Yoga for COPD: Poses and Practices for Symptom Management

Will

cover

If you or someone you know is living with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), then you understand how difficult it can be to manage the symptoms. COPD is a chronic lung condition that affects millions of people worldwide, and can lead to shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, and fatigue. Managing COPD symptoms is crucial for maintaining quality of life, and that's where yoga can help. Yoga is an ancient practice that combines breathing techniques, physical postures, and meditation to improve overall health and wellbeing. In this article, we'll explore how yoga can be used as a complementary therapy for managing COPD symptoms.

Benefits of Yoga for COPD:

Research has shown that yoga can have numerous benefits for people with COPD, including improved breathing and lung function, increased physical activity, reduced anxiety and stress, and improved quality of life. Yoga postures and breathing techniques can help strengthen the respiratory muscles, improve lung capacity, and increase oxygenation of the blood. Yoga can also help reduce stress and anxiety, which can be a common trigger for COPD symptoms.

Precautions for Yoga Practice for COPD:

Before starting a yoga practice, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional to ensure it is safe to do so. It is also important to choose a qualified yoga instructor who has experience working with people with COPD. When selecting poses and practices, it is essential to choose those that are appropriate for your level of fitness and ability. It is important to listen to your body and avoid any poses or practices that cause discomfort or exacerbate symptoms.


Yoga Poses for COPD:

Here are ten yoga poses that can be helpful for people with COPD:


1. Tadasana (Mountain Pose):

Tadasana

Stand with your feet hip-width apart and arms at your sides. Inhale as you raise your arms overhead, stretching towards the ceiling. Exhale as you lower your arms back down to your sides.

2. Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II Pose):

Warrior II Pose

Stand with your feet about 3-4 feet apart. Turn your left foot in slightly and your right foot out to the side. Inhale as you raise your arms to shoulder height, parallel to the ground. Exhale as you bend your right knee, keeping it over your ankle. Hold for several breaths and then repeat on the other side.

3. Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose):

Ardha Chandrasana

Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Inhale as you raise your right leg out to the side and place your right hand on a block or the floor. Extend your left arm towards the ceiling. Hold for several breaths and then repeat on the other side.

4. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose):

Adho Mukha Svanasana

Begin on your hands and knees. Tuck your toes under and lift your hips up and back, straightening your legs. Spread your fingers wide and press your palms into the ground. Hold for several breaths.

5. Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward-Facing Dog Pose):

upward facing dog pose

Begin lying face down on the floor. Place your hands underneath your shoulders and press into the ground, lifting your chest and head up. Hold for several breaths.

6. Salabhasana (Locust Pose):

Salabhasana

Lie face down on the floor with your arms at your sides. Inhale as you lift your head, chest, and legs up off the ground. Hold for several breaths.


7. Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose):

Setu Bandha Sarvangasana

Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Inhale as you lift your hips up towards the ceiling, pressing your feet and arms into the ground. Hold for several breaths.

8. Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend Pose):

Paschimottanasana

Sit on the ground with your legs straight out in front of you. Inhale as you reach your arms up overhead. Exhale as you fold forward, reaching for your toes. Hold for several breaths.

9. Sukhasana (Easy Pose):

Sukhasana

Sit on the ground with your legs crossed and hands resting on your knees. Close your eyes and focus on your breath. Hold for several minutes.

10. Savasana (Corpse Pose):

Savasana

Lie on your back with your arms at your sides and eyes closed. Allow your body to completely relax and focus on your breath. Hold for several minutes.

Yoga Practices for COPD:

Yoga can be a beneficial form of exercise for individuals with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). Here are some yoga practices that may be helpful for people with COPD:

Deep Breathing: Practicing deep breathing exercises such as pranayama can help increase lung capacity and improve breathing patterns. Diaphragmatic breathing (also known as belly breathing) is a specific type of deep breathing that involves inhaling through the nose and expanding the belly, then exhaling through pursed lips and contracting the belly.

