by Keila Chaliotis, Staff Writer
Today we are exposed to many contaminants and toxins, a large of it being ingested into our bodies. As a result, our bodies become less efficient at working. Thus we get tired faster and get sick more often. We find ways to lose the laziness and cure our illness with more toxins. Therefore, we keep the toxins in our bodies and add some more.
The relaxation exercises taught in yoga can help improve blood circulation, especially in our extremities, hands and feet. Yoga helps increase the hemoglobin count which increases oxygen flow to our cells, which in return work better. Better cells, better tissues; better tissues better organs. The red blood cell count is also increased with these exercises.
The contortion postures are designed to promote the draining of toxins in the blood from the internal organs. Once the postures are released, the inflow of oxygenated blood into the internal organs occurs. The inverted postures, where feet are above the head, cause the toxins from the hips to feet to flow to heart. Once in the heart the blood is pumped to the lungs to be oxygenated, detoxified and refreshed. This is particular helpful if you suffer from swelling of the legs due to heart or kidney related problems. It also thins the blood, which increases blood flow, reduces protein coagulants and makes platelets more efficient. As a result it will reduce heart attack incidents, most of which are the result of the coagulants.
Yoga exercise also helps to increase the efficiency of the lymphatic system, which is part of the circulatory system. The lymphatic system is a network of vessels that carry lymph, recycled blood plasma, towards the heart. The lymph also carries white blood cells, lymph nodes and other cells that stimulate our immune response. As a result, our bodies get better at fighting illnesses and infections, destroying and eliminating toxins and even cancerous cells.
As the circulatory system and its dependants become more efficient, the workout on the heart increases as well. Don’t get scared though, yoga helps our heart become a meaner machine and pump such that we will become better at other activities. It is a fact that aerobic exercise helps reduce risks of heart attack and depression. We also know that yoga is not aerobic in nature but if we practice it vigorously, we can strengthen and train our heart to self regulate depending on the situation it is in. Studies have shown that practicing yoga will reduce the heartbeats during rest but can go into high gear when doing exercise or any activity that requires additional oxygen and calories. Another study showed that practicing yoga breathing techniques can help to do more exercises using less oxygen.
If you suffer from high blood pressure, you can reduce it by practicing yoga. Two published studies in British medical magazine The Lancet, showed results comparing the effects of lying to rest on a sofa and practicing deep relaxation yoga postures. After three months of testing and observing, the deep relaxation yoga postures brought down systolic pressure by 26% and diastolic pressure by 15%. According to the studies, the higher the initial systolic pressure was the greater the decrease in pressure after months of yoga practicing.
As mentioned before, yoga helps in the elimination of toxins from the body. Practicing yoga helps in the reduction of sugar in our blood as well as the LDL, also known as the bad cholesterol. It also gives a boost to the HDL, the good cholesterol. Studies have shown that people with diabetes who practiced yoga had decreases in their glucose levels through various ways, reducing cortisol (which tends to counteract insulin) and adrenalin. This promotes weight loss and increases sensibility to the effects of insulin, which helps in reducing sugar levels in our blood. Diabetes can double the risks of heart illnesses. Thus, reducing our high levels of sugar, will not only reduce risks of heart attacks but will also reduce risks of complications to our kidneys and risks of blurred vision.
It will also increase our self-awareness and our physical equilibrium. Most people with bad postures or dysfunctional movement patterns tend to have poor sense of self-awareness, which is related to knee and back problems. Improving equilibrium will reduce falls and injuries, which is especially good for elders and people with certain disabilities.
So if you suffer illnesses related to high levels of body toxins, yoga can be a useful tool to reduce these levels as well as improve organ efficiency and efficacy. Like I have been saying just grab your mat and start with simple yoga relaxation exercises. Once you feel the improvements in your body move on to the other exercises.