Have you tried yoga to manage your asthma symptoms? Many people find that this form of exercise taps into the mind-body connection to help you to take control of your health and enable you to feel significantly better on many levels. So yoga and asthma can be a good combination.

Why Yoga

Today four out of ten people do yoga or some other form of complementary or alternative medicine to treat a medical condition (including asthma), according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology's website.1 And there are many different forms of yoga and techniques you can try.

Regardless of the style you engage in, this popular form of exercise generally combines physical, mental and breathing practices to help people achieve good health and a positive frame of mind. Further, while many other exercises tax the body and are not appropriate for people in high risk groups, yoga can be often be performed by people of all ages and skill levels and some methods are even gentle enough to be done for pregnant women and senior citizens, as well as people with chronic health conditions (as long as your physician gives his or her approval first).

The Benefits

You can practice yoga on your own at home or try it in a group setting. Regardless of when and where you do it, though, if you perform it correctly, you are sure to reap a whole bunch of benefits from your efforts.

When you do yoga exercises, you are working all of the systems in your body to help them function to their full potential. This includes improving your musculoskeletal system, blood and lymph systems and also your actual breathing functioning. All of these improvements can help you to combat your asthma and even head off an attack.

Some of the specific ways that making yoga a regular part of your lifestyle include can reap positive changes include:

  • Reduced stress
  • Deeper relaxation
  • Improved flexibility
  • Straighter posture
  • Help with circulatory and breathing conditions
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Stronger immune system
  • Better digestion
  • Optimum health

Reducing Stress

You probably know that stress and asthma can often go hand in hand. This is in part because when you experience stress, the process can cause your asthma symptoms to flare. Further, when you start to have an asthma attack, the condition can cause you to feel panic, so this can be a strong cause and effect relationship. But the good news is that several studies that have been conducted over the past two decades have revealed that people who suffer from asthma can actually reduce their body's reaction to their triggers by performing yoga on a regular basis.2 In addition, doing regular yoga and can even head off an asthma attack that is just beginning.

Managing Your Symptoms

The bottom line is that when you make yoga a regular part of your life, you may be taking important control of your asthma at the same time. Just remember that before trying yoga or any other complementary or alternative form of treatment for your condition, you should always speak to your doctor about it and get the okay first. Also be sure to continue to take your medications as directed. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology points out that there is scientific evidence that supports the use of some alternative practices like yoga, but these should be used with professional guidance and only when done in combination with other medical approaches to get asthma and other health conditions under control.3


1. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, Guide on Asthma and Complementary and Alternative Medicine located at http://www.aaaai.org/patients/elements/2009/02/0209_elements.pdf.

2. Health and Yoga Website, Clinical Study of Yoga Techniques In University Students With Asthma: A Control Study, P. K. Vedanthan, M.D., * Lakshmayya N. Kesavalu, B.V.Sc., Krishna C. Murthy, M.D.,* Kirby Duvall, M.D.,* Mary J. Hall, R.N.M.A,* Sheila Baker, M.S.,* and S. Nagarathna, M.D.S. Summary of the findings can be accessed at http://www.healthandyoga.com/html/research_papers/csy/om.asp.

3. AAAAI, Same as above.