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April 27, 2015
Here is another testimony as to why we love yoga. Yoga makes many changes within our bodies and minds before we change our actions. Some changes may seem obvious while others happen without much notice. If we are lucky we have learned to recognise the changes that have taken place.
The health of our bodies is to a very large extent dependant on the health of our cells and tissues. These cells and tissues need a proper environment free of toxins and rich in the necessary nutrients and oxygen, as well as an efficient communications system for optimal functioning and health. The yoga asanas work on our tissues by gently squeezing them, removing all the stale, waste bearing fluids and blood, and then stretching them to allow fresh essential nutrients and blood to circulate to every cell.
A healthy heart and lungs are essential in being able to supply the cells with the necessary nutrients and oxygen, and removing carbon dioxide. Practise of asanas and deep abdominal breathing techniques improves our respiratory functions, increasing vital capacity and developing strong muscles and elastic tissues. Breathing deeply as you hold the asanas increases the oxygen to the cells and removes more waste carbon dioxide.
If ones breathing is shallow and restricted, the furthest air sacks in the lungs remain unused and deteriorate, decreasing our capacity for oxygen intake and increasing the chance of infection. Pranayama teaches us correct breathing techniques and breath control, keeping the air passages clear, and together with Yoga relaxation techniques are very beneficial in alleviating the symptoms of hay fever and asthma.
The continuous massaging of the digestive organs and the heart by the respiratory movements of the diaphragm helps to keep them healthy. Certain Yoga breathing exercises and asanas work directly on the diaphragm, keeping it healthy and able to perform at maximum efficiency.
If the functions of the vital glands are depressed, the bodies metabolism can be out of balance, causing obesity, menstrual problems and other illnesses. The Yoga asanas give a beneficial massage to the internal organs and stimulates the digestive muscles increasing their efficiency.
The blood stream is the bodys major system of carrying oxygen to, and the waste carbon dioxide from the cells, as well as essential nutrients and messenger chemicals. Efficient blood circulation is dependant on a healthy heart and on elastic and unobstructed blood vessels, arteries, veins and tiny capillaries. Yogic breathing techniques massage the heart, while the increased venous return from alternately stretching and contracting the muscles stimulates the heart and causes it to contract more strongly in response, strengthening it and helping to keep it in good health.
When the circulation becomes sluggish, the kidneys and liver are unable to function efficiently, and toxins build up and clog the tissues causing illness such as gout, rheumatoid arthritis and headaches. Standing for long periods of time and the insufficiency and weakening of the peripheral veins, often causes the blood to run back to the superficial veins which dilate and twist, causing varicose veins. The practises of certain Yoga asanas are extremely helpful, especially the inverted poses which reverse the effects of gravity, resting the valves and vein walls, in alleviating the symptoms of these illnesses, by encouraging better circulation.
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