Anatomy

HOW DOES YOGA AFFECT US ON A PURELY PHYSICAL LEVEL?

 

The anatomy of our body consists of the muscular, skeletal, respiratory, circulatory, nervous and digestive systems.

 

The muscular system – Usually the most prominent physical function in our body when we are doing asanas. Body and muscle awareness increases when we learn new asanas and also while adjusting to the correct alignment, when we learn to isolate different muscle groups.

 

Yoga postures allow the involvement and cooperation of almost all the muscles from the top of our heads right down to the tips of our toes. These movements consists of flexion, extension, abduction and adduction.

 

Regular practice will delay the ageing process by keeping muscles and ligaments moving and protecting our joints from wear and tear.

 

The skeleton system – As the muscles loosen and stretch, so do the ligaments, which hold the bones in place. Instead of being held rigidly, under pressure, the bones become freed to move back into a more natural alignment. This is especially so in the case of the spinal vertebrae, as many of the yoga postures work directly on the spinal column.

 

The respiratory and circulatory system – Improves through regular deep breathing. Yoga helps you become more aware of your breath, even when you are not doing the breathing exercises. The inverted postures enhance blood circulation, reversing the venous blood flow and also improve lymph drainage.

 

The digestive system – Certain asanas help in massaging our internal organs which helps in overall performance of the organ processes.

 

The nervous and endocrine systems – Asanas stimulate certain glands in the body that produces hormones, giving a good balance in hormonal levels and emotional wellbeing of a person.

 

Asanas and their effect on the various systems in our body:

Prasarita Padottanasana

  • Regulates thyroxin hormone production in the thyroid gland; flushes the pituitary, hypothalamus and thymus glands
  • Helps relieve depression, memory loss
  • Increases circulation to the brain and adrenal glands
  • Improves flexibility of hips, ankles and last five vertebrae of the spine; cures and prevents sciatica pain
  • Helps functioning of the internal abdominal organs (especially large and small intestines).
  • Relieves constipation

Parsvottanasana

  • Works the pineal and thyroid glands; improves metabolism
  • Helps maintain good blood sugar balance
  • Improves blood circulation; improves memory; helps manic depression
  • Stretches, tones and decongests the spinal column and nervous system
  • Massages the pancreas, liver, gall-bladder, spleen, intestines, gonads, urinary bladder and kidneys
  • Helps hyperacidity, diabetes, constipation, dyspepsia and hemorrhoids
  • Helps with colds, sinus problems, migraines and the entire immune system
  • Benefits the muscular, skeletal, endocrine, digestive and reproductive systems
  • Opens hips and lower spine; strengthens the abdomen

Kurmasana

  • Boosts the endocrine system; regulating hormones. Beneficial for Diabetic patients
  • Provides maximum relaxation; helping with stress, anemia, anxiety and sleep disorders
  • Cures indigestion, constipation, IBS and flatulence
  • Increases blood flow to the brain; bringing mental clarity and good memory
  • Massages internal organs, lungs, heart and coronary arteries
  • Stretches the spine; helps to prevent herniation

Ushtrasana

  • Regulates hormones. Stimulates the central nervous system, parathyroid and thyroid glands
  • Cervical spondylosis, bronchial spasms and high blood pressure
  • Opens the chest; strengthens the muscles of the back and shoulders
  • Produces maximum compression of the spine; relieving backaches, herniated discs; helping kypho-scolitic deformities
  • Brings fresh blood to the kidneys; eliminates toxins from the body; improves memory and mental clarity
  • Cures vertigo and dizziness; is good for osteoporosis, diabetes, constipation and fermentive dyspepsia
  • Posture opens your body to encourage the release of trapped emotions
  • Improves flexibility of the neck and spine. Trims the waist-line by stretching the abdomen and fat cell storage

Utthita Sasangasana

  • Nurtures the nervous system and regulates hormones. Brings blood to the brain; regulating the thalamus and hypothalamus
  • Stretches the entire spine from top to bottom, also improves neck and shoulder flexibility
  • Keeps the chest cavity flexible; improving bone density and balance
  • Beneficial for low mood or depression, diabetes, colds, sinus problems, throat diseases, headaches and insomnia
  • Stimulates all glands and organs.

 

Reference:

http://www.bikramyogaav.com.au/what-are-the-best-postures-to-balance-hormones/

200hryogattc weekday – Riane Low