Chest Openers: Poses that open up the chest and improve posture can help improve breathing and lung function. Some examples of chest opener poses include the cobra pose, the bridge pose, and the camel pose.

Gentle Twists: Twisting poses can help massage the internal organs and improve lung function. However, individuals with COPD should avoid twisting too deeply or holding poses for too long. Gentle twists such as the seated twist or the supine twist can be effective.

Chair Yoga: For individuals with limited mobility or difficulty getting up and down from the floor, chair yoga can be a great option. Chair yoga poses such as seated cat-cow or seated mountain pose can help improve breathing and overall lung function.

It is important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new exercise program, including yoga. A certified yoga instructor who has experience working with individuals with COPD can also provide guidance and support.

Incorporating Yoga into COPD Management:

It is important to develop a regular yoga practice to reap the benefits for COPD symptom management. Combining yoga with other COPD treatments, such as medication and oxygen therapy, can help manage symptoms more effectively. It is also important to monitor symptoms and adjust your yoga practice accordingly.


Yoga is a safe and effective complementary therapy for managing COPD symptoms. By incorporating yoga into your COPD management plan, you can improve your breathing, increase your physical activity, and reduce stress and anxiety. Remember to consult with a healthcare professional and choose a qualified yoga instructor before starting a yoga practice. With regular practice and dedication, you can experience the benefits of yoga for COPD symptom management.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What can you do to help someone with COPD?

There are several things you can do to help someone with COPD, including encouraging them to quit smoking, helping them manage their medications, assisting with household chores or other tasks that may be difficult for them to perform, and providing emotional support and encouragement.

What is the effect of yoga in COPD patients?

Yoga has been shown to have several positive effects on COPD patients. Practicing yoga can help improve lung function, reduce shortness of breath, increase exercise tolerance, and improve overall quality of life.

What steps can be used to manage the symptoms of COPD?

There are several steps that can be taken to manage the symptoms of COPD, including quitting smoking, avoiding air pollutants and irritants, getting regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, staying hydrated, managing stress, and taking medications as prescribed by a healthcare professional.

How does yoga help fight against lung diseases?

Yoga can help fight against lung diseases by improving lung function and increasing respiratory capacity. Practicing yoga can also help reduce stress and inflammation in the body, which can contribute to improved lung health. Additionally, certain yoga poses can help strengthen the muscles used in breathing, which can be particularly beneficial for individuals with lung diseases such as COPD.

Online Yoga Classes – Live & Interactive

Get 2 free private yoga sessions and 2 weeks of unlimited group classes with authentic yoga teachers. No credit card required when you sign up today!

Start Free Trialarrow-right

Interesting Articles

Our New And Improved Group Class Platform!

Here's a quick walkthrough of our new GC interfaceExciting news! Our platform got an upgrade!MyYogaTeacher is always evolvi...

Continue Reading

Discover the Power of Face Yoga: A Natural Way to Look and Feel Younger

Are you looking for a natural and fun way to look and feel younger? If so, you might want to give Face Yoga a try! This trend is becoming increasingly...

Continue Reading

7 Best Chair Yoga Poses To Practice Anywhere (Benefits & Complete Guide)

If you have mobility or balance issues or are just looking for a gentle way to practice yoga, chair yoga poses might be just what you're looking for! ...

Continue Reading

Recent Articles

Our New And Improved Group Class Platform!

Here's a quick walkthrough of our new GC interfaceExciting news! Our platform got an upgrade!MyYogaTeacher is always evolvi...

Continue Reading

New 1-on-1 Hip Opening Series: Unlock Freedom in Movement

The new transformative 1-on-1 Hip Opening Series, specially designed to release tension and boost strength and mobility in your hips, is the perfect w...

Continue Reading

Celebrate the International Yoga Day 2023 With MyYogaTeacher - FREE Sessions for All!

Another exciting annual celebration is coming! The MyYogaTeacher team has prepared 4 days of really beautiful classes – free to you – in honor of Inte...

Continue Reading