8 Simple Yoga Poses for Asthma Relief

There is no cure for asthma in modern medicine and most medication is just a way to reduce the symptoms of an asthma attack. Alternative therapies, however, can help your body to naturally build resistance against asthma triggers and symptoms. While exercise is natural asthma relief, some forms of exercise that are physically challenging may cause exercise-induced bronchoconstriction. This is why yoga can be a great option for people with asthma.

Though yoga styles like power yoga concentrate on flow and speed, certain forms of yoga like hatha yoga include gentle stretches and are practiced at a slower pace than other workouts. In an eight-week study of 57 adults with asthma, those in the yoga group showed a significant improvement in lung function and a reduction in asthma symptoms when compared with a control group. So here are 8 yoga poses to begin your yoga practice.

1. Savasana


Lie on your back with your arms at your sides and your feet and palms dropped open.

Close your eyes and soften your jaw, taking your focus inward.

Start to focus your attention on your breath and slow it down, making it deep and rhythmic, relaxing every part of your body.

Stay in the pose for 5 to 10 minutes, maintaining slow, even breathing.

2. Sukasana


Start seated, with your legs crossed.

If you feel some discomfort in your hips or lower back, roll up a towel and place it under your tailbone for extra support.

Take your right hand and place it on your heart, place the left hand on your belly, and close your eyes. Draw in the stomach and lift the chest for good posture.

Let out your breath slowly and hold the pose for 5 minutes, with slow, even breathing.

3. Forward Bend

Forward Bend

Stand with your legs hip-width apart, fold your body forward, and put a little bend in the knees to relieve any strain in the lower back.

Fold your arms, holding each elbow with the opposite hand, and let your body hang as you take five deep breaths with your eyes closed.

4. Butterfly Pose

Butterfly Pose

Sit with the soles of your feet together and your knees dropped out to the sides — picture your legs as two butterfly wings.

Hold your ankles and pull your heels into your hips. Inhale deeply and, as you exhale, fold your body forward.

You can use your elbows to press down your knees a bit more. Hold this pose as you take five deep breaths.

5. Straddled Splits

Straddled Splits

Sit with your legs straddled wide apart and your heels flexed.

Firm the thighs, and follow with a big inhale as you reach your arms up.

As you exhale, fold your body forward, walking your hands out in front of you. Hold this pose as you take five deep breaths.

6. Bridge Pose

Bridge Pose

To begin, lie flat on your back with your arms parallel to your body.

Bend your knees and slide your feet toward your butt until your feet are directly under your knees; then lift your butt up off the floor.

Think of lifting your tailbone upward toward the ceiling and bringing your thighs parallel with the floor. At the same time, your shoulder blades should be pressed in toward your back, expanding your chest.

Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute, and exhale as you gently lower your spine to the ground.

7. Supportive Fish Pose

Supportive Fish Pose

Start by placing a thin, rolled-up towel under your mid-back (for women, at the bra strap line) and a thicker rolled-up towel behind your neck.

When the towels are in place and you’re on your back, the bridge of your nose should be aligned with your chin.

Extend your legs straight out, relax your feet, and rest your arms at a 45-degree angle from your hips, with palms upward. Simply relax and breathe in this position.

8. Pranayama


Pranayama is a simple breathing technique. Sit with the legs crossed and the spine, neck, and head in a straight line.

Close your eyes and focus on breathing using your abdomen, following a few rapid breaths with some slower breaths for balance.

Repeat for a few minutes, focusing on technique, to get the most relaxation.