Fact or Myth: Can Yoga Help with Asthma Symptoms?

This is FACT.

Three hundred million people worldwide suffer from asthma, battling wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath on a daily basis. A new Cochrane Review published in the Cochrane Library suggests that yoga may help improve asthma symptoms and overall quality of life for asthma patients. yoga stress relief

Researchers investigated 15 randomized controlled trials from India, Europe, and the United States, made up of 1,048 men and women with mild to moderate asthma for at least 6 months and up to more than 23 years. The studies varied in duration, with some lasting two weeks and others lasting four years.

Six of the studies looked out how breathing during yoga impacts asthma, while the rest of the studies broadened focus to include the effects of posture and meditation. Most participants continued to take their asthma medication throughout the trials.

Five of the studies showed that yoga reduced asthma symptoms and improved quality of life for asthma sufferers. However, yoga’s effects on lung function and medication use couldn’t be ascertained because results varied.

Lead author, Dr Zuyao Yang from the Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care, at the Chinese University of Hong Kong said, “Our findings suggest that yoga exercise may lead to small improvements in asthma quality of life and symptoms. However, it is unclear whether yoga has a consistent impact on lung function and we don’t yet know if yoga can reduce people’s medication usage, or if there are any side-effects of yoga for people with asthma.”

The overall health benefits of yoga have been confirmed by numerous studies, and its beneficial impact on asthma is just one more motivator to treat yourself to a yoga class on a regular basis.