New Delhi: Lungs are the most important organs of the body as it involves the breathing process. Proper functioning of the lungs is crucial for all the other body parts to function well. In COVID-19 pandemic, infections are related to respiratory tract, especially the Lungs, making pulmonary health most important for everyone to prevent and manage these infections. Pranayama and yogic postures are highly beneficial to the activity of these cells and the elasticity of the lungs.
Practice these yoga postures to strengthen the muscles of the chest and improve the health and functioning of the lungs.
Sukhasana (Cross-legged Sitting Pose):
Sit in a normal meditation pose. Hold your left wrist with your right hand behind the back. Continue to inhale while pulling your shoulders back and expanding your chest. While bending forward, exhale and try to touch your right forehead to your right knee. Inhale and return to the starting position. Repeat the steps and continue on the other side by touching your forehead to your left knee.
Sukhasana is pivotal in the case of lung anomalies. It stimulates the blood flow to the lungs and also washes out the harmful toxins from the lung muscles. This asana not only increases your focus and concentration but also helps treat respiratory disorders and cough and cold symptoms. Practising it regularly also reduces stress and anxiety.
Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose):
Lie flat on your stomach and place your head on the ground. Keep both your hands on either side of your shoulders. Slowly, put pressure on your palms and lift your body up from the torso while stretching your back and belly muscles. Straighten out your arms and keep your shoulder blades pressed against your back. Fix gaze at a point on the ceiling and hold this posture for about 15-30 seconds and exhale as you return to the starting position.
The cobra pose not only improves mental calmness but also strengthens the mind and helps stretch out the chest and lungs. It also helps in soothing sciatica, strengthens the spine and provides relief from asthmatic symptoms.
Matsya Asana (Fish Pose):
Lie on your back and fold your arms underneath your body. Lift your head and chest up, breathe in, and then rest the crown of the head on the ground while arching your back. Maintain the balance of your whole body using your elbows. Inhale and exhale deeply opening up the chest. Maintain this position for as long as you are comfortable.
Touted as “Destroyer of all diseases”, the Fish pose promotes deep breathing by stretching and strengthening the lung muscles. It also supports the body balance and helps in better circulation and distribution of blood throughout the body.
Padma Sarvangasana (Lotus Shoulder Stand):
Start with a supported headstand. While you breathe out, fold your legs and cross them to bring your left ankle onto the right thigh and your right ankle onto the left. Support the back with your hands. Hold this position for a few consecutive breaths or as long as you can hold, unfold your legs and slowly lower your body.
The inverted Lotus pose helps in the proper expansion of the chest and allows easier passage of the air to the lungs. Twisting the upper side of the body acts as a massage for the internal organs, which in turn helps in better expulsion of toxins from the body. It also improves balance and strengthens the reproductive and nervous systems.
Ardha Matsyendrasana (Sitting Half Spinal Twist):
Sit straight with your legs stretched out and feet together. Bend your right leg and place the heel of your right foot beside your left hip. Now, take the left leg over your right knee. Place your right hand on your left foot and your left hand behind you. Twist the waist, shoulders, and neck to the left and look over the left side shoulder. Hold the position and continue breathing in and out gently. Slowly come back to the original starting position and repeat in the same manner on the other side.
This asana is extremely beneficial in providing relief from breathing difficulties, stress, and tension. The twisting of the upper side of the body induces deep breathing and thus enhances the muscles of the lung and aids in better circulation of oxygen in the lung cavity. It also helps in boosting the immune system and relieving back pain and stiffness from between the vertebrae.