Ayurveda and Yoga Therapy for Respiratory Disorders

By Dr. Nutan Pakhare

Breathing and Respiration are two different mechanisms related to the respiratory system. Since we do not have any apparatus in the body to store oxygen, breathing and respiration are continuous processes carried out by our respiratory system.

  • Breathing is Inhalation and exhalation process in which we inhale oxygen from the atmosphere and exhale carbon dioxide out from the body.
  • Respiration is the process of gas exchange happening between the alveoli (structural and functional unit of Lungs) and the cell through capillaries.

The organs of the respiratory system are the Nose, Pharynx, Larynx, and Trachea, Bronchus and Alveoli.

In Ayurveda Symptoms of disturbed function of respiratory system mentioned are –

प्रदुष्टानां तु खल्वेषामिदं विशेषविज्ञानं भवति;तद्यथा- अतिसृष्टमतिबद्धं

कुपितमल्पाल्पमभीक्ष्णं वा सशब्दशूलमुच्छ्वसन्तं दृष्ट्वा प्राणवहान्यस्य स्रोतांसि प्रदुष्टानीति विद्यात्|

Symptoms – When pranavah channel gets obstructed you may feel too long, too short, intensified, shallow or recurrent breaths with sound (asthma-wheezing sound) and discomfort.

Causes of respiratory system disorders are – Climate (season), air(Vayu), water(Jala) and land(Desha)  can become a common medium in spreading respiratory diseases which is defined by Acharya under epidemic or janapadudhvanse term.

As per Acharya Sushruta – the modes of contagion by repeated

  • Physical contact (gatrasaṃsparsat),
  • By exhalation (niḥsvasat),
  • By eating together (sahabhojanat),
  • By sitting and sleeping together (sahasayyasanat),
  • By contact with clothes, garlands, etc. (Vastramalyanulepanat)
  • Adharma-not following universal duty of preserving life

The respiratory disorders are caused due to lack of immunity, recurrent infections, malnutrition and emotional disturbance (stress or anxiety, fear and insecurity). Therefore the health of respiratory organs one needs to take care of the health of body and mind both. Awareness, Breathing and Muscle relaxation Practices gives good relief in respiratory disorders.

  1. Asthma -:Asthma is the respiratory disorder in which function of lungs and the airways get disturbed. Many times it is seen due to genetic or environmental factors. It can be acute or chronic in nature. Acute sinusitis could be referred to as “mild pneumonia in the head”. Chronic sinusitis could be referred to as “mild asthma in the head”. During the attack of asthma, the airways get inflamed due to mucus clog formed and obstruct the airways passage.

Signs and Symptoms -:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing sound of breathe
  • Chest tightness
  • Running nose,
  • Anxiety,
  • Insomnia

Causes -:

  • Allergens like dust, pets, mold, smoke, sensitivity to medications etc.
  • Change of season
  • Exercise,
  • Emotional stress
  • Genetics factors
  • Irrelevant Diet and Lifestyle like – Cold drinks or staying in an AC room etc.

Ayurveda Therapy –: Medication to be taken under expert guidance.

  • Stay away from the causes of the disease
  • Drink warm water

Ayurveda treatment -:  

  • Shwas Kuthar Ras 2 tablets twice a day
  • Sitopaladi Churna +Talisadi Churna+Yastimadhu = Twice a day with honey
  • Syrup Kanakasav 4tsf twice a day with warm water.
  •  Ayurveda Therapy –Nasya, Herbal Steam

Yoga Therapy –:

Loosening warm practice –Sukshma Vyayam and Stretching


  • Jalaneti
  • Kapalbhati
  • Vamandhauti

Asana -:

  • Tadasana
  • Ardha Chakrasana
  • Parvatasana
  • Kativakrasana
  • Gomukhasana

Mudra– Brahma mudra and Simha Mudra

Contraindications –Topsy Turvey asanas like Shoulder or headstand

Deep Breathing

Pranayama- 10- 15 -20 rounds (as per your capacity)

Increases pulmonary function and improve mental health

Anulom Vilom, Suryabhedan Pranayama               

Concentration followed by Meditation Yoga Nidra


  1. Sinusitis-Sinusitis is the respiratory disorder that occurs due to accumulation of the fluid or germs like bacteria, virus or fungi inside the mucus lining of paranasal sinuses. It can be acute or chronic in nature. In Ayurveda

Signs and Symptoms –

  • Thick discharge from nose
  • Postnasal drip, sore throat
  • Bad breath
  • Fatigue, mild fever
  • Pain over the forehead, paranasal region or face due to accumulation of mucus inside sinuses.


