Yoga for COPD
By Vijai Sharma, PhD • November 27th, 2008 • 12319 Views
3. By shifting to abdominal breathing and slower and longer exhalation, you can influence many physiological and emotional processes such as lowering the blood pressure, heart beat rate and stress hormones and improve on oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange, coherent heart frequency and brain waves, concentration, to name just a few.
So without further ado, let's put this to practice.
A Brief Body, Breath and Mind Exercise
1. Make yourself steady and comfortable. Lie down or sit. Keep your head, neck and spine in a straight line as much as possible. Make yourself comfortable and relaxed to the extent you can.
2. Mentally scan your body and relax. Bring your mind to one part of the body and let it relax by following this order: face, neck, right arm and hand, left arm and hand, throat, chest, abdomen, right leg and foot, left leg and foot, pelvis, abdomen, chest, throat and face.
3. Do soft abdominal breathing. Return to your abdomen and observe your breathing. Your abdomen should bulge a little as you inhale and pull inward as you exhale. If needed, put your hand or a small book on your solar plexus (between the navel and breastbone) to guide your breath to that area.
4. Crown-to-toes breathing. Imagine inhaling as if through the crown of your head to the toes and exhaling as if through the soles of your feet and toes. Take next few breaths with this imagination.
5. Inhaling the positive and exhaling the negative. This is the time to link your vision and feelings with your breath. Therefore, as you inhale see and feel pure white light enters as if through the crown of the head and travels down to the toes down to the toes. While exhaling, see and feel grayish, blackish light traveling from the toes and exiting through the nostrils. Pure white light in this context stands for such positives as the solar energy, health, peace and joy. The grayish, blackish light stands for such negatives as the toxins, fatigue, stress, fears and anger, etc. Take 5 to 10 breaths holding such thoughts and feelings.
After doing this body, breath and mind exercise, check how you feel and how is your breathing.
Footnote: Byron Thomashow, MD, John W. Walsh "COPD and Co-Morbidities: The COPD Foundation Survey" presented at the "COPD and Primary Care: Treating the Whole Patient." Workshop, Nov. 4th 2006, Bethesda, MD
About Vijai Sharma, PhD, psychologist, Certified yoga therapist and yoga teacher:
Vijai specializes in mind-body medicine, particularly, anxiety, depression, anger, pain and relationship problems as they affect cardio-pulmonary, gastroenterological, immune- and other stress related disorders. He utilizes yoga postures, breath training, mental-physical relaxation, mindfulness and spiritual energy for personal well-being, overall health and a better quality of life. Vijai believes yoga, the ultimate mind-body system, has enormously helped him with emphysema and coronary disease.
Vijai has developed two exercise DVDs and companion workbooks, “Stretching and Breathing Exercises Adapted for People with Severe COPD,” and “Stretching and Breathing for COPD for All Levels of Fitness.” Review his over 600 self-help and self-care articles for insights into emotional stressors, positive mental attitudes and positive health behaviors and choices at www.mindpub.com