Yoga and Cholesterol Management
Cholesterol is a soft, waxy substance found among lipids (fats)
in the bloodstream and cells.
Cholesterol isn't all bad. Our bodies use it to form cell membranes, for
example. But too much cholesterol in the bloodstream can be unhealthy, and lead
coronary heart disease.
Yoga, uses exercises (asanas) to relax and tone the
muscles and to massage
the organs, breathing techniques (pranayam) to regulate the body's
levels, meditations to calm the mind, and
relaxation postures to reduce and
stress and anxiety. The practice of yoga improves the blood and oxygen
flow around the body which aids in the removal of toxins and waste. For yoga to
be truly beneficial to the lowering of your unwanted
bad cholesterol it must be
practiced on a regular basis.
Yoga also reduces stress hormones, which in turn lowers
cholesterol. That is
why meditation is similar to yoga in its cholesterol-lowering power. Yoga will
surely help you get rid of the cholesterol and you will be highly satisfied when
after two months you go to check the level and find them impressively low. To
bring down the ill effects of stress and its byproducts, a daily regime of
meditation practices involving simple breathing techniques, and the use of deep
meditative techniques practiced for at least 20 – 30 minutes daily can greatly
bring about a feeling of
good health and a significant lowering of cholesterol.
Breathing exercises, meditation and poses namely the Kapalbhati
Pranayama is the
perfect combination for lowering cholesterol.
Total cholesterol level
Less than 200 is best.
200 to 239 is borderline high.
240 or more means you're at increased risk for heart disease.
LDL cholesterol levels
Below 100 is ideal for people who have a higher risk of heart
100 to 129 is near optimal.
130 to 159 is borderline high.
160 or more means you're at a higher risk for heart disease.
HDL cholesterol levels
Less than 40 means you're at higher risk for heart disease.
60 or higher greatly reduces your risk of heart disease.
Following are the list of helpfull Asana (Postures) and Pranayama (Breathing
Anulom-Vilom (Anuloma Viloma)
For people with limited time, the
Salutation is excellent because it stretches and strengthens all the major
muscle groups in the body and exercises the respiratory system.
It is a graceful sequence of thirteen positions linked
by a continuous flowing motion, and accompanied by five deep breaths. Each
position counteracts the one before, stretching the body in a different way
and alternately expanding and contracting the
chest to regulate the breathing.
One round of Sun Salutation consists of two sequences, the first leading with
the right foot in steps 4 and 10, the second leading with the left.
In this pranayam the breath is regulated with the help of the
nostril. It helps encourages mind to higher levels of discrimination,
concentration and thoughts. Gives more energy and oxygen to the physical body
and helps calm your nerves and improve circulation.
Hold your right nasal with thumb, breathe in from left.
Now open right nasal and close left nasal with middle and ring finger and
breathe out from right nasal.
Now breathe in from right nasal.
Now close right nasal and open left and breathe out and in from left nasal
and so on.
To perform Kapalbhati Pranayama, sit in a comfortable position. As you relax
concentrate on the sound of your breathing. Breathe in as you would normally do.
However, as you start to exhale concentrate on the speed of exhaling and how the
stomach contracts with every exhalation. As you garner speed on exhalation you
will notice that you will be making some sort of a noise while exhaling which is
perfectly fine. Kapalbhati Pranayama must be performed for 50 - 60 times daily
especially in the mornings.
Bhastrika is primarily consists of forced rapid deep breathing
which serves as a basis for many varieties of exercises, all of which may be
described by the same name. Although air is forced both in and out, the emphasis
is placed upon the expulsion or explosion of air.
How to do
Let the left hand rest on the left knee and place the right hand next to
Sit straight in a comfortable posture.
Inhale and exhale quickly in short and shallow breaths through both
nostrils from four to ten times.
Again inhale and exhale through the nostrils contracting the middle and
lower portions of the abdomen.
How to release
Then exhale completely, holding the breath for a while.
After this, inhale through the right nostril and retain the breath for a
Yoga helps in controlling cholesterol by reducing the
fat content in
your blood and ensures you a
healthy heart, brain and blood circulation. Don't
misguide yourself with certain ideas that the LDL cholesterol is very hard to
get rid of. The main factor with cholesterol is that the
fats in your body don't
get burned up due to lack of
physical activity or improper lifestyle.