Science and Yoga

Exercise as we know brings a lot of benefits to the body. As a nurse, we always give health education and exercise is one of the best way to prevent and even cope up with an illness. Ironically though, I never applied it to my everyday life until the recent years. It is because I’m not physically active and I hate the conventional exercise methods available. So when I heard about yoga and how it is linked with science, I got intrigued; tried it out and like a kid in the lost and found section, yoga found me.

Fast forward to 2017, I finally decided to do the teacher’s training to get more specific details of how to relate human anatomy and physiology to yoga. Although I have the basics covered, it’s just mind-blowing how simple poses can benefit the body. An astounding example would be the eagle pose or Garudasana where it can help cleanse your lymphatic system from the foot to head. It may look simple but this asana creates a tourniquet by constricting the major lymph nodes in the body and when you finally release from the pose it just drains the lymph and the nodes are cleaned.

Another interesting information is that the asanas that has something to do with twists are actually good for your digestive system because the moment you twist, there is a temporary halt in the blood circulation to the digestive system. Once you release from the pose the blood gushes into the digestive system providing better circulation.

Pranayama or breathing does not only help you get through the poses but it also cleanses out your respiratory system. Cardio-respiratory system goes hand-in-hand and it comes in perfect unison with the yoga practice. The moment you inhale, oxygen comes in to the body and here is what happens.

Red blood cells carrying Deoxygenated blood (carbon dioxide) comes from different parts of the bodyàright chambers of the heartà pumps to the lungs à exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxideà oxygenated blood à left chambers of the heartà pumps blood throughout the body.

This cycle goes on 24/7 and even without Yoga, this is what happens with everyone. But I realized that the more I practice the poses with proper breathing techniques, the less I become sore and I can sustain the poses a lot longer. For ordinary individuals who practice breathing techniques, they experience lesser health problems like headaches and breathing patterns greatly improve.

These are just some of the many things that give a clearer picture of how yoga can benefit a person’s overall health. No, yoga does not cure diseases but think of it this way- yoga, alongside with conventional medical treatments can help you recover tremendously.