  • Allergens like dust, pets, mold, smoke, sensitivity to medications etc.
  • Change of season
  • Irrelevant Diet and Lifestyle like Dairy products,
  • Cold and stale food – like ice-cream, yeast containing food etc.

Ayurveda Therapy –Medication to be taken under expert guidance.

  • Stay away from the causes of the disease i.e. allergens, cold environments, chocolates etc.
  • Drink Warm water and eat light(Langhan-fasting), Sunbath

Ayurveda treatment-Mahalaxmivilas Ras 2 tablets twice a day with warm water.

                                 Turmeric + ginger tea

                                 Giloy satva tab 2 twice day

Ayurveda Therapy –Herbal OR Camphor Steam inhalation, Nasya, Dhumpana, Shirodhara

Yoga Therapy -:

Loosening warm practice –Stretching, Sukshma vyayam, Joints and neck movements


  • Neti –Sutraneti or jala neti
  • Kapalbhati


  • Trikonasana
  • Parvatasana
  • Vakrasana
  • Gomukhasana
  • Sarvangasana

Deep Breathing,

Pranayama- 10- 15 -20 rounds (as per your capacity)

Suryabhedan, Bhastrika and Ujjayi

Mudra- Brahma mudra and Simha Mudra

AUM chanting

Concentration followed by Meditation

3- COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) – COPD is related to the group of progressive lung diseases including chronic bronchitis, emphysema and other lung diseases. Chronic bronchitis is manifested with chronic cough with mucus expectoration for more than 3 months. Emphysema is a permanent abnormal distension of the air space (alveoli).

Signs and Symptoms – Patient has a long term history of cough, shortness of breathing. It leads to a slow and steady reduction in oxygen consumption capacity of the lungs. Alveolar inner space is filled with inflammatory allergens obstructing the path of the airway. This is not fully reversible. Ayurveda indicates an imbalance in the function of Pranavaha strotas. Signs and symptoms are as follows,

  • Too long or too restricted respiration
  • Irregular and mouth breathing
  • Shallow Or Frequent breathe
  • Prolonged exhalation with pursed lips
  • Wheezing sound and pain during Respiration

Causes –:

  • Exposure to air pollution, Smoke
  • Occupational dust and chemicals, cold weather etc.
  • Smoking
  • Long-standing bronchitis
  • Indigestion due to irregular diet or eating on irregular time
  •  lifestyle habits like day time sleep in Vasant Ritu
  • Stay away from the causes of the disease and allergens

Ayurveda treatment – : Stay away from the causes of the disease and allergens

Syp. Chyavanaprasha 2 tsf thrice a day

Diet– vegetables including of Gourd, Bottle Gourd, Bitter Gourd, Spinach, Methi (Fenugreek), Garlic, Ginger, Pulses like moong beans

Ayurveda Therapy – Herbal Steam, Seasonal Panchakarma, Nasya,

Yoga Therapy

Loosening warm practice 

Sukshma Vyayama, Neck movements-Brahma mudra


  • Vaman Dhauti(once a week)
  • Kapalbhati
  • Shankhaprakshalana (once a year)


  • Ardha chakrasana
  • Parvatasana
  • Ushtrasana
  • Dhanurasana
  • Bhujangasana
  • Shalabhasana

Simple diaphragmatic breathing

Pranayama- 10- 15 -20 rounds (as per your capacity)

Suryabhedan, Bhastrika and Bhramari

Concentration followed by Meditation 

Disclaimer: Therapies and treatments should be taken under the guidance of a qualifies therapist / practising doctor only.