Physiology of Yoga Poses Part II

Yoga Practices - Positions, Postures, Asana (The Best Practice to Perfect Health)

Asana name: Physiology of Yoga Poses Part II

- Rishi Dharmachandra (Under the Guidance of Rishi Dharmajyoti)

EFFECT OF ASANAS ON DIFFERENT SYSTEMS

All postures work on all systems of the body, so let us see some important systems and how they are affected by practice of asanas.

Digestive System:

Provides nutrients to all the cells in the body, energy to all the parts of the body, so functioning of the digestive is important from nutrients point of view.

Many asanas for example, various Forward Bends, backward bends, various Spinal Twists, inverted poses strengthen the digestive organs and muscles which support the organs.

Natural health of digestive system is maintained with process of efficient breathing – movement of diaphragm and abdominal muscles, as this movement give a gentle massage to these important digestive organs like liver, pancreas, spleen, and ensuring proper blood flow and removing waste products effectively.

Circulatory System

Supplies the blood with nutrients and oxygen to all the cells in the body.

Many poses or postures have positive effects for Example: Inverted postures – head stand, shoulder stand, wheel, plough, viparit karani drain the impure blood from various parts of the body and fresh blood is supplied which improves the health of these organs. Forward bends, backward bends, twists also help improve the health of the system.

Incresed Efficiency of blood circulatory system due to asanas can help varicose veins, inefficient peristalsis, valves in veins not functioning, heart, menstruation problems and problems related to impotency.

Respiratory System:

All the poses that exercise the respiratory muscles: Danurasana etc.

A healthy respiratory system requires three things:

  1. Strong, healthy lungs
  2. Strong respiratory muscles (Diaphragm & Intercostal muscles)
  3. A clear respiratory passage, free from mucus/ accumulated wastes

In order to strengthen the system many asanas like Peacock Pose and Shalabhasana (Locust pose) expand the chest to the full extent which helps in strengthening the lungs.

Nervous and Endocrine system:

  • Mind affects the Cortical activites which affect Hypothalamus and then Pituitary gland and then other glands…
  • A thought in the mind therefore affects the body through these connections because of hormonal secretions.
  • When you perform asanas, you try to focus on breath, various body parts or infinity which is controlling the mind and taking it away from the stressful thoughts and emotions, this balances the mind resulting in calm and peaceful state.
  • The reduced mental activity reduces cortex activity and increases dopamine secretions in the blood. (Dopamine is happy neurotransmitter produced by the brain and is repossible for happiness.)
  • This sends positive signals to the hypothalamus which then leads to more effective function of glands and hormone secretions.
  • When the endocrine system functions properly, the whole body benefits.
  • This is what happens when you relax in a posture, mediate, or perform yoga nidra

General Benefits of Asana Practice:

  • Corrects emotional patterns – minimizes mental activity
  • Stretches all body parts in different ways
  • Bring Harmony into all body systems
  • Optimization metabolism: minimizes catabolism (break down of cells) and increase of anabolism (making new cells)
  • Metabolism slows down overall because you increase the health of every cell by providing proper supply of nutrients, removing waste products efficiently.
  • This increase in cell life then requires less energy from the body and reverses aging.

Reference:

Asanas – Swami Kuvalayananda (Kaivalyadham, Lonavala, Mumbai)

Asanas – Rishi Dharmajyoti (Yogacharya Vishwas Mandlik)

Physiology of Yogic practices – Dr.Makarand Gore (Kaivalyadham, Lonavala, Mumbai)

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