Optimum working of the lungs is important for various functions of the body. All vital organs of the body require oxygen to function in a healthy manner. Here are a few yoga poses to boost your lung health. Let’s get started.
Alternate Nostril Breathing
This long deep breathing technique relaxes the body, opens up the chest and increases oxygen supply to all parts of the body.
How to Do:
- Sit comfortably with your legs crossed and spine straight. Take your right hand and close the right nostril with the thumb.
- Inhale with the left nostril and then using the ring finger and your pinky finger, close the left nostril.
- Open the right nostril and exhale.
- Now inhale with your right nostril, close the right nostril with your thumb and exhale with the left nostril. This is one round.
- Do this breathing exercise for 10 rounds.
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Long Deep Breathing
Long deep breathing is a form of Kundalini yoga breathing. It relaxes the mind and body and increases the flow of prana and reduces toxin buildup in the lungs.
How to Do:
- Sit comfortably in a quiet place with your legs crossed and spine erect.
- Place one hand on the belly right below the ribs. Keep the other hand on your chest.
- Take a normal breath.
- Now take a deep breath through your nose. Notice your belly swell up.
- Hold your breath for a moment or two.
- Now slowly exhale the air from your mouth. As you exhale notice how your belly deflates.
- Do this several times and establish a rhythmic breathing pattern.
- Imagine that your body becomes relaxed as you inhale and that you do away with stress while exhaling out the air.
- Start with practicing this technique for 100 minutes and build it up to 15-20 minutes.
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Cat-Cow Pose (Marjaryasana-Bitilasana)
This is a gentle pose that alternates between two yoga forms and strengthens the spine and clears the lungs.
How to Do:
- Go on your hands and knees. The shoulder is over the wrists and the knees are under the hips.
- First, we start with cow pose. Inhale as the belly goes down and the shoulders are pulled out with your gaze upwards.
- Next, exhale as you draw the tailbone inside and lower your head while drawing the belly towards the spine upwards. Draw your chin towards the chest. The pose resembles a cat stretching her back.
- Return to the cow pose.
Repetitions: Repeat this cycle 10-15 times.
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Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
This restorative yoga pose stretches the spine and expands the chest for optimum breathing.
How to Do:
- Lie on your back and if your back hurts, place a pillow or a rounded towel below your neck and shoulders.
- Fold your legs with knees on the floor, putting the heels as close to the hips as possible.
- Take a breath and while exhaling, lift your hips in the air with the pressure of the inner feet and the hands.
- Lift the buttocks till they are parallel to the floor.
- Lengthen the tailbone and keep the knees over the heels. Push up the pubis towards the navel.
- Lift the chin and firmly place the shoulder blades against your back.
- Slowly try lifting the space between the shoulder blades into the torso.
- Stay in the pose for 15-20 seconds and release while exhaling into the supine position.
These poses allow deep breathing that removes toxins from the lungs and strengthens the lung muscles. Practice regularly for best results.