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Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Pada Hasthasana (The Modified standing forward bend )
Back bending postures open the chest improving both lung and heart functioning. This asana will help relax the muscles in the chest, allowing one to breathe more easily and deeply.

Steps to follow:

  • Stand with feet slightly apart.

  • Keep arms at the sides with trunk straight.

  • Inhale deeply and stretch both arms straight up over the head.

  • The whole body should be stretching upward.

  • As you exhale, push shoulders slightly forward and stretch your hands toward the floor, keeping the knees straight.

  • Breathe gently and maintain this position for several deep breaths.

Paschimothanasana - (Seated forward bend)
Steps to follow:

  • Lie on your back.
  • Then gently sit up. Sit with legs straight out before you.

  • Raise your arms slowly, bend and reach forward with arms stretched 5-10 inches above the toes.
  • Maintain this position for several deep breaths.

  • Then relax in a sitting position.
Matsyendrasana - (The seated twist)
Steps to follow:
  • Sit with legs straight out in front of you.

  • Bend your right knee and put your right foot over the left knee on the floor.
  • Put your left elbow over your right knee and fix your right knee firmly, tensing the lower part of the spine.
  • Turn your right shoulder to the right.

  • Support yourself with your right arm on the floor behind your back.

  • Breathe deeply and after each exhalation, increase the degree of twist by moving your right arm further back.

  • Maintain this position for several breaths. Repeat on the opposite side.

Rajakapotasana - (The pigeon posture)
Steps to follow:

  • Take a kneeling position, sitting on your kneels.
  • stretch your right leg back to a half split position keeping, your knee on the floor.

  • Exhale while bending your trunk forward with your chest on your thigh and your forehead on the floor.
  • Inhale while raising your head and then your trunk up slowly as far as you can. Hold this position for several seconds and then go back slowly to the starting position in a reverse order.

The Cat Stretch
  • Assume a kneeling position with your hands, knees and feet apart.

  • Exhale when you bend the left knee and lower the head. Then bring the knee to the forehead. Hold this position for a few seconds.
  • Inhale while you extend and raise the leg and the head back as far as you can. Hold this position for a few seconds and then relax

  • Do the same with your right leg.
The rhythmic stretching and compression of the abdomen in these poses will help one to learn the control the breath. These deep breaths will help to clear the lungs and relax the chest muscles. Focus on breath will help to release overall tension and induce relxation.

Pranayama For Asthma

Proper breathing helps to prevent or reduce asthma attacks.

  • Kapala means skull in Sanskrit. Bhati means to shine. This exercise cleanses the skull.

  • Sit on padmasana and keep the hands on knees.
    Close your eyes.

  • Perform inhalation and exhalation rapidly to the point of perspiration.

  • In this exercise there is no retention of breath.

  • Inhalation plays a vital role. It should be done quickly and forcibly by contracting the abdominal muscles with a backward push.

  • Exhalation is mild and the abdominal muscles are released.

  • During this exercise the head and trunk should be erect.


It cleanses the respiratory system and the nasal passages. The spasm in the bronchial tubes is removed. Lungs are considerably developed. Carbon-di-oxide is eliminated in large scale. Blood is cleansed of its impurities. Tissues and cells absorb oxygen.


  • Sit in padmasana and close your mouth.
  • Inhale slowly through both the nostrils uniformly, till the breath fills the space from throat to heart.

  • Retain the breath as long as you can and then exhale slowly through the left nostril by closing the right with the right thumb.
  • Expand the chest when you inhale.

  • Instead of exhaling through the left nostril, you can exhale slowly through both nostrils.


  • This removes the heat in the head.

  • It removes phlegm in the throat, and cures asthma.

  • All diseases that arise from deficient inhalation of oxygen and diseases of the heart are cured.

  • Sitting down comfortably in a good asana, the person should inhale through the right nostril.
  • Then he should retain the breath until he feels that the whole body from head to toes is suffused by breath.

  • He should then slowly exhale through the left nostril.

  • This should be practiced again and again.


  • It cleanses the brain, forebrain and sinuses in the nose and head.

  • It destroys intestinal worms and cures rheumatism.

  • It cures rhinitis, cephalalgia, and various sorts of neuralgia.

Dirgha Pranayama
  • This pranayama teaches how to fill the three chambers of the lungs with a good supply of oxygen.

  • It is called the three-part breath because you are breathing into three parts of the abdomen.

  • Sit with your spine erect and inhale slowly. Draw air deep into the low belly by drawing air deep into the lower lungs. Then you exhale and allow the belly drop and deflate like a balloon. Repeat this several times.

  • In the second part of breathing, inhale into your belly as done before, but expand the mid- chest region by allowing the rib cage to open outward to the sides. After this, exhale and repeat it many times.

  • In the third part of breathing, when you inhale air into lower lungs, then mid-chest region, continue to inhale till the clavicular region or the upper chest opens. Then exhale and repeat.

  • Then inhale into all the three chambers of lungs as one continuous flow.

  • We can feel the breath rising and falling through each position.

  • Slowly one can breathe into the three positions gently, feeling a wave of breath moving up and down the body.


  • It helps in calming and relaxing the nerves.

Disclaimer For Yoga Exercise:
Please do not attempt to practise these without proper guidance from a trained yoga instructor as these exercises can cause physical disability when done incorrectly.

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