Yoga to keep lifestyle disease parameters in check – hypertension, diabetes, PCOS amongst others, Health News, ET HealthWorld

Yoga to control the parameters of lifestyle disease - hypertension, diabetes, PCOS among othersBy Arunima Singhdeo

The world changes every decade. Only 20 years ago our food was different, our work hours ended at 5pm to 6pm, we moved more because cars and bicycles were not the norm. We would walk to catch a bus and taxis wouldn’t come to your door.

Another big change is the internet – with access to information literally 24*7 and not limited to the morning papers and a few TV channels – we are now bombarded with information at any time of the day. Couple that with social media where we’re constantly watching and reacting to what friends and family are up to. Lately, the entertainment industry has increased hyperactivity with our favorite shows available to us around the clock.

Regulating ourselves is purely based on our own willpower and as James Clear mentions in “atomic habits” – Human willpower is greatly overrated, what affects the formation of good habits the most is your home environment and environment.

I just love the internet and how it has democratized information, but similarly, yoga has all the tools to democratize happiness. To understand why lifestyle diseases have become so widespread in tandem with sleep problems, stress and anxiety, we need to understand how the world has changed and how yoga can help us in this ever-changing world.

The fact is that the human body and its mechanism have been the same for centuries. Medical science has evolved to help us fight disease, but the methods of prevention remain largely the same. This is one thing that if we really understood it, each of us would immediately join a yoga class.

The human body is amazing – your skeleton, the organ system, the network of muscles that are so intrinsically connected by smaller connective muscle tissue and most importantly that the nervous system that the neurons, our hormones, help us act and respond and also help us relax and digest is the same as it has been for ages. This whole network of systems is what yoga works on. It’s not just any exercise, it works on all systems of the human body.

Lifestyle diseases such as PCOS, PCOD, diabetes and hypertension are a result of how the world has changed, including our food and a hyperactive sympathetic nervous system coupled with a lack of adequate exercise.

Yoga is the only practice that works for true overall fitness and improves flexibility and strength – using your own body weight for resistance when strengthening your muscles. Every major muscle group learns to support connecting muscles, so you can stand on your head – it’s not hard, just work hard and practice consistently. Flexibility in a vinyasa like surya namaskar helps with flexibility and mobility and ensures that your cardiovascular system is healthy. You don’t have to run, exercise or walk for hours to stay fit. It has been proven that a diabetic patient needs to exercise in order to regulate insulin production. After the pandemic, even back pain, joint pain problems have increased. The only way to counteract this is to have stronger and more flexible muscles as intended. One yoga class a day and you can alleviate these problems forever unless there is a medical problem with the bones and ligaments.

Yoga works wonderfully on the organ system. The twists, forward and backward bends, ensure that the organs in your sternum function properly. Any imbalances are removed with consistent practice. I’ve seen students say they were off constipation for years in just 2 weeks. Asanas like dhanurasana, matsyendra asana help the reproductive organs to function properly and also provide pain free periods.

The biggest impact of yoga is on the nervous system – here you should also learn pranayama or the art of breathing properly. Yoga helps activate the parasympathetic nervous system which is responsible for the resting and digestive function of the human body.

If you have hypertension or high blood pressure it is important to note that you need to be stress free, learn to relax, which is the single most important result of regular yoga and pranayama – you breathe more deeply, increase your lung capacity and your vagus nerve in combination with the parasympathetic nervous system helps you relax more deeply. Stress is silent and is the biggest reason for most lifestyle related problems.

Your breath is the vehicle of prana or the life force in humans. Once you correct your breathing and body alignment, prana flows unimpeded and you reach a higher level of consciousness. You find out what’s good for you and leave what you don’t need. You choose what to spend your time and energy on to bring you closer to your life purpose. Remember to always practice yoga with a yoga teacher who can pay enough attention to you, whether you’re in a studio or online, it doesn’t matter – it’s about making it a habit for life.

By Arunima Singhdeo, Founder and CEO, Shvasa

(DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed are solely the author’s and ETHealthworld does not necessarily endorse them. is not responsible for any harm caused directly or indirectly to any person/organization)

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