Breathing Exercises to Avoid During COVID-19

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Breathing Exercises to Avoid During COVID-19


The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of maintaining a healthy respiratory system to reduce the risk of infection and its severity. The novel coronavirus primarily affects the respiratory system, causing damage to lung tissue, leading to shortness of breath and mucus production.

While certain breathing exercises can be beneficial for improving lung capacity and clearing airways before, after, and post-COVID, there are specific techniques that individuals recovering from COVID-19 should avoid.

Kapalbhati Pranayama

Kapalbhati Pranayama is an advanced breathing technique that involves rapid and forceful exhalations, generating heat within the body. This technique is intended to cleanse the respiratory system and improve metabolic function. However, due to its demanding nature, it is not recommended for individuals suffering from asthma, heart conditions, or respiratory issues.

Performing Kapalbhati Pranayama during COVID-19, especially in severe cases, can exacerbate shortness of breath and dizziness. It is also contraindicated for those with high blood pressure and ulcers.

Moorchha Pranayama

Moorchha Pranayama, also known as “swooning breath,” involves slow, controlled breathing and prolonged breath retention. This technique aims to induce a sense of euphoria and relaxation.

However, it is not suitable for individuals with limited breathing capacity. COVID-19 patients are advised against practicing Moorchha Pranayama, as holding their breath may worsen dizziness, a common symptom of the virus. It can also strain the lungs, which are still recovering.

Bhastrika Pranayama

Bhastrika Pranayama, also known as “bellows breath,” involves rapid inhalation and exhalation. While it may appear similar to Kapalbhati Pranayama, it is less vigorous. However, Bhastrika Pranayama still produces excessive heat and puts strain on the lungs.

Individuals with COVID-19, as well as those with underlying heart or blood pressure conditions, should avoid Bhastrika Pranayama. It can induce dizziness and leave the individual gasping for air.


While breathing exercises can be beneficial for respiratory health, certain techniques are not suitable for individuals recovering from COVID-19. Kapalbhati Pranayama, Moorchha Pranayama, and Bhastrika Pranayama put excessive pressure on the respiratory system and should be avoided.

Individuals who are experiencing respiratory symptoms should consult with a healthcare professional before engaging in any breathing exercises.


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