chakra for lungs Āyurveda

Chakra for Lungs: Enhancing Women’s Respiratory Wellness

Understanding the intricacies of lung health is essential, especially for women who may face unique challenges related to hormonal fluctuations during menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the connection between lung health and holistic practices from Āyurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), and Yoga. Using the chakras for lung health can support your well-being.

Whether you’re dealing with respiratory issues, managing menstrual symptoms, or navigating pregnancy-related changes, these practices can provide valuable support for your lung health journey.

Lungs and Āyurveda

In Āyurveda, the lungs are associated with Kapha dosha, specifically the subdosha called Avalambaka Kapha. Kapha energy, governed by the earth and water elements, manifests as stability, loyalty, and consistency. However, imbalances in Kapha can lead to respiratory issues, particularly during the cold, wet seasons transitioning from winter to spring.

When you think about the lungs, you probably think of air, but the function of the lungs is actually dependent on water – the fluid lining the lungs is what allows carbon dioxide and oxygen to be excreted from or incorporated into the body.

The Anatomy of Lung Issues

When we hunch our shoulders forward and round our backs (think about when you’re outside in the cold and brace yourself against the wind, or are sitting at your desk typing), the lung space shrinks and isn’t able to expand and contract freely.

Our lung capacity can also be diminished if the mucus in our lungs gets too thick or voluminous (an excess of Kapha). Respiration accounts for about 70% of our bodies excretion of waste products. The exhale is a critical piece of our body’s cleansing and renewing mechanisms.

The Energetics of Lung Issues

Energetically, reduced lung capacity reduces our ability to let go of the past. We don’t fully move on. It can be incredibly hard to say good-bye to habits, relationships, and situations that aren’t positively serving them anymore.

Vasant Lad, an incredible Āyurvedic doctor and teacher, shares that “Avalambaka [Kapha in the lungs] creates confidence, courage, and the ability to face problems so that the chest is expanded. When the chest is contracted, the person is not able to cope with challenges.”

Lungs and TCM

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), like in Āyurveda, the lungs are where we hold our grief. Perhaps you’ve felt this: when a loved on passed or you had a major disappointment, it might have felt like the air was getting knocked out of you. There’s a feeling like you’re crumpling in on yourself, like an aluminum can. The grief accumulates and blocks the lungs, exhalation, and letting go. 

In TCM, the lungs are the center of our Qi, our life force. We need that life force to have the proper movement (as opposed to the stickiness and stuckness described above) to feel alive and well. Being stuck in the grief of the past is related to this imbalance.

An interesting note: in TCM, the lungs are at their peak performance between 3am and 5am. A few years back, I kept waking up in this time frame and was advised to look at unprocessed grief (and indeed, I found it). So another way to tell that there is some stuck energy in your lungs is your middle-of-the-night wake ups.

Chakra for Lungs

  • The chakra for lungs is the heart Chakra (4th Chakra).
  • The 4th chakra is located behind the chest around the heart and lungs.
  • The chakra for lungs shows us how balance is important for lung health.
  • The 4th Chakra relates to our connection to others. An under-active Heart Chakra is solid and rigid. There is an armor created against deep, meaningful connection, because of the vulnerability required to love fully and freely. This armor can be built when we witness abundant pain and judgment around us. It becomes scary to be our true selves and to be open for fear of being rejected by the community around us. A rigidness in the heart, i.e., too much earth element in the lung space, can cause issues in our lives.
  • Ambika Wauters in Chakras and Their Archetypes says “many people feel there isn’t enough love in their lives. As we develop, we learn that love is literally all around us, and we have access to the love which resides within us.” We create more fluidity and balance in our heart.
  • Of course, we can go the opposite way and get *too* fluid. Just like an accumulation of fluid in the lungs isn’t good, too much “water” in the Heart Chakra can lead us to give too much. We become like an empath – taking in all of the emotion that surrounds us, and tend to give so much to others that we don’t take care of ourselves. Using language from TCM, there is too much outward flow of Qi, and we can’t support our own life force.
  • Why we have lung issues in our culture
  • An epidemic that people often talk about is the epidemic of loneliness. Our culture has become siloed as we spend more and more time with our phones, computers, tablets, and TVs and less and less time connecting to people around us. This causes an imbalance in the Heart Chakra, as we lose our sense of true community. Also, we have a pretty divisive culture right now – if we reveal our true opinions, we might be rejected by the group. It can cause us to armor up, hunch over, and reduce our in- and out-flow of breath and Qi. In addition to hand sanitizing, we need to take care of our lung’s emotional health. Perhaps you do know that there is some unprocessed grief in your life. Or you have trouble letting go of the past. Or you’ve felt the armor around your heart. Or you give to others and never give to yourself. These are all lung/heart issues that can be addressed and should be investigated.

The Lungs and Women’s Health

Women’s lung health can be influenced by hormonal fluctuations during the menstrual cycle. Symptoms like bloating, fatigue, and mood swings can impact breathing patterns and lung function. An Āyurvedic diet can help lessen these symptoms. Using the neti pot to clear the nasal passages and practicing prānāyāma and ābhyanga support lung health throughout the menstrual cycle.

