Tag Archives: Parasympathetic nervous system

Yoga Cures Heart Related Issues

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology in Roorkee, in Uttrakhand, India, have confirmed that yoga keeps heart healthy. In the study, which will be published in a forthcoming issue of the International Journal of Medical Engineering and Informatics, heart rate variability – a sign of a healthy heart – has been shown to be higher in yoga practitioners than in non-practitioners. The autonomic nervous system regulates the heart rate through two routes – the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. The former causes the heart rate to rise, while, the parasympathetic slows it. When working well together, the two ensure that the heart rate is steady but ready to respond to changes caused by eating, the fight or flight response, or arousal.
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The ongoing variation of heart rate is known as heart rate variability (HRV), which refers to the beat-to-beat changes in heart rate. In healthy individuals HRV is high whereas cardiac abnormalities lead to a low HRV. To reach the conclusion, Ramesh Kumar Sunkaria, Vinod Kumar, and Suresh Chandra Saxena of the Electrical Engineering Department, at the Indian Institute of Technology in Roorkee, have evaluated two small groups of men in order to see whether yoga practitioners can improve heart health. Anecdotal evidence would suggest that yoga practice may improve health through breathing exercises, stretching, postures, relaxation, and meditation.

The team analyzed the HRV “spectra” of the electrocardiograms (ECG) of forty two healthy male volunteers who are non-yogic practitioners, and forty two who are experienced practitioners, all volunteers were aged between 18 and 48 years. The spectral analysis of HRV is, the team says, an important tool in exploring heart health and the mechanisms of heart rate regulation. The power represented by various spectral bands in short-term HRV are indicative of how well the heart responds to changes in the body controlled by the sympathetic and the parasympathetic nervous systems.

The team explains that very low frequency (VLF) variations in the spectra are linked to the body’s internal temperature control. Low frequency peaks are associated with the sympathetic control and high frequency with parasympathetic control.

The team concludes that in their preliminary study of 84 volunteers, there is strengthening of parasympathetic (vagal) control in subjects who regularly practice yoga, which is indicative of better autonomic control over heart rate and so a healthier heart.

Source: Yoga.am Nov.16, 2009

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Vajrasana Yogomudra-1 (Yoga Exercise)

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Posture : This Asana is performed in Vajrasana Position.
Pre position : Vajrasana Position

How to do the Exercise:

1. Inhale and take both the hands back and keep the palms facing outside interlocking the thumbs. Keep both the hands straight.
2. Exhailing bend in the waist and rest the forehead on the floor. Continue smooth breathing.

Position:

In this Asana one has to sit in Vajrasana and bend in the waist fully. In this process the abdomen gets folded and that is expected, too. Further in order to get the abdomen folded properly, one should try to set the forehead on the ground quite away from the body. Once the bending process is over, continue smooth breathing.

After some practice, while bending in the waist, keep the back bone straight to experience its nice results. After taking the position, try to relax the body.
Releasing

1. Exhale and inhaling be straight in the waist.
2. Restore the hands on the knees and take up Vajrasana Position.

Duration : This Asana being simple can easily be maintained for two minutes and even more.
Benefits: As the belly gets folded in this Asana, there comes tremendous pressure on intestines, liver, spleen, certain glands, etc., and this pressure improves their functioning and removes complaints regarding digestive system & constipation. This Asana is also used to awaken the kundalini shakti, which, however, requires its prolonged practice.
Precaution One should take care while bending in the waist. Bending process should be slow and should go with the exhailing process or else one may suffer from air or gas accumulation in the belly. The people with back problem should practice this Asana only after consulting some Yoga Expert.

Reference Book:- Yoga Pravesh

Dhanurasana-Type1(Yoga Exercise)

Posture : This Exercise(Asana ) involves another system of pulling the leg which gives the impression of a bow with an arrow to be shot and hence, the name Dhanurasana.

Technique of doing the exerciise:
Pre position Sitting Position.

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1. Bend the left leg in knee and keep the foot on the thigh of right leg. Keep the right leg straight.
2. Hold the big toe of the left leg with left hand, and that of the right leg with the right hand.
3. Exhale, and inhaling start lifting the left leg with the left hand and pull it up to the left ear, and stabilize it at that point.
4. Continue normal breathing.

