If you aren’t breathing fully, you aren’t living fully. One of the best ways to maximize your oxygen intake and breathe to your maximum capacity is to practice yoga. We all have our reasons for stepping onto the yoga mat: flexibility, strength, balance, stress-relief, and even enlightenment. One major benefit of yoga you may not have considered is improved lung power.
Yes, practicing yoga regularly results in healthier lungs and a stronger respiratory system.
Because respiratory health is what keeps us alive, we’d say garnering this benefit from a regular yoga practice is essential. Your lungs are muscles and benefit from practices to promote healthy breathing and overall well being. Yoga is associated with overall improved lung function and can help reduce effects of respiratory diseases like asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema.
Is there a specific type of yoga that helps the most? Not really, they’re all helpful: pranayama or breath control techniques, meditation with mindful breathing, as well as many asanas or postures will make a difference. This week we bring you four classes designed to revitalize your respiratory system.
We also have a few favorite poses for lung health we’d love to share with you.
To open and stretch your chest and stimulate your lungs, try Bhujangasana (Cobra pose) or Urdhva Mukha Svnasana (Upward-Facing Dog pose). Pause and enjoy a few extra breaths and feel your heart expand. To expand your chest and build strength in your digestive system, nervous system and core muscles, try Navasana (Boat pose) and hold for ten full inhales and exhales. One of our favorite seated twists, Ardha Matsyendrasana, not only stimulates your digestion and circulation, but it also encourages deep breathing and boosts lung capacity. Elongate through the crown of your head as you inhale and settle into the twist on your exhale for maximum impact.
Last but not least, Trikonasana (Triangle Pose) opens not just the front of the chest, but also all the small muscles and fascia surrounding the ribcage. It creates a sense of freedom in the entire torso, which encourages more expansive breathing. When the muscles are more supple, relaxed, and open, the lungs have more space and freedom.
This week’s four new classes support respiratory and lung health through a pranayama breathing exercise, chanting, a class to help you quit smoking if you want to make that change, and a class for smoker's to help detoxify their lungs.
Try any or all of these classes to cleanse and upgrade your lungs and respiratory system today.
Yoga to Stop Smoking with Denelle Numis
Yoga for Smokers with Denelle Numis
Pranyama: Cleansing the Energy Channels with Sibyl Buck
Guidelines for a Balanced Life: Chanting with Les Leventhal
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