The practice of Yoga exhibits a powerful and profound effect on the respiratory system, perhaps more than any other system of the body. The greatest respiratory benefit may come from the regular practice of Pranayama, which works directly on the respiratory system; certain series of Asanas are also beneficial by exhibiting direct or indirect effects on the respiratory organs like lungs, diaphragm and other organs.
The human respiratory system’s function is to allow gas exchange. The space between the alveoli and the capillaries, the anatomy or structure of the exchange system, and the precise physiological uses of the exchanged gases vary depending on the organism. In humans and other mammals, for example, the anatomical features of the respiratory system include airways, lungs, and the respiratory muscles. Molecules of oxygen and carbon dioxide are exchanged passively, by diffusion, between the gaseous external environment and the blood. This exchange process occurs in the alveolar region of the lungs. The two lungs, the right and the left, are held in an airtight cage called the chest. The sides of this cage comprise the flexible ribs and its bottom is made up of a very stout muscle called the diaphragm. The ribs are moved up and down by means of the intercostals. Because of the action of the diaphragm and the intercostals, the chest expands and contracts, several times in a minute. When the chest contracts the lungs inside are pressed and the air contained in them is forced out, just as the air from the elastic rubber ball referred to in the last but one paragraph, is forced out under pressure. This going out of the air from the lungs is called exhalation. This process is rhythmic and repetitive, facilitating respiration. To know more read: