Yoga is often associated with improving flexibility, building strength, relieving stress, focusing the mind, among many other benefits. Hence, I was intrigued by the topic on our lymphatic system where yoga helps in stimulating toxin and waste removal. It is refreshing to perceive the combination of pranayama and asana as a gentle self-massage for our internal organs. Unlike the cardiovascular system which depends on the heart to pump blood through the body, the lymphatic system is a much slower one that moves mainly through deep breathing and muscle activity. Deep rhythmic inhalations and exhalations such as ujjayi encourages diaphragmatic movement which draws lymph fluid from the fringes in the body back to the main lymph vessels, preventing lymph stagnation. At the same time, all the bending, twisting and inverting stretches the skin, muscles and vessels to ensure smooth continuous lymph flow. With this understanding, I am now more conscious about maintaining that deep breathing throughout my entire practice.
Vania (YTT200 Jun-Aug’18)