The World Yoga Day, which is celebrated every year on June 21st, is in its fifth edition this year. After four very successful celebrations of synergy, youth, peace through yoga in its previous editions, the official theme for this year’s World Yoga Day, is ‘Yoga for Heart’.
A healthy functioning heart provides a continuous flow of blood throughout the body via the circulatory system. This constant circulation is needed for the body to supply oxygen and nutrients to the tissues and removing carbon dioxide and other wastes for normal functioning of the body. Cholesterol, even though is known to aid in the synthesis of Vitamin D and a host of hormones, excessive cholesterol in one’s blood builds up in the walls of the arteries which narrow down the blood flow to the heart. This eventually becomes a factor for various heart diseases.
Yoga is an ancient way to shape the body and calm the mind as well. Today, it has become an integral part of urban cultures worldwide. Studies suggest that yoga is beneficial to curb cholesterol naturally without any side effects on your body which makes it a reliable fitness regime. Besides this, yoga helps in reducing the metabolic syndrome which further reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke and type-2 diabetes.
The yoga postures we’ve highlighted below can help you keep your heart healthy and the cholesterol level under control.
- Kapalbhati Pranayam:Kapal = forehead; bhati = shining; pranayama = breathing technique. This yoga exercise involves powerful breathing, more focused on the exhalation than inhalation. The process increases the metabolic rate which dispels the bodily toxins and also in weight reduction adding to and improves digestive tract functioning.
- Chakrasana:The chakrasana or the wheel pose essentially stretches and massages the abdominal organs and helps to relieve constipation. It further improves the functioning of the liver which helps in getting rid of excess fat and cholesterol.
- Shalabhasana: The word Shalabhasanacomes from the Sanskrit word “Shalabh” meaning locust or grasshopper as the pose resembles that of a grasshopper.It is done by lying on the abdomen and concentrating on the muscles of the legs and the back. This asana helps strengthen the back, shoulders and arms while stretching the belly which stimulates the abdominal organs to help improve digestion.
- Sarvangasana: It literally translates as the asana for every body part. A yoga pose which requires balancing the whole body on the shoulders to help influence the functioning of all parts of your body, this asana is highly beneficial in maintaining the mental and physical health, helping one to keep their heart healthy.
- Paschimottanasana:This seated forward bending exercise gives a good stretch to the hamstrings, stimulates the liver and kidneys, reduces obesity and gets rid of excess fat from the abdominal area.
- Ardha Matsyendrasana:Aside from stimulating the liver and helping with indigestion, this pose also massages the abdominal organs and also makes your spine suppler.
In conjunction with Yoga, curbing the cholesterol problem will become an easier task if we can start today. However, it is recommended that you do not rely completely on the wonders of yoga. Do not give up any kind of medication without consulting your doctor. Treat yoga as an additional approach to solving your cholesterol issue. Don’t miss out on chalking out a customized yoga routine pertaining to your specific needs and condition.
(Disclaimer: Writer is Kanchan Naikawadi, Preventive Healthcare Specialist, Indus Health Plus. Views expressed are a personal opinion.)