How Pregnancy Affects the Lungs

Pregnancy brings significant changes to a woman’s body, including alterations in lung capacity and breathing patterns. Hormonal fluctuations and physical changes can affect respiratory function, making it essential to focus on practices that support lung health during pregnancy. Gentle yoga poses, breathing exercises, and relaxation techniques can help pregnant women maintain optimal lung function and alleviate discomfort.

A balanced diet rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals is crucial for supporting lung health in women. Incorporating lung-supportive foods such as ginger, nettle leaf, and cinnamon can help reduce inflammation and improve respiratory function. Try brewing a kapha-balancing tea with these ingredients to support lung health during menstruation or pregnancy.

  • Yoga and mindfulness practices to support lung health
  • Khapalabhati pranayama
  • This is a pranayama (breath) practice from yoga. Prana is very similar to Qi in TCM, and Khapalabhati is a perfect practice for reducing Kapha. Please note if you have high blood pressure, cataracts, are pregnant, have a heart or other medical condition, you should not do Khapalabhati. If at any point you don’t feel good doing this breath, you should stop. You’re going to do sharp, strong exhales through the nose, followed by passive inhales through the nose. You should feel a little pumping in your belly as you breathe out strongly. Start small, with about 20 rounds of breath before taking natural, deep breaths. Here’s a video tutorial of khapalabhati pranayama: https://youtu.be/UQlOf5wTAlY[/embed]
  • The Dragon Stands Between Heaven and Earth
  • This is a practice from Qigong, essentially the Yoga system from TCM. Stand with feet hips with distance apart and a strong, straight spine. Take the hands about 6-8 inches in front of your chest. Curl the fingers into a loose fist and extend the thumbs so they’re pointing towards each other, parallel to the ground. Relax the shoulders. You can close your eyes. Stand here for 3-5 minutes (or longer),  seeing yourself as the Dragon that stands between heaven and earth. Feel energy flowing through the body, particularly around the lung space. Learn more about this practice and how it can support Qi balance here.
  • Supported Fish Pose
  • If you want to breathe deeper and open your heart, do this pose. You’ll get two yoga blocks (or big thick books – The 5th Harry Potter is exactly the right size :). Lay on your back with one block on the ground to go between the shoulder blades, and one block to go underneath your head. Your hips will be on the ground. Your legs can be long, or you can bend the knees and have the feet on the ground. Take the arms out wide and feel the shoulder blades draw down as the heart opens. Breathe deeply and steadily through the nose for 5-10 minutes. Do supported fish pose and other heart chakra balancing Yoga āsana in this Yin Yoga sequence.
  • Active Love
  • This tool comes from The Tools by Phil Stutz and Barry Michaels, one of my favorite books. This practice helps you better connect to someone who you’re currently having difficulties with. Envision your heart space, feeling energy grow and love saturate your heart. See the person in front of you that you’re having difficulties with. Imagine a light beam (think Care Bear Stare) traveling from your heart to their heart, filling their heart with love and wishing that love upon them.
  • Increase spicing for your lung and heart health
  • Spicy food burns up extra water, and can help us clear our nasal and bronchial passages. It warms up and pacifies Kapha dosha, spurring us towards the future. Try this kapha-balancing tea recipe: Pour 12 oz boiling water over 1 tsp dried nettle leaf, 1-2 slices fresh ginger, and 1/2 cinnamon stick. Steep for 5-7 minutes. Once it’s cooled a bit, you can add 1 tsp honey if desired. 

Conclusion

Nurturing your lung health is essential for overall well-being, especially as a woman navigating the complexities of menstrual cycles, pregnancy, and emotional wellness. By integrating Āyurvedic, TCM, and yoga practices into your daily routine, you can support your lung health journey and cultivate greater balance and harmony in your life.

FAQ

What is Lung Chakra?

The Lung Chakra, often associated with the Anahata or Heart Chakra in various spiritual traditions, is believed to be the energy center related to respiratory health and emotional balance. It is considered crucial for regulating the flow of energy related to love, compassion, and emotional well-being. In practices like Āyurveda and TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), balancing the Lung Chakra is seen as key to maintaining not just lung and respiratory health, but also achieving harmony and emotional stability.

What chakra is the lungs associated with?

The lungs are associated with the fourth (heart) chakra.

What chakra is responsible for breathing problems?

The heart chakra, also known as anahata, is related to breathing problems. Practices from Āyurveda and Yoga to balance anahata chakra can help to relief breathing issues in women.

What chakra is associated with asthma?

The heart chakra, anahata, is associated with asthma. Imbalances in the Āyurvedic doshas and digestion can also cause asthma issues.

What is the chakra behind the chest?

Anahata, the fourth chakra, is the chakra located behind the chest.

What do the lungs represent spiritually?

The lungs relate to our ability to let go and be at ease with life. Grief and our relationship to the past can be held in the lungs. Resistance to the present can manifest as issues likes asthma and difficulty breathing.

Next Steps

Ready to prioritize your lung health? Explore the practices mentioned in this blog post and see which ones resonate with you. Remember to consult with healthcare providers or wellness experts for personalized guidance on supporting your lung health, menstrual wellness, and overall vitality. 

Schedule a strategy call with me to learn more about how an Āyurvedic perspective can support your vitality and reduce menstrual health and lung issues. Sign up here.

Scroll to Top