Breathing Exercises to Relieve COVID-19 Symptoms: Faster Recovery

~This is a very valuable and simple breathing practice that Jyoti (one of my Kriya yoga teachers in India) sent me when I had covid.
~I practiced them twice a day and it was a remedial way to increase oxygen in my system and expand my chest to avoid stagnation in the lung area.
~I recommend them regardless of whether you have breathing problems or not, it is simply a good way to avoid strong coughs and heaviness.
~It can also be practiced as a prevention method.

By Jyoti Subramanian After recovering from the dreaded COVID, I realized that one of the reasons for my recovery, at home without medication and with a positive attitude during the symptoms, was my relatively disciplined lifestyle and the practice of yog sadhana. Holistic health is a constant effort, treating the body like a temple, taking care of the diet and staying away from toxins that affect the body and mind is a routine that helps in the critical moment of stress, I came to understand it deeply at that moment. Below I share a combination of asanas, pranayama and mudras that can be practiced by everyone and helped me during my illness. All yoga contributes to good health, they cannot be compartmentalized into sections, but since the focus here is specifically on the current pandemic, I highlight and modify those that can be easily practiced by both those who are recovering and those who have not yet been affected but are new to yoga. Some points to keep in mind:

  1. Please wear loose, comfortable and breathable clothing. This allows for a free flow of oxygen and unrestricted prana through the body.

  2. Keep your stomach light, last heavy meal at least three hours before starting practice, unless otherwise instructed.

  3. Stay at your own comfort level when practicing asanas, do not overstretch or push yourself to the limit. Feel comfortable and rested in the posture.

  4. You can practice all of the following techniques outdoors, facing the sun or with your back to it.

Asan Chalityogmudra

  1. Sit on your knees or with your back on your heels, depending on your level of flexibility. You can place a pillow behind your knees if you feel comfortable with it.

  2. Clasp your hands behind your back at hip level.

  1. Now lean forward as you exhale, gently raising your clasped arm behind you to shoulder height. When all the air has come out, gently squeeze your entire body while leaning forward.

  2. Then, slowly inhale as you straighten up and continue to fold back, opening your chest fully as you continue to fill your lungs and extend your diaphragm. Once again, hold your breath and gently squeeze your body. The arms are now back at hip level.

  3. Repeat four to six times.


Set of breathing exercises for the three parts of the lung. Remember that breathing should never be sudden, you are in control.

  1. Sit comfortably on the floor or in a chair. Inhale as you lift your shoulders toward your ears, stretching and lengthening your spine. Hold your breath. Exhale as you drop your shoulders and relax. Repeat 6 to 10 times. This is for the upper part of the lung.
  1. Maintain the sitting posture. Place your left hand on the floor next to you or on the chair, and extend your right arm overhead by lifting your right shoulder and bending to the left as you inhale. Maintain your posture and breathing. Exhale as you bring your right arm back and lower your right shoulder. This is for the middle portion of the right lung.

  2. Now place your right hand on the floor next to you or on the chair, and extend your left arm overhead by lifting your left shoulder and bending to the right as you inhale. Maintain your posture and breathing. Exhale as you bring your left arm back and lower your left shoulder. This is for the middle portion of the left lung.

  3. Repeat alternating sides 6 to 10 times.

  1. Now we come to the lowest part of the lungs. Lean forward with both hands firmly placed on your knees. As you inhale, curve your back, bringing your shoulders toward each other. Hold your breath for a moment. Exhale as you roll your shoulders back and extend your chest. Hold your breath. Repeat 6 to 10 times.
  1. In all of the above exercises, visualize the golden prana along with oxygen permeating every alveolus of your lungs.


  1. Sit comfortably on the floor or in a chair.

  2. Relax your shoulders and let them drop.

  3. Breathe slowly, filling your lungs with oxygen and prana. Feel each alveolus become completely saturated and filled with this vital prana.

  4. Hold your breath for as long as you comfortably can.

  5. Then, expel your breath explosively through your mouth while extending your tongue. Eliminates all breath completely. Remember that the breath is expelled from the bottom of the lungs.

Be careful not to overextend or overstretch during practice. Stay within your comfort zone and stay safe.

About the Author: Formally introduced to yoga at age 11, Jyoti has effortlessly incorporated the philosophy of living in yoga into her life. With teaching experience since 1999 in Mahavatar Babaji's Kundalini Kriya Yoga and Siddhanath Yoga, he is happy to share all he has learned with those who seek. Author of the book "A Teacher, A Disciple", she is an avid blogger and an inspired writer.