Yoga to help quit smoking

I have been asked repeatedly by friends and family if I know any way that might help them kick the smoking habit with yoga. I've thought about Pranayama (kapalabhati), but I am not able to give a concrete answer given that I lack experience on the field. What is your experience with yoga and addiction management? Are there any breathing excersises or kriyas that might help cleanse the airways? thanks in advance.
One of our facebook friends asked this question and received the following replies - do you have any other advice besides the following?

Shoumava: Yoga builds confidence and will power. My father was a chain smoker, started at 17, record of 70 ciggarettes a day. At 52 was detected for peripheral vascular disease and was told to quit instantly if he wanted to prevent amputaion of his infected leg. Amazingly his leg was saved by surgery but he quit his long time habit in a day being a regular yogi. whenever he felt like smoking he would drink a glass of sweet curd or some juice till he could quit the habit completely i know it is not that easy but Yoga gives such will power i have seen. Pranayama can help along with Bhujanganasana which helps in activating Kundali and hence helps in moving you towards enlightment such a person never has bad habits So try yoga for it i bet it helps in the long run again patience is the key brother

Fernanda: Thanks a lot for the insight, I am an advocate of a smoke free world, I've seen the consequences of heavy smoking and the pain that it brings, yet I don't feel entitled to tell people to quit, each one's free to act and free to find out by themselves, but when someone comes to me asking for help, I sometimes feel limited to answer when I really wanted to help. I've also thought about Jal Neti, how good will that be?

Chetankumar: An Addicted person once asked a Sage ,
"The Addict Liquor is not leaving me go"
The Sage thought for a while ,and hold tightly onto a light pole ,nearby
The man asked Wat r u doing ,please let it be alone,
The Sage replied "I wud,...but Its not... leaving me"

Fernando: So true, you need to want it, otherwise there's no magic remedy... But people need help in seeing everything's fine when they let go the pole.

Shoumava: It is very difficult for any addicted person to quit the addiction so easily it requires a lot of patience and will power. No instant result can be there as in the case of my father he was a regular practioner of Yoga he had cured asthama with it at a young age and he quit his habit in a week it is because of his sheer will power which only a yogi can generate. Secondly regular practice of Yoga cleanses the internal organs, our body and mind becomes more healthy and glands more active..indirectly all these increase our will power and helps us kick bad habit s.
Fernando I would request you to go ahead with your work of anti addiction as it is a very noble cause and not only smoking but drinking and drug addictions are also seriously to be dealt with as the consequences are very painful for the individual and people in his social circle especially in the Western world

Chetnkumar: Dear Fernando,
U will urself leave every addiction easily wen U start loving ur body and life.
Both are superclensed,by Yoga.
It has so many tricks to give rejuvenation to ur respiratory system,but if u like the addiction more than ur superhea...lth u will again revert on the addiction.
Da trick is to love Urself morethan U hate the thing which makes u go for the addiction
Hate makes us ugly,and Anger makes us fool
Forgive Urself for past addiction
And Promise urself a brand new healthy life.
Sometimes U should just ...Let It Go.
Look for divine peace of mind,
I am sure He has a mission n purpose for U too.
May God bless U,Mr.Fernando.

Lakshmi: if u nt leavin dis habit..ur liver will soon leave up its function also...
u have to take it seriously for if u wanna live long.
and frm yoga..u shud try doing KAPALABHATI and NAADI SHUDDHI breathing exercises which vl bring bak d life in ur ...liver..!!!!

Fox: Seven to ten full breaths using the sun and moon breathing techniques should work to quell a craving on the spot. Longer practices, holding more advanced balancing postures will require more energy and remind the practitioner of the value o...f their breath - this discourages smoking. Also, after practice taking several minutes to do a still meditation and some breath work also helps deepen our awareness of how well we feel after we've gone through an effective yoga practice and will help cultivate an aversion to smoking.
I've been working on this one myself, the above methods helped when I did quit smoking. You will also want to eat more once you stop. Do this, but be wise, or you may find yourself stressed back into smoking due to the increase in time spent eating. Always remember also that while we feel that smoking will decrease our stress, that chemically it can only increase our tensions - it is the act of mindful breathing that causes the stress reduction, smoking makes unresponsive the same nerves our bodies use to tell our heart rate to decrease, our adrenal glands to go to sleep and they pollute the body (your home and vessel).
It is always a good time for a change. Be well.

