Researchers at the American College of Sports Medicine are reporting that practicing yoga for just 10 weeks may reduce the symptoms of asthma by as much as 40 per cent.
"Yoga is an excellent way to relieve symptoms because there are no side-effects, unlike modern medicine such as corticosteroids," said the lead researcher Amy Bidwell. "For some people, regular yoga could mean they need less medication."
The researchers recruited a group of asthmatic patients and then put them through a routine of two yoga classes per week. They also asked the participants to practice 30 extra minutes at home. At the end of the trial all subjects said their symptoms and quality of life improved by as much as 40 per cent.
It is thought that holding the breath during yoga helps the patients by simulating conditions similar to an asthma attack and hence helps them handle it better.