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Is Yoga really necessary for health ?
- Before I answer this question, It is very important to know about the theme of International Yoga Day this year (2022).
This year (2022) its theme is “Yoga for Humanity”
What is Yoga after all ?
- Before starting this topic, In normal language, it is very important to understand that, what is Yoga ?…
- The word “Yoga” is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘yuja/yujir’ which means “to unite”.
- Yoga is the means to establish harmony and balance in the mind, spirit and body.
- Yoga is the confluence of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual discipline.
- Yoga is the way to live the right life.
- The World Health organization (W.H.O.), in its definition of Health, has given priority to physical, social and mental development.
- For some years, it has been emphasized that, spiritual health should also included in this.
- In nut shell, It is not being just healthy, it is important to feel healthy.
- Yoga has been the subject of research for the last few years for modern diseases such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, chronic lung diseases and mental health.
- All the research that has been done, tells that, if Yoga is told to patients with medicine, then it gives better results.
Weight and Obesity:
Is Yoga Really Necessary For Health?
- Both overweight and obesity are dangerous for diabetes, high blood pressure and Heart disease.
- Yoga has been found to be helpful in controlling obesity. Research suggests that through a Yoga expert doing Yogasanas and Pranayam every day, every morning for three months continuously reduces body weight, body mass index (B.M.I.) and increased waist- line.
- It has been observed that anxiety and stress are more prone to diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease.
- At this time through Yoga, the levels of salivary cortisol, plasma renin and epinephrine has been significantly decreased.
High Blood Pressure
- Regular Yoga practice for one hour daily has been found to be effective in controlling high blood pressure.
- Meditation along with Yoga and psychotherapy if included, have an effect similar to blood controlling drugs.
- Studies have shown that, if pranayama is done at rate of 6 times/minute, heart rate is controlled and there is significant reduction in blood pressure.
- India is known as the “Diabetic capital” of the world, as it has the highest number of diabetes cases.
- Yoga Asana and practice of Pranayam help in controlling type-2 diabetes, and if done with medicines, it undoubtedly gives good benefits.
- By doing Yoga Asana and Pranayam training everyday for three consecutive months, there has been decrease in sugar level (before and after breakfast).
- Yoga also has positive and beneficial effect on the brain in type-2 diabetes. Good results can be achieved by incorporating yoga with traditional medicine.
- Level of cholesterol remains at very normal level with the help of Yoga.
- Less density lipoproteins (LDLs), very low density lipoproteins (VLDLs),triglycerides levels which are dangerous to the heart, they are also known as “bad cholesterol”.
- Level of these cholesterol in the body decreased significantly with the help of Yoga.
- High density lipoproteins (HDLs), which are good cholesetrol, increase with Yoga.
- Studies on type-2 diabetes patients have shown beneficial effects of Yogasanas and Pranayama on serum lipid levels.
- Regular Yoga for a period of one year has shown a gradual reduction in symptoms of patient with coronary artery block of the patient.
- Patients also have shown to improve exercise capacity and decrease in body weight.
- Doing Yoga greatly improves lung function and respiratory muscle strength.
- Yogasanas, pranayam and regular medicine helps a lot in respiratory diseases such as asthma, bronchitis etc.
- Yoga also has an important contribution in reducing the amount of medicines used in these diseases.
- Yoga considers not only physical health, but also very important in maintaining mental health.
- When Yoga is done regularly, it is helpful in relieving stress.
- Positive and soothing effects of Yoga has been seen in patients with psychiatric illnesses like depression, anxiety, OCD, psychosis etc.
- Now a days mental health experts too, have started seeing Yoga as possible treatment option for various mental health professionals.
- It can also be an effective solution as an option for mental patients.
Evaluation of Yoga as therapy
- Yoga is cost effective and has no side effects as can be the case with allopathic drugs.
- The number of Yoga Practitioners in India is more than the number of mental health professionals, still Yoga is not the first priority in medicine. Why?
- Even Yoga has not become the first choice of Psychiatrists.
- Yoga is not widely popular among mentally ill people seeking hospital treatment.
- The reasons for these are many: such as the lack of scientific evidence that meets contemporary criteria for evidence based medicine.
- Yoga also takes time, and there has not been much research that can prove the authenticity of Yoga effectively.
- A lot of work needs to be done in this direction right now, only then we can adopt Yoga as a medical option.
- Special type of Yoga for psychiatric diseases are done only in some centers and serious and incurable diseases are treated at larger centers.
- There is a need to include Yoga at these institutions, even if it is only as an option.
- Yoga is originated in India, it is an indigenous technique, but more than its home country, it is popular abroad.
- The widespread popularity of Yoga in Western countries suggests that it is acceptable to most individuals.
Negative effects of Yoga as a therapy
- Yoga is generally seen as a safe and effective exercise. But like any other form of exercise, when Yoga is also practiced improperly, it can have negative effects.
- Yoga should be done according to one’ ability. It is important to do Yoga correctly in the beginning, do not practice Yoga in the wrong style.
- The practice of Yoga can be harmful in severe mental illnesses. If it is to be done, then it is necessary to do it under the guidance of someone.
- Yoga should always be done on an empty stomach. It is suggested to practice Yoga 4-5 hours after meals.
- Light cloth should be used while doing Yoga. Do Yoga in relaxed mood.
- Yoga should not be done in the event of too much stress.
- If you do not understand, it is very important to consult Yoga practitioners. The right procedures must be followed to practice Yoga.
- Doing Yoga improperly can have negative consequences. Those patients who are suffering from heart disease, high blood pressure bone pain, spinal problems, or any other chronic disease should avoid Yoga.
- Yogasanas should not be performed after hard work. To pracice Yoga, an interval of at least half an hour should be maintained after hard work.
- It is normal to have more stretches of neck, shoulders, spine, legs and muscles during Yoga.
- Special precautions should be taken during pregnancy. Pregnant women should do Yoga only under the guidance of experienced Yoga practitioners.
- Children born in today’s world are victims of stress and its weaknesses.
- Yoga can become a great support for children and young people, to cope with the stress and related challenges, they experience in their daily lives, and to keep calm and focused.
- In today’s changing time, adopting Yoga as a way of daily life will be highly beneficial.