Everyone from young to old age needs to understand how you can boost your heart health through yoga and asanas. Yoga is an ancient science of both mental and physical health, as well as aims to fulfill the potential of man. Physical and mental health are side effects of total yogic progress. From the medical point of view, we can define yoga as a scientific system by which we can manipulate our internal environment, both physical and mental. we believe that yoga can help us to gain control of our nervous system and can stimulate the internal production and secretion of chemicals and also turn off these secretions at will.
Apart from its incorporation into Ayurveda, the application of yoga purely to disease situations is one of its newest facets. However, it appears that yoga can offer us much in this area, considering the epidemic proportions of degenerative and psychosomatic diseases such as coronary artery disease, hypertension, diabetes, asthma, cancer, and so on.
Misconceptions about yoga
It is important to understand what yoga is not, as there are many misconceptions surrounding this science, many of which are based on ignorance and assumptions rather than trials and tribulations.
Yoga is not a religion, nor is its renunciation. Yoga is a system of balancing body, mind, and consciousness and is meant for those living amidst the strain and tension of everyday living.
Yoga does not demand that we have to get up at 4 am, be a vegetarian, give up smoking, drink alcohol, and so on. Of course, these suggestions are made to those who are interested in going more deeply into the yogic sciences, preventing disease, maintaining good health and peace of mind, and developing higher awareness.
Yoga exerts its effects on both the body and mind. It affects the tissues locally and centrally. For Example, Asanas work by flexing and extending the tissues locally so as to stimulate nerves, blood, endocrine organs, glands, and neural plexuses. Local compression of various structures affects the whole body. Pranayama and meditation, on the other hand, appear to work centrally and the effects spread to the periphery.
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Yoga and Asanas Techniques for The Healthy Heart:
There are two main yogic approaches to cardiovascular disease by yoga.
- The first is the classical situation where one learns a series of techniques and performs them twice or more times daily. Over a period of time, the benefits can be felt throughout the day, helping us to relax, face and handle stress, deal more effectively with people and situations in general, and feel better within ourselves.
- The second is a modified approach for busy people such as executives and doctors, who are particularly prone to cardiovascular disease and probably need yoga and relaxation more than people who have the time to do it.
- The basic principles of yoga are taught and then applied at work and at home during activity and for a few minutes in the morning and evening before sleep. This does not require much time and delivers a wonderful improvement in the quality of life, ameliorating the disease process. The morning and evening programs can be extended as desired by the patient.
Regimes used in Yoga in the majority of cases of Heart Disease
Pawanmuktasana Part 1
These are simple, gentle stretching exercises; all performed slowly, without any strain, and synchronized with slow, gentle, relaxed breathing and awareness.
By combining movement with breathing and awareness, we engage, align and rebalance both the body and the mind, and this is the key to success through yogic techniques.
This series of Asanas can be used in hospitals; however, it is contraindicated in acute myocardial infarct situations. It is a cardiovascular rehabilitative series that may help to develop collateral circulation without putting a strain on the heart.
Other major Asanas should not be used in cardiovascular disease unless under expert guidance.
Nadi Shodhana Pranayama
This is slow, rhythmic, alternate nostril breathing in the ratio of one to one, or one to two, inhalation to exhalation. This superimposes a soothing, rhythmic breath onto the cardiorespiratory system which quickly slows the heart rate and beneficially affects the rhythm of the heart.
The implications for our overall health from this technique are staggering and seem to indicate that a few simple breathing techniques may be able to alter our neurophysiology, metabolic functions, and state of mind.
This practice is also contraindicated in the first few days of acute myocardial infarction.
This technique involves making a humming sound while blocking the ears. It is a powerful yogic tranquilizer and quickly allays anxiety. We believe it acts on the limbic-hypothalamic-autonomic axis. It, too, is contraindicated in the first few days of acute myocardial infarction.
It calms our nervous system, calms the mind, and increases mental sensitivity. It relieves insomnia, slows the heart rate, and lowers blood pressure. It is a very nice and calming pranayama, but it also has a heating effect, stimulating the oxidation process.
Ujjayi Pranayama can be practiced for a long time as per the doctor’s advice. As many as 12 cycles on a regular basis are very rewarding, but if you can practice ten to twenty minutes a day, it can be really transformative.
This is an advanced relaxation meditation technique that utilizes Savasana, as the basis for deeper and more powerful relaxation. The body is kept motionless and the individual engages in a series of easy mental exercises, such as breath awareness.
This is very useful in the acute cardiovascular emergency situation. The technique conserves and redirects energy, taking the focus of our attention away from worries and problems by engaging the mind in neutral and soothing mental activity.
It allows the healing process to take place unimpeded by tensions and problems. Breathe awareness can be used anytime, anywhere.
This technique is contraindicated in psychosis, acute anxiety attacks, or, rarely, when people dislike the practice, indicating the release of painful, subconscious material into the field of awareness.
Heart patients should learn meditation not as a regular practice but as a pleasurable activity. It is important to meditate on breathing, especially after a period of illness when there is a bedridden patient.
Understanding the stress that contaminates the heart, mind, and emotions through meditation will be a rewarding experience.
Attention produces a fixed price against insecurity and worries.
We have seen yoga work extremely well in certain forms of arrhythmia, in receptive patients. This is especially true for milder forms and earlier cases. However, there are no reliable parameters by which to judge which patients will benefit.
Yoga can be applied to all forms of arrhythmia, no matter what the cause, and can be combined with drug therapy. As the combined regime begins to work, drugs can be reduced and yogic techniques increased.
Modern research has also shown that meditation lowers cholesterol in the blood. Peace is achieved through meditation, which is most needed in heart disease. Please keep this technique in your daily routine strictly under the guidance of your Yoga Teacher or your Family Doctor to maintain your Heart Health through Yoga and Asanas
Yogic practice lightens the burden of the heart by giving the person an instinctive and simple personality like a child.
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