Practicing yoga can bring down lifestyle diseases, say experts

New Delhi: Yoga can be a boon for the patients of lifestyle diseases and help in bringing down several of such diseases, including blood pressure, said health experts on the eve of International Day for Yoga.

They said not many health experts have realized but Yoga can give a huge sense of relief to patients with problems of hypertension, stroke and diabetes among others.

India currently has the highest burden of people with lifestyle diseases out of which diabetes continues to be the most common due to the poor lifestyle and food habits.

“Non-Communicable diseases are on rise in India and it has been estimated that more than 60 percent population are suffering from chronic disorders like hypertension, diabetes, stroke, chronic diseases among others. And, yoga provides a holistic approach to the body,” said Monik Mehta, Chief of Cardiology, Columbia Asia Hospital, Gurgaon.

He said that various yoga asans and kriyas like deep breathing and meditation help to lower the blood pressure and improve nervous system, reduces stress respectively.

“All of these improvements may prevent heart disease and can definitely help people with cardiovascular problem,” Mehta said.

International Day of Yoga is celebrated in every part of the world on June 21 following a decision by the United Nations in 2014.

Being a traditional Indian practice, Yoga has been popularized by several  people Yoga gurus worldwide.

Doctors believe that Yoga benefits the patients of heart problems as well.

“Yoga has a long-term benefit for the heart as the workouts/asanas are designed and sequenced to increase heart’s activity gradually but steadily. It emphasizes breath, focus and meditation and builds cardiovascular health, increases lung capacity, and improves respiratory function and heart rate,” Venkata Krishnan, Internal Medicine, Paras Hospital

He said that Yoga reduces blood pressure, bad cholesterol level, increases lung capacity and blood circulation as well as improves heart rate.

“Most importantly, one does not have to be up and running in order to be a Yoga practitioner. People who do not have a flexible body, are elderly or are immobile due to an injury or deformity can also take up Yoga. It is a holistic way of living and calls for more attention than ever before,” he said.

Prakriti Poddar, an expert on Mental Health issued at Poddar Foundation  stated that Yoga apart from physical health also benefits mental status of a person.

“Yoga doesn’t just have physical benefits for the body but it is also very useful for mental health. By bringing about a balance between mind and body, yoga also helps to heal psychologically and emotionally,” he said.

Citing number of studies, he said that people with depression and anxiety can benefit significantly by practicing yoga regularly.

“Yoga breathing is particularly helping in calming down the nervous system and reducing stress and anxiety. While advising corporate workers who deal with high levels of work-related stress, I often tell them to practice deep breathing to calm their mind. I believe corporate organizations must introduce yoga as a daily practice for their employees as part of employee wellness programs,” he said.

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