You may not realize this, but your lungs have to work very hard, round the clock. Their job doesn’t just end at taking in oxygen. They also have to distribute it to all those little capillaries so they can infuse this gas into your blood. Oxygenated blood is what your organs need to carry out their functions properly. The more active you are, the larger is your body’s demand for this essential gas. This explains why your lungs are one of the largest organs in your body.
So how do you ensure your lungs stay strong and healthy? By ensuring that all the air-cells in your lungs take an equally active part in the breathing process. And the easiest way to do this is through yoga.
Yoga Poses For Healthy Lungs
One of the reasons why yoga is so good for your health is because it demands you to pay attention to your breathing. By learning to be in control of your breathing, you can rectify wrong breathing techniques and enhance your lungs’ capacity to breathe in more air.
There are many yoga poses that engage your lungs, increasing your breathing power and your overall lung capacity while strengthening your lung muscles in the process. Here are 5 of the most common poses that are not only easy to practice but can also be performed anytime, anywhere. All you need is a mat and some comfortable clothes!
1. Trikonasana Or Triangle Pose
This pose opens up the air channels so that it’s easier for your lungs to take in oxygen. Since this pose also requires you to twist your upper body which includes your chest, it also aids in the expansion of the chest cavity.
- Take in a deep breath and step to the right. Keep your right foot placed at a right angle to your body with your left heel turned inward. Leave about a 3 feet gap between both your heels.
- Breathe out and reach out over the foot. Now bend to your right. You can keep your hands either on your shin or ankle. Alternately, you can even hold onto the big toe of your right foot and pull on it. This will bring about tension and some amount of stretching in the opposite direction.
- Turn your head to look at your left thumb. You should be able to feel your hips rotating.
- Hold this position for five sets of inhalation and exhalation. Finally, inhale and come up slowly. Repeat the same for the other side.
2. Naukasana Or Boat Pose
This pose stimulates the expansion of your chest muscles and encourages focused inhalation.
- Lie down and keep your body straight like a plank. Inhale deeply. Hold your breath and then slowly lift the upper part of your body including the arms, shoulders, head, and trunk off the ground.
- Balance your body on your buttocks while holding your spine straight. Your arms should fall in line with your toes. Slowly, bring yourself to look towards your toes.
- Freeze in this position and hold your breath for about 5 counts.
- Bring yourself back to the supine position and exhale.
3. Shashankasana Or Hare Pose
This pose reinforces your neck and shoulder muscles, which further supports our breathing muscles. Stronger breathing muscles will result in better breathing power. This pose also helps do away with signs and symptoms of anxiety and stress, one of which is breathing difficulties.
- Sit down keeping your legs crossed.
- Lift your hands over your head and breathe in deeply.
- Now slowly bring your head down to the floor and breathe out.
- Hold this pose for few seconds and proceed to breathe as you would otherwise.
Note: This pose may be a little difficult if you’re a beginner. Start with shorter time intervals, and when your muscles get accustomed to this pose, you can gradually increase the duration over the next few weeks.
4. Bhujangasana Or Cobra Pose
This yoga pose helps make your lung muscles stronger. It is especially helpful for people suffering from asthma or other diseases that come with breathing problems.
- Lie down flat on your belly. Keep your head resting on your arms.
- Now stretch your arms out behind you slowly. Keeping your body weight resting on your chest, lift your head up as you stretch your arms backward.
- Lift your chest up a few inches off the floor. Now pull your shoulders backward towards your hip.
- Using your arms to support your body weight, leave your feet and legs resting on the floor.
- Slowly and steadily, move your chest upwards while first holding your breath in and then exhaling.