, which hold the lungs within it, to shorten and stiffen the connected muscles. This reduces the range of expansion of the lungs which in turn lessens the amount of air being inhaled at that moment. In case these emotions stay in the body for longer period of time these muscles get habituated to the constricted mode, which get triggered every time the related negative emotion surfaces within the person. Thus are created the conditions for an asthma attack. Yoga postures for increasing lung capacity help erase these conditions. Yoga poses for asthma relief teaches one to stay in the present and express oneself more freely, releasing the unwanted, breath restricting emotional overload to a large extent.
Asthma treatment in yoga as mentioned here is designed to strengthen the body enough to handle the impact of these external and internal factors in a healthy way. The positivity generated by practicing these yoga exercises on a regular basis itself expunges any negativity within one self. Thus these set of yoga techniques as given here can be easily termed as an effective home remedy for Asthma.