When our body is unable to breath properly we feel tired and exhausted. To keep lung functioning well we can make use of yoga poses and pranayama. All types of pranayama are helpful to clear the lungs and help to get back to normal breathing. Bhramari, anuloma-viloma, sheethali pranayama are proven to be very effective in curing breathing problems and asthma. Apart from breathing exercises one can practice two yoga poses to strengthen lungs.
Reclining hero pose – also known as supta veerasana in Sanskrit and saddle pose.
Reclining hero pose is an intermediate pose and needs some practice. It helps to open the lungs and nasal passages clearly. Pose also helps to improve the stretching of hip flexor, quadriceps, abdominal, feet and strengthens spine.
- Sit in hero pose on the mat. Keep your upper body straight and legs bent back at knees so that, both knees and feet are on either side of the upper thighs.
- Place your hands on either side of your hips and begin to walk the hand backwards towards your hip/butt. Meanwhile lean your torso back slowly.
- While bringing your torso back, bend your elbows and come onto your forearms. If you are using a folded blanket (or bolster) make sure the blanket is of the same height in place to support your spine. This should be your limit of bending if you are using bolster or blanket for support.
- If you are not using any props and you are comfortable with back bend then, try continuing to release your back towards the floor. Some yogis will reach floor easily, for some it will take few practices.
- When you bend backwards you will feel stretch in your thighs and it is okay. If you feel pain in knees or lower back then come out the pose slowly and hold the pose where you feel comfortable.
- Keep breathing and stay in the pose for 5-6 breath. To come out from the pose, either you come on your forearm first or slide one hand beneath the back to give support and lift yourself slowly.
Do not perform this pose if you have knee, back pain and if you are pregnant.
Revolved head to knee pose: Also known as Parivrutta janu shirsana in Sanskrit.
Revolved head to knee pose not only helps in strengthening lung muscle, also helps to strengthen abdomen. It is a chest opener pose that releases diaphragmatic tension and intercostals muscles. It removes tension from the waist, stretches abdominal organs and improves breathing pattern.
- Sit in staff pose on the mat. Keep your right leg extended and flex the feet in front of you. Bend left knee and press the sole of into your right thigh, allowing your knee to fold out toward the floor. Try to keep the left leg glued to floor.
- Inhale and lift through the torso to lengthen the spine and draw your left hand overhead.
- Exhale and begin to side bend at the hip, drawing right ribs toward the right thigh and reaching for the toes. Inhale and lengthen the spine once again.
- Exhale and slowly bend further forward. Try to stack the shoulders on top of each other.
- Hold the pose for 5-10 deep breaths. To exit, inhale and elongate the spine while returning to an upright seated position and shake the legs.
While bending right or left side, if you feel pain and uncomfortable back off a bit.
Author: Sumana Rao | Posted on: February 5, 2020