Yoga to manage Dermatitis
is a broad term that refers to any inflammation of the skin. Poison ivy and
similar rashes are known as contact dermatitis, caused by touching something
that irritates a patch of skin. Reactions to internal medication can cause red,
scaly skin and sometimes even hair loss. The broadest category is known as
atopic dermatitis, or
eczema. Itís a chronic condition that can be triggered by allergic reactions
to foods, pollen, dry air or any number of other factors. The problem can flare
up any time, without notice, and the causes can be hard to pinpoint,
Eczema can flare up when youíre under
stress. Do the
complete breath exercise (Pranayam)
whenever youíre feeling stress, whether itís at the office, in the car or at
home. You should include at least one
pose, such as the corpse , knee squeeze or baby, in your daily yoga routine.
Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)
This yogasana calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression
Tadasana, hands on hips. Exhale and bend forward from the hip joints,
not from the waist. As you descend draw the front torso out of the groins
and open the space between the pubis and top sternum. As in all the forward
bends, the emphasis is on lengthening the front torso as you move more fully
into the position.
If possible, with your knees straight, bring your palms or finger tips
to the floor slightly in front of or beside your feet, or bring your palms
to the backs of your ankles. If this isn't possible, cross your forearms and
hold your elbows. Press the heels firmly into the floor and lift the sitting
bones toward the ceiling. Turn the top thighs slightly inward.
each inhalation in the pose, lift and lengthen the front torso just
slightly; with each exhalation release a little more fully into the forward
bend. In this way the torso oscillates almost imperceptibly with the breath.
Let your head hang from the root of the neck, which is deep in the upper
back, between the shoulder blades.
Uttanasana can be used as a resting position between the standing poses.
Stay in the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute. It can also be practiced as a
pose in itself.
Don't roll the spine to come up. Instead bring your hands back onto your
hips and reaffirm the length of the front torso. Then press your tailbone
down and into the pelvis and come up on an inhalation with a long front
Modifications & Props
To increase the stretch on the backs of the legs, stand in the forward bend
with the balls of your feet elevated an inch or more off the floor on a sand bag
or thick book.
Adho Mukha Svanasana
Calms the mind and induces a state of calm
your legs shoulder width apart.
Slowly, bend down, until your palms touch the floor ahead of you.
Exhale while bending.
Do not lift your heels off the floor.
Donít bend your knees, but at the same time, donít lock them.
Spread your fingers wide apart.
Now, push your head between your arms, towards your knees. Feel the
stretch in your legs.
You could also do this the other way around by first getting down on
your knees, and then slowly lifting yourself up. Exhale while lifting
yourself up. This is, in fact, the right way of performing this asana, but
you may find it difficult to place your heels on the floor initially.
A good rule of thumb to remember is to exhale when performing any
stretch that scrunches the stomach muscles, and inhale when returning to
position, or when performing a stretch that expands the stomach muscles.
Thus, when bending down, or bending sideways, exhale. But while bending
Janu Sirsasana (Head-to-Knee Forward Bend)
Seated head to knee stretches the back and deeply stretches the back of the
legs. This posture calms the mind and emotions, stimulates the nervous,
reproductive, endocrine and urinary systems.
on the floor with your buttocks lifted on a folded blanket and your legs
straight in front of you. Inhale, bend your right knee, and draw the heel
back toward your perineum. Rest your right foot sole lightly against your
inner left thigh, and lay the outer right leg on the floor, with the shin at
a right angle to the left leg (if your right knee doesn't rest comfortably
on the floor, support it with a folded blanket).
Press your right hand against the inner right groin, where the thigh
joins the pelvis, and your left hand on the floor beside the hip. Exhale and
turn the torso slightly to the left, lifting the torso as you push down on
and ground the inner right thigh. Line up your navel with the middle of the
left thigh. You can just stay here, using a strap to help you lengthen the
spine evenly, grounding through the sitting bones.
Or, when you are ready, you can drop the strap and reach out with your
right hand to take the inner left foot, thumb on the sole. Inhale and lift
the front torso, pressing the top of the left thigh into the floor and
extending actively through the left heel. Use the pressure of the left hand
on the floor to increase the twist to the left. Then reach your left hand to
the outside of the foot. With the arms fully extended, lengthen the front
torso from the pubis to the top of the sternum.
Exhale and extend forward from the groins, not the hips. Be sure not to
pull yourself forcefully into the forward bend, hunching the back and
shortening the front torso. As you descend, bend your elbows out to the
sides and lift them away from the floor.
Lengthen forward into a comfortable stretch. The lower belly should
touch the thighs first, the head last. Stay in the pose anywhere from 1 to 3
minutes. Come up with an inhalation and repeat the instructions with the
legs reversed for the same length of time.
According to Swami Shivananda, a skin diseases practitioner should do shat
kriyas (cleansing practices) - especially dhouti (swollow the cloth), kunjal
kriya (drinking salt water and womiting) and shank prakshalana (you drink a lot
of salt water and go toilet). Its very effective!
Prevention and management strategies
Reducing inflammations requires establishing a regular skin care routine and the
development of a treatment strategy by a dermatologist. Here are tips a
dermatologist may typically provide to patients:
Wear cotton or natural fabrics to avoid common fiber irritants.
Avoid scratching or rubbing affected skin.
Take brief, lukewarm baths and showers using mild soap or non-soap
cleansers (avoiding extremely hot temperatures). Gently pat the skin dry
with a soft towel (avoid rubbing dry skin).
Apply lubricants (creams or ointments, as suggested by the physician),
immediately after bathing.
Recognize and avoid early signs of skin infection, such as tiny
pustules, oozing sores, or crusty, yellow blisters.