Yoga includes shatkarma and asanas. The aged old practice in India, yoga has been practiced for its curative benefits and preventative measure, protecting mind and body, while uplifting the spirit. A full yoga session should exercise every part of the body. Yoga consists of Shathkarma, Asana, Pranayam and Meditation.
Shatkarmas help in purification of the body. Maximum benefit of yoga can only be achieved with regular cleansing of the system.
There are six different types of Shatkarmas:
- Neti : Nasal cleaning, including jala neti and sutra neti.
- Dhauti : Cleansing of the digestive tract.
- Nauli : Abdominal massage.
- Basti : Colon cleaning.
- Kapalbhati : Purification and vitalisation of the frontal lobes.
- Trataka : Blinkless gazing.
Regular practice of yoga-asanas may produce many health benefits, including increased fitness and normalisation of blood pressure, lower levels of stress and increased feelings of happiness and wellbeing. This is because concentrating on the postures and the breath acts as a powerful form of meditation. All postures of yoga-asanas should be practiced including lying postures, sitting postures, standing postures, Inverted, or upside down postures.
Yoga-asanas improves the cardiovascular system (heart and arteries). Studies show that regular yoga-asanas practise may help normalise blood pressure. The digestive system is also affected with the improved blood circulation as the massaging effect of surrounding muscles speeds up a sluggish digestion.
The Skeletal joints are moved through their full range of motion, which encourages mobility and eases pressure. The gentle stretching releases muscle tension and increases flexibility. Maintaining many of the asanas encourages strength and endurance. Weight bearing asanas may help prevent osteoporosis, and may also help those already diagnosed with osteoporosis.
Long term benefits include reduced back pain and improved posture. With the improved blood circulation, easing of muscle tension and the act of focusing the mind on the breath all combine to soothe the nervous system. Long term benefits include reduced stress and anxiety levels, and increased feelings of calm and wellbeing.
Copyright Swami Satyanand Alternate Therapy Foundation