Top 5 yoga tips for COPD

COPD or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is a progressive lung disease, and despite the sophistication of current medical treatments, it is still considered to be largely irreversible. Three lung disorders namely; emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and chronic asthma can lead to COPD. COPD symptoms include a chronic cough, chronic excessive mucus, acute bronchitis, and breathlessness. A chronic cough and excessive mucus production often precede the development of airflow obstruction by many years. Some ways to reduce the effects of COPD include oxygen therapy and getting plenty of exercise including breathing exercises.


However, due to the breathlessness, you could easily tire while doing exercises. Thus yoga therapy can be ideal for COPD management.  Yoga can help with making your life easier by relaxing your body, and combining deep breathing with exercises that help strengthen muscles without over-exerting your body. Correct breathing patterns, diaphragm breathing and various stretches and spinal movements can help develop the breathing muscles.

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Tip 1: Belly Breathe

Belly breathing is important for COPD patients. It means basically to allow one’s abdomen to fully expand when breathing in and to press the belly in fully when breathing out.

Tip 2: Pursed-lip Breathing

The most important tool for controlling breathlessness is pursed-lip breathing. In this exercise, one leans slightly forward and slowly blows out through pursed lips. This action of leaning slightly forward and blowing out against pursed lips encourages the contraction of abdominal muscles, thereby forcing the diaphragm upward to empty the lungs more completely.


Tip 3: Diaphragm Breathing

Some can experience aggravation of their breathing problem when lying down. They have a hard time mobilizing the diaphragm in that position. Those who don’t have this problem can practice diaphragm breathing in a prone position. Lying down with a sandbag, bag of rice, beanbag or a book weighing one or two pounds on the abdomen while practicing diaphragm breathing for 5 to 15 minutes strengthens the diaphragm and also promotes relaxation.

Tip 4: Asanas

Asanas can help to increase the strength and efficiency of muscles. Postures that actively engage the chest, shoulders, neck, midsection, pelvis and spine will improve the strength and efficiency of the breathing muscles. According to an individual’s level of fitness, he or she should learn forward bends, backbends, spinal extension and flexion, side bends and spinal twists. If there is a problem lying down, the poses should be done in either a standing or sitting position.

Tip 5: Oxygen Therapy

It will be extra beneficial to receive oxygen therapy during yoga exercises so as not to tire easily. It can be arranged by consulting your doctor and purchasing a home oxygen concentrator.