Yoga used to help teen with Asthma

FRESNO, Calif.

Breathlessness, a tight chest, wheezing and coughing. An asthma attack can be triggered by many different things.

Now researchers at the University Of Cincinnati are saying a way out of asthma episodes is to get close and personal with your spiritual side. They say teenagers that practice yoga and meditation are better able to manage their symptoms. They found spiritual coping affected mental and physical health outcomes as well as anxiety and quality of life.

"Kids these days, especially teens are under a lot of stress. When we are under stress we tend to hold our breath or breathe more shallowly and in yoga we teach you how to breathe more deeply," said Audrey Tan with Fig Garden Yoga.

Tan demonstrates one popular inversion pose called the downward facing dog -- it helps get more oxygen to the bottom of the lungs and increases blood flow at the top, making for healthier blood tissue.

Another easy way to increase oxygen to the lungs -- and this is something kids can do during a break from class and adults can do at work -- is conscious breathing: "Sit up straight, chest out and breathe in and out through the nose easily."

Even though yoga has a lot of benefits for teens -- better breathing and posture, more flexibility and strength -- Tan said it must be done in moderation because teen's bodies are still forming. "You don't want to be doing a lot of forceful stretching because you can actually overstretch the muscles."

Researchers say the findings on the benefits of yoga for asthmatic kids could help physicians and other health care providers consider alternative medicines to treat asthma in adults as well.

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