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World Lung Day 2022: How Can Yoga Help In Strengthening Of Lungs?

Strengthening the lungs? Know how yoga can help.

Written by Tavishi Dogra |Updated : September 25, 2022 10:01 AM IST

World Lung Day 2022: Breath is the essence of life. It is there from the moment we are born until the end. However, we often forget to watch our breath or ensure that our lung capacity is good enough to ensure that our body functions well. When your lung capacity is good, it can help in better respiratory health, increase your immunity levels, improve physical strength and endurance, and beat anxiety and stress. In addition, it is possible to strengthen the lungs through physical activity like yoga, breathing techniques such as kapal bhati, and proper nourishment for the body.

Arunima Singhdeo, Yoga Expert, Founder & CEO of Shvasa, shares ways to develop lung capacity through yoga and proper breathing

  • Diaphragmatic breathing: When the diaphragm's muscular walls contract, they pull the top of the dome down toward its base. This pushes the organs and fluid in the abdominal cavity, and the belly bulges outward. When the diaphragm descends, it pulls down on the lungs. This stretches the lungs longer to create space and lets outside air rush into them. When this in-breath is complete, the brain tells the diaphragm not to contract, relaxing the muscle and forcing air out of the lungs. This is known as inhalation and exhalation or diaphragmatic breathing.
  • Equal breaths/box breathing or sama vritti pranayama: Sama Vritti Pranayama is also known as box breathing. Sama refers to "equal", and vritti indicates "mental fluctuations". This ratio breathing technique involves a set of equal inhalations, exhalations and breath retentions. It helps in improving lung capacity as also reducing mental chatter and distractions.

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  • Alternative nostril breathing (Nadi shodhana without counts and 1:1 / 1:2 ratio): If you practice this breathing exercise for a long time, you will notice that your patience, concentration and focus have increased significantly.
  • Humming bee breath: Bhramari relieves stress and cerebral tension and helps alleviate anger, anxiety and insomnia, increasing the body's healing capacity.
  • Forceful exhalations: Kapalbhati involves forceful exhalation and helps cleanse the prefrontal cortex, relieving obsessive thinking.

Apart from these holding, the breath can also help improve lung strength. This is where pranayama practices and abdominal and pelvic floor locks can be highly beneficial. Kumbhaka means "breath retention, "strengthening breathing, increasing inner awareness, calming the mind, and energising our body. These breathing exercises must be undertaken only after preparing the body and with a proper diet regimen. They should be done under the guidance of an experienced teacher. Knowing how to do them and how frequently can help improve lung capacity and holistic health and well-being over time.

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