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Communications to the Editor |

Yoga and Pneumothorax FREE TO VIEW

Deane Hillsman, MD, FCCP; Vijai Sharma, PhD
Author and Funding Information

Sacramento, CA

Correspondence to: Deane Hillsman, MD, FCCP, 870 El Chorro Way, Sacramento CA 95864; e-mail: deane.hillsman@ieee.org



Chest. 2005;127(5):1863. doi:10.1378/chest.127.5.1863
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Published online

To the Editor:

We agree with Johnson and colleagues1 (May 2004) that the “breath of fire” yoga technique most probably induced the pneumothorax they reported, and also with their appropriate cautionary advice. However, there is a question of balance and perspective here. Nowhere in their report do they clearly define the breath of fire as an advanced technique, or “extreme yoga” technique, to be practiced only by advanced students after appropriate instruction. By implication therefore, their report appears to unjustly flame all yoga techniques. This is not appropriate for a discipline that has generally been practiced safely for not hundreds, but thousands of years.

Dr. Sharma is the author of the patient instruction video, “Stretching Breathing Exercises: Adapted for People with COPD.” This is a project of the National Emphysema/COPD Association (NECA) [www.necacommunity.org]. Both authors are members of NECA, and Dr. Sharma is on the NECA Board. This project has been self-funded by Dr. Sharma, who will be commercializing this video. Neither author is receiving financial remuneration from NECA or any other sources. Dr. Hillsman is a volunteer medical technical advisor to Dr. Sharma as a part of the NECA project.

Johnson, DB, Tierney, MJ, Sadighi, PJ (2004) Kapalabhati pranayama: breath of fire or cause of pneumothorax? A case report.Chest125,1951-1952. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 

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Johnson, DB, Tierney, MJ, Sadighi, PJ (2004) Kapalabhati pranayama: breath of fire or cause of pneumothorax? A case report.Chest125,1951-1952. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
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