Keeping Your Lungs Strong

In this article I am focusing on ways of keeping the respiratory system strong in light of the Coronavirus spread.


The important things to bear in mind:

  • Reduce intake of polluted air
  • Cleanse the nasal passages through nasal wash daily. See below for details
  • Protecting the mouth through oral hygiene. See below for details
  • Strengthen your breathing through Pranayama. See below for details
  • Keep nostrils and nasal passages healthily nourished. See below for details

I am sure we are doing everything to protect our bodies from the external environment. But if the internal environment isn’t strong and if the lungs or breathing isn’t strong, then no matter what you do from the outside, the illness will affect the insides.

So its quite important to strengthen the systems from within so that it is able to fight back any infection or illness.

Please find below things that can be done at home to help keep the lungs and respiratory system strong:


Nasal Wash or Jala Neti:

netiJala Neti is also commonly called Nasal Wash. This helps to cleanse the nasal mucosa and sense of smell. But most importantly when done on a regular basis helps to remove foreign matter which may carry bacteria/virus and also helps to protect the mucus membranes,

What you need:

  • Neti pot or a container with a spout
  • Warm water
  • Pinch of salt
  • Shadbindu Oil

Pour warm water into the Neti Pot. Then add the pinch full of salt and 4 drops of Shadbindu Oil (Click here to buy).

I have observed that majority of people do a nasal wash only with salt water. Classically oil is added. The reason for this is that plain sat water can be too heating or drying for the nasal mucosa. Repeated use of it may make the capillaries in the nose weak which may lead to nasal bleeding. Adding oil makes it more soothing, nourishing and calming.

Administer the water solution via each nostril (over your wash basin). Make sure you breathe through your mouth while you do the nasal wash. Remember to do it via both nostrils.


Triphala Water Gargling

What you need:

mouthwashThis is usually done first thing in the morning, preferably after the nasal wash after brushing your teeth.

Mix the powder in hot water. Mix it well so that the powder gets evenly distributed. Take the hot water in the mouth until mouth is half full. Then carry out a mouth wash with this water. This should be followed by gargling action too so that the water reaches the deep and back crevices of the mouth until throat region.

Once done then spit out the water and carry out the same with the remaining water.  Rinse your mouth with warm water.

Once finished, wait for ten minutes and then have a cup of warm or hot Ginger and Lemon Zest Herbal Tea (Click here to buy) with Ginger and Lemon.

Triphala has very good immune boosting and antioxidant property. It also has Amla fruit which is very high in Vitamin C. This helps towards immune defence.

When Triphala water mouth wash is done, for a few days you may feel a little tingling in back of throat, this is sometimes common. Click here to buy Triphala


Pranayama/Breathing Exercise

Kapalabhati: Cleansing Breath Exercise

breathe

Technique:

  • Breathe in and out gently.
  • Take a deep full breath to fill your lungs with air.
  • When you are ready start with the round of cleansing. For this one continuously breathes out with force. It’s a like a panting breath round. So you breathe out with a very short breath in. Abdominal muscles are used to do this part of the exercise.
  • Therefore one exhales, pulling in the abdominal wall abdomen. Repeat ten times, keeping a steady rhythm and emphasizing the exhalation each time.
  • At the end of the round, exhale out completely, empty your lungs.
  • Hold the abdominal wall in pulling it towards the spine. Hold the outbreath for as long as possible.
  • Then gently breathe in and out at your pace. Take a short break and start the next round.

The classical way of doing this exercise is only three rounds at any one sitting.

But one increases the cleansing phase gradually.

Example:

  • First round: 10 counts of panting breath
  • Second round: 15 counts of panting breath
  • Third round: 20 counts of panting breath

Bhastrika: Breath of Fire

Technique:

  • Sit in a comfortable cross legged position.
  • Spine must be straight.
  • Bhastrika is similar to the working of ‘bellows’. ‘Breathe in’ and ‘breathe out’ forcefully.
  • Take a deep breath in, hold the breath and then start the phase.
  • Breathe in deeply and breathe out completely.
  • Take a prolonged deep breath in. Bring a prolonged breath out.
  • Breathe in and breathe out with equal force.
  • After completing a few rounds of prolonged breathing in and prolonged breathing out, when you breathe out completely, hold the breath out for a little while, with your abdominal muscles completely pulled in towards the spine.
  • Breathe in again to normal pace.
  • Repeat the cycle three times.

It is best to do this exercise as 3 Rounds:

Round 1:
Bellowing Breath: 15 Counts
Holding the breath out: 10 Counts
Round 2:
Bellowing Breath: 30 Counts
Holding the breath out: 10 Counts
Round 3:
Bellowing Breath: 40 Counts
Holding the breath out: 10 Counts


Nadi Shodhana: Alernate Nostril Breathing

mudraThe Vishnu Mudra

In this exercise, you adopt the Vishnu Mudra with your right hand to close your nostrils. Tuck your index and middle finger into the palm.  Place the thumb on your right nostril and your ring and little fingers on your left.

Technique:

  • Close your right nostril with the thumb.
  • Inhale through the left nostril, to the count of four.
  • Hold the breath, closing both nostrils, to the count of six.
  • Exhale through the right nostril, closing the left with the ring finger, to the count of four.
  • Inhale through the right nostril, keeping the left nostril closed with the ring finger, to the count of four.
  • Hold the breath, closing both nostrils, to the count of six.
  • Exhale through the left nostril, keeping the right closed with the thumb, to the count of four.

For beginners:

  • Inbreath: 4
  • Hold the Breath: 6
  • Outbreath: 4

Pranayama for Daily Practice:

Every day follow any one of the following:

  • KapalaBhati followed by Nadi Shodhana
  • Bhastrika followed by Nadi Shodhana

Nourishing of Nasal Passages:

anu shad

What you need:

After your shower, in the morning, Administer 2 drops of Anu Nasya Oil (Click here to buy) or Shadbindu Oil (Click here to buy) in each nostril. Once administered, gently breathe in so that the oil gets absorbed via the nasal mucosa and passages.

Once administered, wait for at least 15 minutes before drinking anything. Follow this by a cup of hot Tulsi Tea. Click Here to Buy.


I hope the above suggestions will be useful in terms of strengthening the immune system especially around the lungs and respiratory system.

If you have any questions or queries please done hesitate to message or contact me.

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