Curing Psoriasis with Yoga Asanas
Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory
skin disease seen as redness, scaling
of various sizes. Although psoriasis can strike at any age, it is seen
mostly in people in the age group of 15-35 years. Psoriatic arthritis,
however, has its highest incidence in the age group of 30-50 years.
With modern medical science unable to find a permanent cure, millions are
forced to suffer from psoriasis during the most active and productive parts
of their lives. On the other hand, experiments conducted under the system of
yoga and ayurveda recently have shown promising results in the amelioration of the
otherwise chronic condition marked with lifelong episodes of aggravations
and remissions. Groups of patients suffering from varying degrees and types of psoriasis
were found to respond positively to the yogic regime of breathing exercises
called pranayama, supplemented with ayurvedic formulations.
It is important to mention here that among all the diseases that
respond to the systems of yoga and
skin problems take the most
time to show effective results.
Depending upon the severity of psoriasis, it may take anywhere between
six months to a couple of years for a significant improvement in the
condition to be seen. However, patients have reported feeling noticeable
relief in their condition within a period ranging from a few days to a
couple of weeks after the onset of the treatment routine.
For psoriasis, yoga exercises should be done in the morning sun. Seven
types of pranayama, the breathing and mental exercises, can be practiced
towards successful treatment of psoriasis.
Sit cross-legged on a thin woollen or silken mattress in the open and do the
following exercises in the order as below: -
With your hands resting on your knees and arms stretched straight, close
your eyes and inhale deeply through both the nostrils. If a nostril is
blocked for some reason, close it with your thumb or the two middle fingers
and inhale with the other nostril. Follow this up with exhalation. Exhale
deeply till you empty out all the stale air inside your lungs. Do this
exercise for two to three minutes.
This is a double-nostril breathing exercise. This consists of a series of
quick exhalations accompanied by an inward drawing motion of the stomach.
You must sit in the same position as you did for bhastrika, to do this
exercise. You must concentrate only on the exhalations; the inhalations take
place involuntarily. Thus an exhalation and a an inward stomach movement per
second set the pace for KB. Do this continuously for five minutes without
stopping. However, if you are a beginner, you may take anywhere between a
few days to a few weeks to achieve this speed. You can start off slowly;
maybe do it continuously for two to three minutes, stop, and then start
again. You must work towards doing KB for 15 minutes at a time, with a rest
period every five minutes.
Sitting cross-legged, with your eyes closed, inhale deeply to allow air
to fill up your lungs fully. Hold the air now for a few moments. Then exhale
forcefully, thus emptying the air from all the air sacs of your lungs
completely. Hold your breath now again. Do this for two to three minutes.
Anulom Vilom (AV)
This is a single-nostril breathing exercise. Sitting in the cross-legged
posture, press your right nostril with your thumb. Inhale deeply, without
any exertion, through the left nostril. Begin inhalation through the left
nostril only, followed by inhalation through the right nostril. Allow
exhalations smoothly, but deeply, without exertion. Each inhalation and
exhalation should not take more than two to two and a half seconds.
You should do AV also for five minutes at a stretch. Thus, 100-120
inhalations and exhalations together over a period of five minutes are
ideal. However, if you are a beginner, take your time to get to the
five-minute-at-a-stretch norm. Start off slower, and as your body gets used
to it, increase the speed. As in the case of KB, you must ultimately be able
to do AV too for 15 minutes, with stoppages every five minutes, during a
single yoga session.
Inhale deeply but slowly, pushing your stomach muscles outward, as if
filling up your stomach with air. Exhale deeply right thereafter, pulling
your stomach muscles inward, as if trying to pull your stomach in as close
to your back as possible. Hold your breath here and move your stomach in and
out vigorously as many times as possible, before releasing it and allowing
air to fill up your lungs. Do this exercise three times, five times or 11 times, as prescribed.
Close your eyes and plug your ears tightly with the thumbs of both the
hands. Put the forefingers of your hands on your forehead, over your
eyebrows, and the middle fingers of the two hands right on your closed eyes.
Inhale deeply and say OM, WITHOUT opening your mouth, so that you make a
humming sound that travels from your mouth to your ears. You may feel a
little pain in the ears when you hum OM. The humming of OM during Bhramari pranayama generates energy. You can feel the energy at your ears
and also its flow down your whole body during this exercise. A soothing
chill follows and stays at your ears and your forehead for quite sometime.
Close your eyes. Now, take your hands off your face and place them on
your knees. Take a deep breath in and then exhale, saying OM. There is a
specific way of uttering the word OM here - stress on the syllable O as
long as the breath lasts, utter the syllable M right at the end. Do this
three, five or 11 times as prescribed.
Thereafter, rub your hands together vigorously to generate heat and place
them on your eyes. Open your eyes to an altogether different world that you
will experience. At this moment you are thoroughly charged and yet you are
at your calmest. Stay in this position for two to three minutes.
Keep sitting like this for sometime before you conclude the yoga session.
While doing the breathing exercises direct the energy generated towards the
affected parts of the skin by thinking about its well being. This is very
important, as the results of the experiments conducted so far have confirmed.
You can even do KB with AV alternately, each exercise for a period of
Dated 22 August 2012