Ask Yogi Maharaj Dr. Malik

Yogi Maharaj Dr. Malik our Editor (since 2003) is a recognised International expert and authority on the subject of yoga. He has been practising, researching and studying this discipline for over 45 years.

He is an accredited Yoga teacher specialising in kundalini, hatha and laya yoga. Our Editor is an advanced practitioner and has experience of many styles of yoga. He has also been teaching for over 20 years and is fluent in several languages, including English, Hindi, Punjabi, Gujrathi, Persian and Urdu.

Q&A Yogi Maharaj Dr. Malik

Q: I'd like to make my lung capacity stronger so would be keen to know of any particular yoga exercises you can tell me about or have you point me in the right direction. I am 28 years old and in my spare time like to run long distance. I've recently taken up yoga. - S. Hartwell – Milton Keynes

There are many ways to strengthen the lungs, chest and areas surrounding them. Yoga practical exercises are a perfect way to do so. In addition to practical exercise you should also consider introducing yoga pranayama (breathing) exercises into your lifestyle. Running in itself is an excellent form of exercise to strengthen the lungs. I’ve mentioned a few poses that you may want to look into.

PARVATASANA

This is only meant to be practised by generally healthy people so don’t if you have an underlying lung condition. Sit down into padmasana (lotus). Right foot placed on left thigh and vice versa.

Keep back straight and neck up. Lift arms up either side of body, up above the head and bring palms together. If you find it hard to bring hands completely together then modify the pose so that you can at least touch them as far as you can, i.e. interlacing or interlocking your fingers.

You should feel a stretch in the sides of your body and arms. If you find it too difficult to sit in padmasana try modifying it and sit in another posture.

But the lotus pose is the best one to derive specific benefits especially for strengthening the lungs in the way it has been described (parvatasana).

The way the legs are positioned provides the necessary stamina to the arms; also some gentle pranayama exercises before coming into and holding the pose and after.

YOGA MUDRASANA

The yoga mudrasana is a cure for over forty diseases that afflict the body, especially those of the stomach. The exercise especially works to strengthen the organs including the spleen, liver, heart and kidneys.

The asana helps to improve your sexual libido and tones the muscles of the stomach and gives flexibility to the spine, thereby improving your chances of longevity.

If you conduct yoga mudrasana regularly your facial skin complexion will improve. Your eyes are also given a natural massage. When you perform this asana try and take your forehead right down to the floor so that the third eye point meets the floor. This helps to activate the sixth chakra.

To perform yoga mudrasana: sit down in lotus pose or cross-legged. Rest your left hand onto your left knee and your right hand onto your right knee. Slowly bring both arms behind you and interlock them together.

Slowly bend down and take your head right down to the floor. Bend your head downward and touch the floor with it. Simultaneously, take your arms upwards above your head on the inhalation.

Hold the position for a few seconds. On exhalation bring arms back down to the base of the spine and lift your head up and sit up back into the original position.

SARVANGASANA

A classic yoga posture that everyone should try and master. Regular performance brings so many good benefits to the mind and body. It is absolutely essential for any practitioner’s health box.

This pose will strengthen the whole body, especially the chest and the throat and neck region, stomach, spine and sexual organs.

Lie down on the floor and bring your legs together, then on inhale lift legs up vertically, using the elbows and hands to support the lower back. Keep legs straight and together and inhale and exhale slowly.

The shoulders will support this pose. Inhale and exhale as normal. You can hold this pose for at least 3-4 minutes to start with and as your practice progresses over the weeks, then longer.