Yoga Poses to Improve Respiratory Function

Yoga can promote respiratory health by enhancing the strength and flexibility of your chest muscles. Your ribs and spine may become better aligned as well. Yoga can help open blocked airways often seen in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD. As a result, air circulation may improve, and the lungs become more efficient.

Try out these 3 chair yoga poses

1. Seated Cobra Pose

  1. Sit in a study chair with your feet planted in the ground shoulder-width apart. Place your hands on your thighs. Keep your hands and shoulders aligned.
  2. Slowly, put pressure on your palms and lift your body up from the torso while inhaling. You will feel a stretch in your back and abdomen.
  3. Adjust the intensity of the backbend by straightening or bending your elbows. Keep your shoulder blades pressed against your back.
  4. Direct your gaze towards the ceiling and hold this pose for 15-30 seconds.
  5. Exhale, relax your arms and return to the starting position.

You are welcome to use props such as a towel or blanket to help assist this movement.

Benefits of the Cobra Pose

The cobra pose stretches your upper back and can help relieve back pain, shoulder tightness, or soreness in your upper body. This pose helps stretch your chest and lungs. The cobra pose strengthens the spine and can reduce asthmatic symptoms.

2. Cat Cow Pose

  1. Sit upright in the middle of a study chair with your feet flat on the ground. There should be space between your back and the chair.
  2. Place your hands on your thighs.
  3. Inhale, bring your weight onto your legs and arch your back, opening your chest and slightly raising your chin towards the ceiling. Your belly and chest should be coming out and up and your spine is lengthening.
  4. Exhale and round your back, drawing your chin towards your chest and dropping your shoulders. Drop your hips back towards your tailbone.
  5. Repeat slowly.

Benefits of the Cat Cow

The cat cow pose improves spinal flexibility and posture, increases hip and pelvic mobility, and alleviates back pain. This movement helps us focus on our inhales and exhales which improves respiratory function.

3. Spinal Twist

  1. Remain in a seated position and move to the edge of your chair.
  2. Place your right hand behind you on your right-hand side near the back of the chair. Bring your left hand to the outside of your right thigh.
  3. Take a breath in and lengthen your spine, grounding through your sit bones. Exhale and twist from the base of your spine to the right. You are turning your ribcage and pelvis in two opposite directions.
  4. Direct your gaze behind our body or to the right. Try to twist a little further with each exhale.
  5. Repeat for a few breaths then return to centre.
  6. Perform the same movements twisting from the base of your spine to the left.

Benefits of the Spinal Twist

The spinal twist helps to improve the efficiency of the respiratory system. Stretching your chest will activate the respiratory system and boost oxygen flow in your body. This yoga pose also improves spinal mobility and posture, opens the hips, and stretches the neck, chest, shoulders, upper and lower back. This movement can also help to promote digestion and is recommended to perform after eating.

For more comprehensive resources tailored to your respiratory condition and fitness level, join the iMaster Health Online Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program. Sign up today and enjoy a 7 DAY FREE TRIAL!

Subscribe to the iMaster Health YouTube Channel to receive more FREE rehabilitation resources!

Follow iMaster Health

Pulmonary rehabilitation helps ease respiratory symptoms, improve physical and psychological well-being, and increase disease management. Please discuss your decision to begin online pulmonary rehabilitation with a doctor or health care provider.

[email protected] © 2022 iMaster Health | All rights reserved. Terms & Conditions. Privacy Policy.