One of the easiest yet most effective yoga asanas, the Cat pose helps in strengthening your back muscles, shoulders, wrists, and hips

New Delhi: With increasing pollution and poor air quality, our respiratory health has taken a toll. And since COVID-19 is still around, it is only imperative that preventive measures are taken to strengthen the lungs.

Yoga helps in alleviating stress, and improves the efficiency of the lungs, making them more powerful. Along with asanas, health experts recommend breathing techniques and exercises to strengthen lung capacity, making nasal passages clear and easy to breathe.

Try these easy yoga asanas at home to keep you active, energetic, positive, and focused for the rest of the day.

Cat pose

One of the easiest yet most effective yoga asanas, the Cat pose helps in strengthening your back muscles, shoulders, wrists, and hips.

How to do: Get on arms and legs, with your hips directly over your knees while keeping the hands and shoulder distance apart. Exhale deeply and round your spine, and lower the head while pulling your lower belly in and up. Then slowly return to a neutral spine position to release the pose. Aside from aiding lung health, this pose is effective in helping you relax and deactivate your stress response.

Raised arm yoga pose

This pose helps in relaxing the body as well as stretching the lungs. It helps open the blocked air passages.

How to perform: Stand straight and raise your head while stretching upward ensuring that your palms face each other. Keep your head in between your arms, and gently bend your back. Keep your knees straight and your eyes open.

Wheel pose

The wheel or urdhva dhanurasana provides energy to the body while boosting the power to the chest and lungs.

How to perform: Lie on your back and bend your knees while making sure that your feet are firmly planted at a hip distance apart and parallel. Then place your hands alongside your ears, while placing your palms on the ground. Lift your hips, torso, and head, and make sure you do not put the crown of your head on the floor. Your elbows should draw towards one another while breathing in a relaxed manner.

Camel pose

Camel pose helps in strengthening the lungs and improves their capacity to take in oxygen.

How to perform: Begin by kneeling on the yoga mat while your hands are placed on the hips. Then arch your back and slide your palms over your feet, till your arms are straight. Do not strain or flex your neck but keep it in a neutral position. Stay in this posture for a couple of breaths. Breathe out slowly and repeat the pose at least five times.

Locust pose

Locust pose or Salabhasana helps strengthen back muscles that support your spine as well as help stretch the lungs, clearing the airway.

How to perform: Locust pose helps in preparing for deeper backbends and so always begin on your tummy with your feet together. Rest your hands on either side with palms down and keep the hands on the mat, with your head, chest, and legs in a raised position. This should be led with your inner thighs. Remember to roll your shoulders back and away from the floor.

Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.

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