Can Yoga Help Prevent Heart Diseases?


Source: Hinduism

Hinduism attaches as much importance to the mind and the soul, as to the body. Scriptures say humans can achieve all aims and reach righteous destinations even through the medium of the body. Ancient texts like the Yoga Sutra of Pitanjali (300 BC) enunciates the means of keeping the body in good shape, attaining sound health, and increasing lifespan through the physical discipline of Yoga.

Yoga & Your Heart
Heart diseases are common killers in most developed countries. Can Yoga help prevent heart attacks and keep heart diseases at bay? Yeah! Yoga can do it. If you think Yoga is just a “new-found ability to touch your toes”, you’re mistaken! The practice of Yoga has a substantial foundation in science and provides all-round benefits to a human being.

Owing to its many positive effects – direct and indirect – on the cardiovascular system, Yoga can play a pivotal role in heart care. Yoga, as defined by Pitanjali, is “restraining extrovert activities of the mind so the self emerges in its own form”. It drives a person to self-realization, to awaken latent powers of the body through various asanas (yogic postures) and the mind through meditation and pranayama (breath control). All this results in relaxation of the body and the mind.

Treating the Heart Through the Mind
Yoga treats a person not merely as a mass of flesh and blood, but as a being with a soul. Doctors have come to recognize that this kind of treatment can give patients greater solace and better recovery.

As soon as a person takes to Yoga, his/her life pattern, personality and diet changes. S/he tends to become a puritan and tries to keep away from smoking, drinking and consuming non-vegetarian food. Dr. S. Thanikachalam, a specialist in heart diseases, feels that yoga is “a combination of psychoanalysis, psychiatry and physiotherapy”, and that it directly affects the hypothalamus – area of the brain controlling endocrine activity – in preventing cardiac attacks. This helps generate positive spontaneous energy, which helps the person correct himself, and think clearly.

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