Yoga helps in balancing all aspects of life. A deeper understanding of the problem makes it easier to deal with any problem. When it comes to problems like high cholesterol yoga for cholesterol helps you balance your levels. Cholesterol is caused due to an increase in the low-density lipoprotein (LDL). High LDL levels in the body can form plaque in your arteries. Bad cholesterol increases due to unhealthy lifestyles and food habits. There are 2 types of cholesterol, good and bad.
Factors that play a role in balancing cholesterol levels:
1. Reducing bad cholesterol
It is a popular misconception that cholesterol is bad for you. But it’s not completely right. Your body needs good cholesterol (HDL) for the daily function of the organs.
Good cholesterol carries bad cholesterol to the liver, where the bad cholesterol is removed from the body.
2. Foods that help lower bad cholesterol
Eat sattvic food and nutrient food for a healthy heart. According to Ayurveda moderate consumption of ghee can help in increasing good cholesterol in the body.
Avoid trans fats and saturated fat foods. Foods such as cakes and cookies, often contain trans fats, as do most fried foods.
Yoga for cholesterol
Practising yoga consistently for a duration of 45 minutes at least 3 times a week can help you in reducing cholesterol considerably.
Here are the 5 asanas that work wonders while practising yoga for cholesterol:
1. Vakrasana (Seated twist pose)
The first asana in this sequence of yoga for cholesterol is Vakrasana. It provides a good twist to the spine and compression to the internal organs.
- Start in a seated position with legs out long on the mat.
- Inhale, place the left foot by the outer side of the right thigh. The left leg is out long.
- Sit bones are on the mat.
- Right hand placed behind your right hip on the mat, left arm hooks around the right knee.
- Exhale, upper body twists towards right arm and gaze.
- Boosts the abdominal organs function like the digestive system, intestines, uterus, liver and kidney.
- Therapeutic for lower back pain.
- Activates the nervous system.
2. Paschimottanasana (Seated forward bend)
This seated posture gives a good compression to the abdominal organs. It is a good posture to relieve stress from the spine and leg muscles.
- Sit with legs parallel & extended forward with toes pointing sky.
- Sit bones grounded and keep your back straight.
- Exhale, extend arms forward reaching out to your feet. Bend torso forwards rounding the back.
- Neck aligned with the spine, grasp big toes or shin bone.
- Inhale, slowly raise up and release from the posture.
- Removes digestive disorder and liver disorder.
- Improves flexibility in the hamstring.
- Improves lung health.
3. Mandukasana (Frog pose)
Mandukasana works directly with the digestive system. It helps boost energy in the body by boosting the functions of the internal organs. It is a great posture while practising yoga for cholesterol.
- Sit in Vajrasana, folded leg position heel below the hip.
- Place the thumb inside and make a fist.
- Place the knuckles of the thumb by the side of the navel.
- Exhale deep and compress the abdomen with the fist and hinge forward forehead touching the floor.
- Hold as long as you feel to inhale. Followed with 3 deep inhale and exhale.
- Repeat for 2 more cycles.
- Therapeutic for diseases like constipation, diabetes and digestive disorders.
- Increases flexibility, strengthens muscles around the knees.
- Increases lung capacity.
4. Chakrasana (Wheel pose)
Chakrasana resembles the wheel of a cart. It’s a really good practice to strengthen your arm and also helps in improving liver function.
- Bend your knees and place both feet flat on the mat.
- Bring your hands next to your ears, fingertips pointing toward your shoulders.
- Inhale, lift spine up like a half wheel.
- Hold the posture for 12 seconds with a deep inhale and exhale.
- Exhale slowly drop the spine down and come back to Savasana.
- Improves an appetite and digestion.
- Therapeutic for patients with diabetes and back pain.
- Increases lung capacity and heart health
5. Sarvangasana (Shoulderstand)
It is an amazing therapeutic yoga posture known for its healing values. Since it’s an inversion posture it’s good for the health of the brain function. It also helps in boosting metabolism.
- Start in a lying position. Inhale, engage your core, and lift your legs up into the air, along with the lower back and hip.
- Extend the legs towards the sky and gaze at the tip toe.
- Place your hand at your belt line for support.
- Hold the posture for 20 seconds.
- Exhale came slowly lower the leg and release from the posture.
- Provides blood circulation to the heart and lung.
- Boosts metabolism and calorie burn.
- Improves brain function and nervous system.
While practising yoga for cholesterol always remember, balance is the key. Understanding and developing awareness over what to eat, how much to eat, when to eat food and certain lifestyle changes with proper sleep and consistent practice of yoga can help you deal with high cholesterol and heart disease.