Smoking kills. The cigarette smoke that you inhale carries more than 4000 chemicals, of which at least 250 are known to be harmful and more than 50 are known to cause cancer. According to a fact sheet published by WHO, tobacco kills nearly 6 million people each year. More than five million of these deaths are the result of direct tobacco use while more than 600,000 people die due to second hand smoke.
Although a lot of smokers are aware of the hazards of smoking, they face difficulty giving up their addiction. Even repeated attempts to kick the butt fail after a few days by giving in to the urge of having that one last drag. Though whatever may be the reason for people to start smoking, they have problem quitting it mostly due to stress at work and in personal life. The chemical composition of a cigarette calms the mind and gives temporary relief from stress, thus giving smokers a reason to cling onto the addiction.
If you are looking for a permanent alternative to de-stressing yourself and keep away from smoking, look no further. Yoga is the key to step out of the smoke and rid you of the addiction. A local Art of Living Yoga course can help you learn ways to resist the urges of smoking. The Art of Living Yoga is an effective wellness program that aims to equip you with health enriching and de-stressing tools that help you lead a healthy and joyful life, thus letting your loved ones breathe free too!
Let's look at a few yoga postures and pranayamas that can help you on the way to quit smoking:
1. Kapal Bhati pranayama (Skull Shining breathing technique)
Improve blood circulation, energize nervous system, rejuvenate brain cells and calm your mind by doing the Skull Shining breathing technique. This pranayama also clears the nadis (subtle energy channels) and helps resist the urge of smoking.
2. Nadi Shodhan pranayama (Alternate nostril breathing technique)
Release accumulated stress, calm your mind, purify and balance your naadis (subtle energy channels) with this pranayama. The Nadi Shodhan pranayama also works therapeutically for many respiratory problems and helps counter the side effects of your de-addiction.
The Cobra pose expands your chest and improves blood circulation. It reduces fatigue and is also very good for people with respiratory ailments. This yoga posture helps relieve stress and minimizes the urge of smoking.
4. Setu Bandhasana (Bridge pose)
The Bridge pose opens up the lungs, thus improving the flow of oxygen to the body. It also stretches various parts of the body, calms the mind, reduces anxiety, depression and stress and helps keep you away from smoking.
5. Shishuasana (Child pose)
The Child pose relaxes the body, calms down the nervous system and helps relieve the body from stress.
6. Trikonasana (Triangle pose)
The Triangle pose stretches and strengthens various parts of the body. This yoga posture helps strike a very effective physical and mental equilibrium balance in the body. It also reduces anxiety and stress, and helps you fight better the impulse to smoke.
The Shoulder stand helps nourish the brain with more blood and is effectively calms it. It also helps relieve stress and depression, thus eliminating the urge of smoking.
8. Shavasana (Corpse pose)
The Corpse pose should be practiced in the end as it lets the body go into a deep, meditative state of rest and relieves stress. This yoga posture rejuvenates the body and also reduces blood pressure and anxiety.
When the mind is relieved and the body relaxed, smoking can effectively be kept at bay. Yoga is widely practiced in many countries and you can even join yoga groups to make it a more enjoyable experience.
So, learn the right way of doing yoga at a local Art of Living Yoga course and blow away the smoke to make way for a better and healthy life!