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How Pranayama (breath-work) can help with asthma.

Updated: Mar 11, 2022

5.4 million people in the UK are currently receiving treatment for Asthma – 1.1

million children (1 in 11) & 4.3 million adults (1 in 12)

On my journey, I have discovered how Pranayama (breath-work) can provide a

natural remedy for the condition, to relieve symptoms and slowly reduce the use

of an asthma pump

Sitting in the yoga class having to take breathes in felt so difficult at the beginning. This was because I found out that I was breathing paradoxically.

So my breath was short and I was totally breathing incorrectly. So I had to relearn how to breathe properly like a baby.

Over the coming months, I would sit in the garden at home, before going to pick my two boys up from school and practice being with my breath and how it felt for me and becoming more sensitive to my own breath, slowly making it longer each day as I practice. The feeling of calm and expansion with me was the first thing that I notice.

This become a part of my routine; at about the same time, one of my younger’s sons was diagnosed with asthma and we had been given by our doctor an inhaler for him to help him breathe. I was really not happy with the idea of him having to use the inhaler. So each morning before I took him to school. We would sit together for 5 minutes and breathe together. We practice before bedtime. This really helped him. He still had to carry his inhaler but didn’t use it as often as he learned to breathe much more deeply into his navel and not just his diaphragm.

So from my own personal experience developing the range of your ‘normal breath’ and your own awareness of the breath are an important part of Pranayama's practice of Yoga. It is wise to spend some time investigating the fundamentals of breathing and working on developing your own breathing capacity.

Awareness of the Breath

To get the full benefit from pranayama, it is essential that we meditate on our breathing as we practice. We may keep other things in our awareness as well, but we always keep track of what our breath is doing. Here are a few ways to keep your attention on the breath.

1. Listen to the sound of your breath, paying attention to its tone, rhythm, speed, and tension (harshness or smoothness).

2. Visualise the breath entering your body, filling the lungs, and then leaving the body, emptying the lungs.

3. Visualise the thoracic diaphragm moving down on the inhalation and back up on the exhalation.

4. Feel the breath through the expansion and contraction of the rib cage.

5. Feel the breath as it comes in the nostrils, passes down the throat, enters the lungs, and reverses its journey.

6. Feel the temperature in the nostrils, the breath on entry, and the warmer on exit.

Book here for a free 30-minute personal consultation with Harjit to find out about other breathing techniques that could help you.

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