Lifestyle Health and Wellbeing 21 Jun 2016 International Yoga D ...

International Yoga Day: Yoga may not be a cure but can provide relief

Published Jun 21, 2016, 2:18 am IST
Updated Jun 21, 2016, 3:23 am IST
Experts stress yoga must be combined with regular medicines while dealing with diseases.
Specific asanas must be performed regularly, and medication is a must, doctors and yoga experts say.
 Specific asanas must be performed regularly, and medication is a must, doctors and yoga experts say.

Ailments and the yoga asanas
Lifestyle changes have led to a range of diseases and people are turning to various therapies for relief. Changes in diet and the pattern of working and sleeping has worsened the problem.

Ahead of Tuesday’s International Yoga Day, experts say that the ancient form can provide relief. Dr Ravinder Reddy, senior general physician, said, “Yoga helps both the body and the mind. For that reason it is often advised to patients so that they can rejuvenate their own body resources and understand it better. But it must be understood that yoga is for relief. For cure of the disease, medicines which are prescribed by the doctors have to be taken.”


Doctors have shortlisted several asanas to provide relief from various conditions, ranging from obesity to cancer. Doctors stress that these cannot cure diseases. Kaniza Garari reports.

Ardha Matsyen-drasana

A combination of positions — Ardha Matsyendrasana (half-twisted pose) combined with Dhanurasana (bow pose), Vakrasana (twisted pose), Matsyendrasana (half-spinal twist) and halasana (plough pose) — is good for diabetics.

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Yoga instructor K. Sharmila said, “These poses compress the abdomen and help to stimulate pancreatic secretions due to which more insulin is pushed into the system. They rejuvenate insulin producing beta cells in patients suffering from diabetes.” Senior general physician Dr Radha Krishna added, “Various studies have confirmed that yogasanas help patients in controlling blood sugar levels. But it must be understood that yoga is a therapy for relief and not a cure. The medications that are required for diabetics continue despite doing yoga.”

Pranayama, Brahraamri, Nadi Shodhan Pranayama

Yoga instructor Ravinder Kapadia said, “Practising pranayama while lying down encourages the breath to arise smoothly from a relaxed state without any force. If a person sits and does this form of yoga then the spine must be straight, chest lifted and head down so that there is no strain on the heart.”

“Yoga, especially pranayama and meditation, will regularise balance of vagal and sympathetic tone along with regularisation of cardiovascular reflexes. It is also the best relaxation technique for control of hypertension and arrhythmias (disordered heart rate). Savasana is good for heart, but kapalbhati should not be practised by heart patients,” said Dr P.L.N. Kapardhi, senior interventional cardiologist at Apollo Hospitals.

Vajrasana, Janusirasana, Poorvottanasana, Naukasana, Supta Pavanmuktasana, Shanti asana.

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Yoga, along with a good fibre diet, helps in digestion. Vajrasana is good for digestion, it can be done immediately after eating,” said Dr K. Somasekhar, senior consultant, gastroenterologist, Apollo Hos-pitals. Yoga instructor Osman Saleem from the Old City added, “Changing lifestyles have seen people as young as 20 years coming with this problem and these have helped tremendously.”

Pavanmukta series of asanas have proven to be very beneficial

Yoga helps in relieving constipation. Pavanamuktasana is good for relieving constipation, it can be done early in the morning. A lot of patients have benefited,”  said Dr Naveen Polavarapu, consultant, gastroenterologist, Apollo Hospitals. “Those who have had gas problems for a long time are asked to do this on a regular basis. Whenever there is food going into the body, this must be done. Late night meals must be avoided,” said another yoga instructor.

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Surya namaskar, Pavan-muktasan series, warrior pose or Veerabhadrasana.

Dr Venugopal Pareekh, consultant laparoscopic and bariatric surgeon, said, “Yogasanas have shown a marked change in patients who have been doing Surya namaskar. The challenge of 100 at one go has especially been a big hit in women.” Yoga instructor Bhavesh Patel said, “A combination of yoga exercises have helped deal with abdominal fat which is very important while dealing with weight loss.”

Badhakonasana (butterfly pose), Bharadvajasana (Bharadvaja’s twist), Naukasana (Boat pose)

Senior gynaecologist Dr Preeti Reddy said, “One of the major causes of polycystic ovarian syndrome is stress and infertility. Yogasanas have proved to be stress busters.” Yoga instructor Akhilesh Kapadia added, “For women, relaxation is very important and Bharadvajasana helps to maintain normal blood pressure and also normalise the problems of menstruation.”

Cancer treatment
Pranayama and pavanmuktha series have helped patients who are undergoing chaemotherapy

Dr C. Sumathi, head of the department of naturopathy at the Indo-American Cancer Hospital said, “Asanas balance the respiratory, circulatory, nervous, hormonal, digestive, excretory and reproductive systems perfectly. This equilibrium in the body is found to help patients undergoing chemotherapy.”
Yoga Instructor Sudha Shekar from Nature Cure Hospitals said, “Mental peace is most important for recovery of cancer patients. Once they are at peace, they know that they can conquer the disease.”

Headaches/ Migraines 

Dr G. Rajashekar Reddy, senior neurophysician at Yashoda Hospitals, said, “Yoga and meditation is best for people suffering from fits, brain stroke, dementia and migraine. Yoga has given excellent results for these patients.”
Yoga instructor P. Damodar added, “Doing pranayama properly is very important as the effect on the mind is very soothing.”

Joint pains, arthritis, rheumatism, body pains
Sukhasana, Ardha-padmasana, Yog-mudra, , Gomukhasana, Shalabhasana

Senior consultant orthopaedic surgeon Dr Mahesh Kapadia said, “There has been positive outcomes of these asanas and they have helped patients get relief from pain. But they have to continue with their treatment as this therapy is only a relief and not a cure.” Yoga instructor Suleman Mushtaq explained, “Those who have knee problems have to tell the yoga teacher as it is important to teach them the right steps.”

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Piles, fistula and fissure
Supta / Utkut Pavan-muktasana, Halasana, Bhujangasana, Dhanurasana

Dr Abdul Mohammed K., a gastroenterologist at OGH, said, “These problems will subside but along with this, diet changes are a must. Yoga does not help if food intake is not controlled.” Yoga instructor Ms Sharmila Aggarwal added, “We also stress on diet. The instructions must be followed properly."

Asthma, Sinusitis, cough cold & breathing problems
Paschimottanasana, Sarvangasana, Halasana, Surya namaskar and Shanti Asana

Senior pulmonologist Dr Vijay Kumar said, “Breathing properly through the nose is very important and these techniques help people to learn to breathe properly, which helps solve a lot of their respiratory problems.” Yoga instructor Shruti Kapoor added, “For patients coming with these problems getting them to breathe right is a major challenge.”

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Sarvangasana, sukhtavajrasana and Kanthbati Prayanama
Senior endocrinologist Dr Rakesh C. explained, “In thyroid the biggest challenge is controlling the levels and in certain cases, over a period of time these asanas have helped. But these must be practiced regularly for the right effects. Medication is a must.” Yoga instructor Madhu Sharma added, “A lot of women are suffering from this problem but practicing it early in the morning is a must for the right effect.”