Rechaka Pranayama is a conscious breathing exercise with a handful of great health benefits like relaxation and easing the symptoms of asthma. It is possible to cure asthma by using breathing exercises like this one.
In Sanskrit, the word Rechaka means “exhale”, and the method is as simple as the name.
How Does Rechaka Pranayama Cure Asthma?
This breathing exercise helps to control symptoms of asthma when you feel like you’re having an asthma attack and over time it helps to cure asthma.
It controls feelings of shortness of breath, and provides a quick and easy way to slow your pace of breathing, making each breath more effective. When you feel short of breath, pursed lip breathing helps get more oxygen into your system and calms you down so you can better control your breath. It helps to keep airways open longer so that you can remove the air that is trapped in your lungs by slowing down your breathing rate and relieving shortness of breath.
In the long term, this breathing exercise helps your body adjust its perception of “normal” levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the body. Asthma can occur as your body’s protective response to over-breathing and having too much oxygen in the body. Too much oxygen isn't necessarily a good thing: it can lead to oxidative stress. With regular practise, your breathing will gradually correct itself, and your asthma symptoms will dissipate over time.
How To Do Rechaka Pranayama
- Sit in a comfortable position with your back straight.
- Inhale through your nose or mouth.
- Purse your lips and gently breathe the air out of your mouth very slowly as though you are breathing out through a straw. Relax all the muscles in your body as much as possible while you do this.
- As you exhale, imagine a wave of relaxation flowing down your body from the top of your head to the soles of your feet.
- Repeat the process for 5-10 minutes, several times a day if you like. The more you practice this, the more effective it is at lowering your blood pressure and heart rate.
- Once you have exhaled, you can also hold your breath for a few seconds before inhaling and repeating.
You can gradually increase the breath hold time each time you repeat this for an even deeper effect.
What Else Is This Method Used For?
RELAXATION: Relieve stress and anxiety in a matter of minutes with this technique! Wind down and relax.
GETTING INTO FLOW: Enter a calm flow state where you are relaxed and perfectly focussed with a clear mind. Increases productivity and decision making.
DIGESTION: Switches on your parasympathetic nervous system so you can digest your food better. This exercise can be done before and after a meal.
SLEEP: Helps you relax so that you can fall asleep faster.
More Benefits of Rechaka Pranayama
- Improves symptoms of asthma (Ritz & Roth, 2003; Lehrer et al., 2004).
- Effective treatment for COPD (Fregonezi et al., 2004; Cabral et al., 2015).
- Relieves symptoms of depression (Vedamurthachar et al., 2006).
- Reduces stress (Mahour & Verma, 2017).
- Maintain a healthy weight with health cholesterol levels (Prasad et al., 2006).
- Improves cognitive functioning (Sharma et al., 2014).