Annie: Your instinct in pointing them toward pranayama is good. The act of taking deep long breathes simulates the act of inhaling on a cigarette and brings the body and mind tranquility. Fox also points wisely to physical postures to distract the mind from the cravings...

Jyoti: i do practise yoga it all depends how dedicated d person is to give up smoking its a long procedure nothing happens in a day or overnite yoga is definately a way to achive balance btwn body and soul....but just kapalbhati wld not help you prepare a pkg of asanas i.e suryanamaskar,pranayam kapalbhati,lom vilom, sitkari pranayam, bhujanasana..thn d diet weekly enema, mudtheraphy on forehead and adominal egion fastin for a day in a week on lemon honey wd water add on more uncooked diet like fruits salid and sprouts and if person is able to get up early morning by 4.30 am and do om chanting 21 times it wl work bt one should practise for atleast 6months to one year..

Natasha: any habit is an internal matter . a habit is an addiction and doing too much yoga asaanas is also an addiction .
breaking a habit is a mental thing . when you love to do something your body craves for it . I am not sure about any kriya m...udra bandha or asana which can break it but i think pranayamas could since the cool fresh air intake and breath control could begin to make the body hate the dirty smoke inhalation .
its about loving to smoke and hating to smoke.Why not if the body things of a smoke one does some pranayamas instead of reaching for that Cigarette ..
thinks of smoking in para two above.

Suresh: Om, It is a very interesting and common question among all of us, We are ready and slowly giving our indivisual life to smoke and alcohol but very big challenge to give up these habits, If i upset and abuse you in someway, i'm sure you will... be able to defend your self and shut me up for ever but suprisingly we have an alien living in us and we are well aware of it but too week to get rid off or shut it down cos demand of a smoke is higher than our knowledge, thoughts and our desire. everyone wants to give up smoke but is hard task cos its linked to our daily basis life. To become a smoker we need suppliers, money, company and atmosphere. to give up a smoke turn the situation around, Go away from the place in non smoking environment spend atleast few months there where no suppliers, company and sources. besides ingage your mind in daily routine to something new, If you are a yoga practitnior then its an ideal to visit in Sivananda ashram and do yoga practice, attend meditation and learn philosophy under an instructure, to self realisation, once you realise self, your mind thoughts becomes strong and you even don't need to think about smoke the habbit will dissappear naturally, YOGA INTENSIVE SADHANA is quick step to give up smoking but you have to be a daily yoga practitnior. OM hope it helps.

Ramesh: Determination is the key.It is said sankalp in Yoga.Step by step first reduce the quantity day after day then forget ...i have seen many have quit...keep yourselves busy..divert mind toward other things like reading chatting etc a days nicotine tablets are also available in mkt have set the system .........which suits you the most ...stop smoking with total is battle with your own self
company of addicts also makes difference in your habit

Judith: I can only say that attention to a more mindful diet ie: little if any meat, organic and fresh prefably home grown Vegetables, fruit, whole grains and nuts, herb teas, little or no alcohol, plenty of water, should help. One feels less inclined to foul ones body when eating and drinking healthily. I have smoked in the past so empathise. Good Luck
Ps a course of vitamin B to support the nervous system and help with stress, change your habits eg if you lit up after a meal leave the table and walk in the garden etc

Mimi: Yoga is not just the Asanas, practise Yamas and Niyamas with awareness. Being aware that smoking is unhealthy for the self as well as others around you and your environment, should motivate you to stop the habit. Being able to restraint desire and to live a balance life will improve your life style to a healthier one... Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

Srikanth: once upon a time in my life......three packets a day. of course, i smoked only at job and never off it. after a month of yoga, never felt the need to, did yoga help? yes, in helping me to handle stress at job! which in turn helped me quit! do not look for parts, instead look at yoga as a way of life.......

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  • It is a proven fact that regular yoga can help you quit smoking. This is because regular yoga practice activates the mind, body, and spirit in such a way that habit-building becomes difficult and breaking free from addiction easy. Your yoga practice may consist of Ashtanga Vinyasa, Vinyasa yoga Flow or Kundalini yoga. Whatever you choose to do, remember that even a small amount of time spent in this way can lead to significant improvements in your health and well-being.

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