Position : When one leg is lifted, the other leg and hand should be kept straight. The sight should be fixed on the other end of the straight hand.
Once the Exercise Position is taken, smooth breathing should continue.
Releasing Technique:

1. Inhale, and exhaling bring the left leg on the thigh of the right leg.
2. Restore both the hands to their place.
3. Straighten the left leg and take the sitting position.

Note: Do this Exercise in the above mentioned manner by taking up the right leg on the thigh of the left leg bringing in relevant changes in the position.
Duration : This latter Asana exerts more strain than the former. It should also be maintained for thirty seconds to experience its benefits.
Benefits: In this Exercise the direction of strain is towards the joints of the waist.
Precaution :The person with weak waist joints should not do this asana as it brings great strain to the joints.

Reference Book:- Yoga Pravesh

Learn Healthy Breathing

The Right Breath
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You already know how to breathe, right? You do it every moment, every day, without even thinking about. Chances are, though, your breathing technique is not as healthy as you might think.

Most of us breathe too shallowly, too quickly. Our lungs and heart would greatly prefer longer, slower, deeper breaths. This is true for general health, and it is also true for managing stress. Deep breathing helps dissipate the fight-or-flight reaction so many of us experience when we’re stressed. It sends a signal to your brain to slow down, which results in hormonal and physiological changes that slow heart rate and lower blood pressure.

You might be surprised that there are lots of big books written on breathing method. That’s because proper breathing technique is crucial for everyone from athletes to people with asthma to yoga experts. But for us regular folk, there are only a few things you need to keep in mind:

1.In general, inhale slowly and deeply through the nose. A healthy inhale takes about five seconds.

2.In general, exhale slowly through the mouth. Empty your lungs completely. Good breathers focus more on thorough exhalation than on inhalation.

Engage your diaphragm for good breathing. The diaphragm is the sheet of muscle along the top of your abdomen that pulls your lungs down to draw in air, and then pushes your lungs up to expel carbon dioxide. With a good inhalation, your lungs puff up as your diaphragm drops. With a good exhale, your diaphragm rises. If you don’t feel this muscle moving, deepen your breaths even more.

Work toward breathing just six or eight deep breaths per minute. Most of us breathe more than 20 times a minute.

Breathe Away Anxiety
Proper breathing is particularly important during moments of great anxiety. At times like these, many people resort to chest breathing — the type of big, desperate inhales and exhales that make you rapidly puff up and deflate your chest, says Michael Crabtree, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at Washington & Jefferson College in Washington, Pennsylvania, and a licensed clinical psychologist.

To regain healthy breathing during periods of anxiety, he says, lie on the floor and place your hand on your chest. Using your hand as a gauge, try to reduce the amount of chest movement, while continuing to breathe normally. You don’t want your chest to move; you want the other parts of your body to take over the breathing — using your diaphragm instead of the big chest inhales and exhales. Do this for five minutes.

Be aware that chest breathing still has a purpose, but only in times of extreme emotional arousal or physical challenge. “Most Americans use chest breathing because of developing instincts from fight-or-flight conditions,” he says. It is in those types of physically dangerous situations that it is still necessary — not for everyday stress or anxiety. Proper breathing is particularly important during moments of great anxiety. At times like these, many people resort to chest breathing — the type of big, desperate inhales and exhales that make you rapidly puff up and deflate your chest, says Michael Crabtree, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at Washington & Jefferson College in Washington, Pennsylvania, and a licensed clinical psychologist.
From : Stealth Health.

Leg Raises(Yoga Exercise)

Description of the Asana.

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The simple exercises prepare the body for asanas, strengthening in particular the abdominal and lower back muscles.Releves back pain.

Single Leg Raising

Inhaling raise the right leg as high possible; then, exhaling, lower it down. Repeat with the left leg. Perform three times.
Inhaling, raise the right leg, then clasp it in both hands and pull it toward you, keeping your head down. Take a few breaths.
Now raise your chin to your shin and hold for one deep breath; then exhaling, lower the head and, leg. Repeat three times each side.
Double Leg Raising

Lie flat on the floor inhaling, raise both legs, keeping your knees straight and your buttocks on the floor ; then exhale and lower them. Repeat ten times.

Note: Make sure that your lower back remains flat on the floor while you bring the leg down,to avoid injuring your spine.

Source:   www.allayurveda.com