The official blog of the Lung Institute.
Chair Yoga for Deeper Breathing
Gain relaxation and deeper breathing with chair yoga.
Practicing deeper breathing has many benefits, but for someone with a chronic lung disease such as COPD or pulmonary fibrosis, deep breathing can be challenging. However, recent studies have shown that yogic breathing exercises could help people with lung disease breathe more easily. We’re here to help you learn how to practice chair yoga for deeper breathing.
Why Try Chair Yoga for Deeper Breathing?
Because yoga is a mind-body practice that combines physical poses (asanas), controlled breathing (pranayama), and meditation, yoga can increase flexibility, help strengthen muscles, improve balance, and promote relaxation and deeper breathing.
Almost anyone can do yoga, including people with various health conditions or disabilities. While yoga has many forms and intensities, many people are able to practice gentle yoga, which can be done while sitting in a sturdy chair. However, remember that it’s important to talk with your doctor before changing your exercise routine.
Chair Yoga for Deeper Breathing Poses
Find a comfortable, sturdy chair, and go into a quiet room. Play calming music. If breathing is challenging for you, try counting to three or four as you inhale, and again as you exhale to help you breathe equally. Take a breath; it’s time to try some gentle chair yoga.
Seated Mountain Pose
To begin in seated mountain pose, take a deep, gentle breath as best you can, and sit up straight. Feel your spine extend. As you slowly exhale, feel your body sink into your chair, keeping your knees over your ankles. Make sure there’s a little room between your knees.
Take another deep, gentle breath, and as you exhale, roll your shoulders down your back, pulling your bellybutton in toward your spine, relax your arms, and rest your hands on your thighs. Think of your feet and legs as roots as you relax into seated mountain pose.
Seated Cat-Cow Pose
As you start the seated cat-cow pose, continue your deep, even breathing, and sit so that your spine is long with both feet planted on the floor. As you inhale, arch your back and let your shoulders gently drop into cow position. Relax as you feel this mild stretch.
On an exhale, round your spine, letting your shoulder and head come forward to relax into cat position. Continue moving slowly between these positions for five breaths; do cow position as you inhale and cat position as you exhale.
Seated Candle Pose
For seated candle pose, continue taking your gentle, even breaths and sit up straight so you feel your spine extend and gently lift your hands straight above your head, touching your palms together, and keeping your fingers pointed toward the ceiling. Keep your arms shoulder width apart and feel your shoulders stretch.
Keep your feet flat on the floor. Take some relaxing breaths and hold for 30 seconds. Carefully release your arms back into seated mountain pose.
What are the benefits of chair yoga for deeper breathing and trying other therapies?
While you can practice these gentle chair yoga poses at home, you can also find a local yoga studio that offers chair yoga classes to fit your needs. Yoga poses and yoga breathing can improve your fitness, lower your blood pressure, promote relaxation, and reduce stress. Before starting or changing your exercise program, remember to talk with your doctor.
Along with self-management techniques like chair yoga for deeper breathing, trying alternative treatments such as stem cell therapy at the Lung Institute could help improve your quality of life. If you or a loved one has a chronic lung disease and is ready to bring life back within reach, contact us at (800) 729-3065.