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Sunday, May 31, 2020

World Asthma Day: Yoga asanas that kids can practice

World Asthma Day 2020: Asthma symptoms are mostly triggered by allergies caused by dust, pollen, cold air, pollution, exercise or allergy to dog or cat hair.

Published: May 5, 2020 5:15:31 pm
yoga, asthma day Asthma is especially serious for children as they have smaller airways than adults. (Source: Getty Images)

By Akshar

According to a report published by the World Health Organisation (WHO), asthma affects an estimated 300 million individuals worldwide annually. WHO has estimated that there are around 250,000 asthma deaths reported worldwide. Asthma is especially serious for children as they have smaller airways than adults. The symptoms of asthma include wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and trouble breathing, especially early in the morning or at night.

Asthma symptoms are mostly triggered by allergies caused by dust, pollen, cold air, pollution, exercise or allergy to dog or cat hair. These following yogic practices can help prevent asthma, or reduce the symptoms by improving lung capacity, increased immunity, etc. Please note that the practice of Bhastrika Pranayama, Chandra Bhedi pranayama, and Surya Bhedi pranayama need to be practiced in the Shant Gati. This is for the level of beginners and needs to be done very slowly.

Read| What causes breathing problems in newborns and kids?

Bhastrika Pranayama

Sit in any comfortable pose (such as Sukhasan, Ardhapadmasan or Padmasana).

Straighten your back and close your eyes.

Place your palms on your knees facing up (in Prapthi Mudra).

Inhale and fill your lungs with air.

Exhale completely.

Inhalation and exhalation should be done in a 1:1 ratio. For example, if you breathe in for 6 counts, you must take 6 counts to exhale.

Read| Asthma in babies: Symptoms, diagnosis and treatment

Surya Bhedi Pranayama

Make yourself comfortable in Siddhasana or Padmasana.

Focus on your body, remain balanced.

Your eyes should be closed and spine, neck and back must be straight.

Close your left nostril with your ring finger and little finger.

Inhale slowly and deeply through your right nadi or right nostril.

Once you inhale, it’s time to shut your right nadi with the thumb of your right hand.

Now exhale through your left nadi keeping your right nostril closed.

Read| ‘Asthma during pregnancy can cause hypertension in mothers, birth defects in babies’

Chandra Bhedi Pranayama

The process is where you inhale from left and exhale from your right.

Understand how to close the right nostril and inhale from left, and how to close the left nostril and inhale from the right.

Now, focus on the pressure of your right thumb as you close your right nostril. Close it gently as the purpose is to block the movement of air through the right nostril.

Now when you are inhaling through your left nostril, make sure the pressure on your right nostril is balanced.

Inhale, let the prana go inside.

Close your left nostril as you open up your right nostril and allow the air to exhale out of your right nostril.

Give your attention and focus to the technique.

Asanas

Padmasana

Formation of the posture

Sit in Ardha Padmasana with your right foot over your left thigh.

Lift your left foot and place it on your right thigh facing up.

Pull your feet closer to your hips.

Drop your knees to the floor.

Place your palms on your knees facing up.

Hold the asana for a while.

Repeat with the other leg.

Vajrasana

Formation

Begin by standing straight with your arms by the sides of your body.

Lean forward and slowly drop your knees on your mat.

Place your pelvis on your heels and point your toes outward.

Here, your thighs should press your calf muscles.

Keep your heels close to each other.

Do not place the toes on top of the other, instead right and left must be next to each other.

Place your palms on your knees facing upward.

Straighten your back and look forward.

Hold this asana for a while.

Swaas Dhyan

Formation

Sit in a comfortable posture (such as Sukhasana, Ardha Padmasana or Padmasana).

Place your palms on your knees facing up (Prapthi Mudra).

Straighten your back and close your eyes.

The time you take to inhale and exhale should be in a ratio of 6:6, i.e., if you inhale in six counts, you need to exhale in six counts.

Focus on your breath entering and then leaving your nostrils as you inhale and exhale.

Surya Namaskar

The Surya Namaskar is a salutation to the sun. The sun represents energy, power and vitality. These are the steps to perform this Sun salutation.

Pranam Asana (The Prayer pose)

Hastha Utanasana (Raised arm pose)

Padahastasana (Standing forward bend)

Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian pose)

Santholanasana (Plank Pose)

Ashtanga Namaskar Asana (Eight limbed salutation)

Bhujangasana (Cobra pose)

Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward dog pose)

Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian pose)

Padahastasana (Standing forward bend)

Hastha Uthanasana

Pranam Asana

(Repeat the 12 steps on the other side and start with the left leg to complete one full cycle.)

Yoga removes stress and increases awareness by relaxing the mind and the body. Yogic breathing or pranayama techniques provide useful information and knowledge to children on their anatomy. They learn how to use their rib cage, chest, diaphragm, throat, and nasal cavity for the intake of oxygen. Proper breathing techniques as taught in the yogic sciences also improve the efficiency of the lungs, and make them stronger.

(The writer is a Yoga Master and lifestyle coach.)

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