A few weeks ago I got hit with some kind of virus. It left after a few days, but the wheezing and tight lungs decided to stay around for a while. I tried many of the natural remedies that usually worked and still breathing was a challenge. The asthma of my teenage years seemed to return. I decided I would try out a short yin yoga sequence given to me by my teacher that is for the lung channel (according to Chinese Medicine). This sequence was designed to perform self acupressure in some long held poses. Theory is that this helps the physical lungs, as well as the energetic qualities of the lungs and the emotions that are stored in the lungs (grief and inspiration). Even though I was still run down, I knew I could do some yin yoga as it requires very little physical effort.
After a minute in one pose in particular my breathing came very easily. My wheezing stopped and it was like a rubber band was released from behind my rib cage. I have been teaching this pose in many of my yoga classes because I love the stretch in the upper back and neck, but now I know first hand that it really CAN help you breathe better. Over the next few days I continued to practice the lung sequence and this pose really helped. There were a few others, but I found just this one, held for 3-5 minutes on each side worked like magic.
So, if you are struggling to breathe due to asthma, allergies, illness, grief; try this one pose. Let me know what you think and if it works as well for you.