Yoga health benefits versus exercise benefits
Yoga compared to other systems of exercise
Yoga has often been pitted against other forms of exercise and is dismissed as a passive exercise fit only for women. Its health benefits are a much-debated topic.
Dr Krishna Raman examines the impact of yoga on various parts of the body in comparison with other forms of exercise. This is the first of an eight part series excerpted from A Matter of Health, Integration of yoga and Western Medicine for Prevention and Cure by Dr Krishna Raman.
The impact of yoga on the heart
1. Cardiac nerves are rested.
2. Heart rate is not irritated in yogic practice.
3. When the nerves are stimulated, it is a highly conscious process.
4. Asanas can massage the heart.
5. Blood Pressure is regulated and even if it rises, it is far lower than levels during aerobic exercises.
6. There are no adaptive changes in the blood vessels and heart as in athletes.
7. There is preferential shunting of blood flow in asanas practice.
8. Quality of flow is soft, wafting or forceful as desired.
9. This force is unique, not pounding and pulsating action.
10. Many cardiac ailments can be treated by yoga; it is safer, direct in its approach and less irritative than other systems.
Excerpted with permission from A Matter of Health, Integration of yoga and Western Medicine for Prevention and Cure by Dr Krishna Raman. The author has studied modern medicine and has had training in yoga under the renowned yoga guru, BKS Iyengar.
Check this space to know more about the impact of yoga on the other parts of the body.