Yoga treatment for asthma, bronchitis and other breathing, kapha related disorders


The increasing environmental pollution and the reckless lifestyle that the 21st century has imposed on us has compelled many to succumb to asthma, bronchitis and other breathing disorders. A complete ritual comprising of the essential pranayams, home remedies and massage of the vital pressure points is described in this video to combat all ‘kapha’ related disorders.

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Bhastrika Pranayama : asthma tuberculosis corrected

Bhastrika means Blower in Sanskrit. In Bhastrika breath is exhaled forcibly and quickly. One should inhale and exhale breath like a blower. This Pranayama is considered the best.

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Method Bhastrika Pranayama

Sit in Padmasana, Siddhasana or Vajrasana stretch your head, neck and back. Put your hands on the laps. Inhale and exhale rapidly your or five times like a blower. Similarily contract and expand the lungs. A peculiar rusting sound will be produced during the practice of this Pranayama. But the performer must practice this Pranayama rapidly and without stopping even once. At the completion of one round (Avartana) the performer must inhale breath as deeply as possible and retain it as long as possible. Ultimately exhale as much breath as possible. Thus a round (Avartana) of Bhastrika completes. After resting a while, perform another round of this Pranayama.  During the first week do two rounds only. From second week onwards, do three to four rounds of Bhastrika pranayama.

Do not ever do more than four rounds in a single day.


Benefits of Bhastrika Pranayama :


With the practice of Bhastrika, swelling of the throat is corrected, appetite is kindled and the cough is removed. Diseases of the nose and chest like asthma, tuberculosis etc. are also corrected.

Diseases caused by imbalance of wind, cough and bile (Vata, Cough and Pitta) are also corrected by this Pranayama.

If no other means to warm the body is available, it can be heated with the help of this Pranayama.

Pores of Sushumna nerve are opened by Bhastrika.

Ujjayi Pranayama : correcting strengthening condition of lungs bronchiole linings

Ujjayi is often called the “sounding” breath or “ocean sounding” breath, and somewhat irreverently as the “Darth Vader” breath. It involves constricting the back of the throat while breathing to create an “ah” sound.

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Method for Ujjayi Pranayama :

Ujjayi Pranayama can be practiced in two ways, in standing position and in lying position.

There is full impact of it in the first position and a little less in second position.  

But first is a little strenuous and the second is the easiest. Therefore the practitioners are advised to practice the Ujjayi in lying position in initial phase and then switch to standing position.

1. Come into a comfortable seated position with your spine erect in Padmasana or Siddhasana.  Begin taking long, slow, and deep breaths through both the nostrils.

2. Allow the breath to be gentle and relaxed as you slightly contract the back of your throat creating a steady hissing sound as you breathe in and out. the sound generated should be low and pleasing to the ear. There should not be any ups and downs in the sound. The sound should come out of the upper part of the throat and not from the upper or front part of the nose (Due to the friction of air in the throat, this typical sound is created. The sound is different from the sound emitted from the larynx).

3. Lengthen the inhalation and the exhalation as much as possible without creating tension anywhere in your body, and allow the sound of the breath to be continuous and smooth.


Daily practice:

Begin with only five one first day. Make four rounds on second day and go to five rounds on third day. Five rounds are maximum. So don’t ever practice more than five rounds in a single day.


Benefits of Ujjayi Pranayama :

The most remarkable benefit of Ujjayi pranayama is that it does the internal purification, activation and energizing together with external control and conditioning all at the same time.

With this Pranayama, the warmth of the head is reduced, and lung diseases like asthma, tuberculosis etc. are cured.

It enhances the capacity of digestive systems, respiratory systems etc.

For asthmatics, Ujjayi is most effective for correcting and strengthening the condition of lungs and the bronchiole linings.

We know that air has absorbing capacity. It can absorb certain things as moisture, fragrance and odour. Air has also force and power to carry things, such as dust particles and even heavier things. When external pressure is given it maximizes the inner penetration of the air and enables it to rub, active and give inner massage to the body cells and organs.  

A pilot study of mind-body changes in adults with asthma

Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine.

2004 Jul-Aug;10(4):66-71.

 Epstein GN, Halper JP, Barrett EA, Birdsall C, McGee , Baron KP, Lowenstein S.

The Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, NY, USA.

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 Despite the growing number of studies of imagery and the use of complementary and alternative modalities as treatments for asthma, research on mental imagery in adults with asthma is practically, nonexistent. The purpose of this feasibility study was to lay groundwork for a larger follow-up clinical trial.


To determine whether pulmonary function, asthma symptoms, quality of life, depression, anxiety, and power differ over time in adults with asthma who do and do not practice mental imagery (MI). (Power is the ability to make aware choices with the intention of freely involving oneself in creating desired change.)


Randomized controlled study using univariate repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) and replacement through block design.


Lenox Hill Hospital, an affiliate of New York University Medical School, New York, NY. SUBJECTS: Sixty-eight adults with symptomatic asthma, after 4 weeks of baseline data collection and analysis, met requirements for this randomized controlled study. Thirty-three completed pulmonary function as well as self-report tests at 4 time points over 17 weeks. The 16 experimental participants also completed the 4-session imagery protocol.


Individual imagery instruction (week 1) and follow-up (weeks 4, 9, 15). Participants were given 7 imagery exercises to select from and practice 3 times a day for a total of 15 minutes.


1) Spirometry (FEV1); 2) medication use; 3) Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire; 4) Beck Depression Inventory; 5) Spielberger Anxiety Scales (A-State and A-Trait); 6) Barrett Power as Knowing Participation in Change Tool, Version II; 7) Epstein Balloon Test of Ability to Image.


There was little evidence of statistical change in this feasibility study; yet, valuable lessons were learned. Paired t-tests indicated there was a significant difference in the total power scores in the imagery group, and in the expected direction (two-tailed, t-statistic = -2.3, P = 0.035) and the choices sub-scale (two-tailed, tstatistic = -2.93, P = 0.01) of the power instrument from weeks one to 16 of the study. Eight of 17 (47%) participants in the MI group reduced or discontinued their medications. Three of 16 (19%) participants in the control group reduced their medications; none discontinued. Chi-square indicated differences between groups (X2 = 4.66, P = 0.05). Persons who reduced or discontinued their medications showed neither an increase in pulmonary function prior to medication discontinuation, nor a fall in these parameters following discontinuation.


 Findings related to major outcome measures must be viewed with caution due to the small sample size resulting from attrition related to labor intensiveness and, therefore, low statistical power. However, the study did provide significant data to plan a larger scale study of the use of mental imagery with adult asthmatics. The study also demonstrated that imagery is inexpensive, safe and, with training, can be used as an adjunct therapy by patients themselves. Its efficacy needs additional exploration. Further research for adults with asthma who practice imagery is important, as current treatments are not entirely efficacious. Lessons learned in this study may facilitate improvement in research designs.

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