Yoga asanas to strengthen your lungs

By TNT Bureau

Mar 20, 2017: Yoga asanas and Pranayama are very beneficial for your lungs. They keep the lungs healthy and active.

When we breathe in the right way, we inhale oxygen to keep our lungs strong and in good working order. But when all the air cells of the lungs get involved in the breathing process, we cannot say that our lungs are healthy.

Yoga teaches us to breathe in the right manner. This way of breathing involves the abdominal, thoracic and clavicular breathing, maximising inhalation and exhalation, which increases oxygen intake.

Here are some asanas that will help you to strengthen the lungs.

Trikonasana (triangle pose)

This asana helps easy air passage to the lungs, and stimulates the nervous system. It also helps to expand the chest cavity. Trikonasana stretches and strengthens the spine, inner thigh, abdominal and side muscles, and opens the pelvis by stretching the pelvic ligaments.

How to do it

  • Stand with the feet together and the arms by your sides
  • Separate the feet slightly further than shoulder distance apart
  • Inhale and raise both arms straight out from the shoulders parallel to the floor with the palms facing down
    Exhale slowly while turning the torso to the left, bend at the waist and bring the right hand down to the left ankle. The palm of the right hand is placed along the outside of the left ankle. The left arm should be extended upward. Both legs and arms are kept straight without bending the knees and elbows
  • Turn the head upward to the left and gaze up at the fingertips of the left hand.
  • Inhale and return to a standing position with the arms outstretched
  • Hold this position for the duration of the exhaled breath. Exhale and repeat steps 4 – 6 on the opposite side

Gomukhasana (cow’s face pose)

This asana is excellent for inducing relaxation. It cures back pain, tiredness, tension and anxiety and also improves increases energy, while opening the chest area

  • Sit in Dandasana, bend your knees and put your feet on the floor. Slide your left foot under the right knee to the outside of the right hip. Then cross your right leg over the left, stacking the right knee on top of the left, and bring the right foot to the outside of the left hip. Try to bring the heels equidistant from the hips: with the right leg on top you?ll have to tug the right heel in closer to the left hip. Sit evenly on the sitting bones
  • Inhale and stretch your right arm straight out to the right, parallel to the floor. Rotate your arm inwardly; the thumb will turn first toward the floor, then point toward the wall behind you, with the palm facing the ceiling. This movement will roll your right shoulder slightly up and forward, and round your upper back. With a full exhalation, sweep the arm behind your torso and tuck the forearm in the hollow of your lower back, parallel to your waist, with the right elbow against the right side of your torso. Roll the shoulder back and down, then work the forearm up your back until it is parallel to your spine. The back of your hand will be between your shoulder blades. See that your right elbow doesn?t slip away from the right side of your torso
  • Now inhale and stretch your left arm straight forward, pointing toward the opposite wall, parallel to the floor. Turn the palm up and, with another inhalation, stretch the arm straight up toward the ceiling, palm turned back. Lift actively through your left arm, then with an exhalation, bend the elbow and reach down for the right hand. If possible, hook the right and left fingers
  • Lift the left elbow toward the ceiling and, from the back armpit, descend the right elbow toward the floor. Firm your shoulder blades against your back ribs and lift your chest. Try to keep the left arm right beside the left side of your head
  • Stay in this pose about 1 minute. Release the arms, uncross the legs, and repeat with the arms and legs reversed for the same length of time. Remember that whichever leg is on top, the same-side arm is lower

Naukasana (Boat Pose)

This asana also expands the chest and helps better inhalation. It stimulates the muscular, digestive, circulatory, nervous and hormonal systems, and tones up all the organs. It also enhances energy and gives deep relaxation.

How to do it

  • Lie in a starting position and breathe in deeply
  • Hold the breath and then raise the arms, shoulders, head and trunk off the ground
  • Balance the body on the buttocks and keep the spine straight
  • The arms should be held in the same line as the toes The hands should be open with the palms down
  • Look towards the toes
  • Remain in the final position and hold the breath. Count to 5
  • Return to the initial position and breathe out

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