Friday, May 12, 2017

Yoga on hunger

This efficiency is a by-product of improved metabolism, so what is eaten is utilized efficiently. This happens because the various functions of digestion, along our 32-feet of gut, are running smoothly. The respiratory system has been restored back to its peak condition, so it can help the blood deliver the energy packets to the muscles on command and without stress. The master gland pituitary is getting a seamless flow of information from the hectic highways of messages from outside and inside our body, gauges rightly the levels of stress or demand, and controls the rest of our body so as to not over-exert any of the systems. The repairing parasympathetic nervous system's ability to restore balance is also on smooth automaton. 
 Does all this mean a yogi has no emotional upheaval? Not quite since that is a given only for advanced practitioners. But even a casual but regular practitioner of yoga will experience a marked ability to jettison stress instead of hugging it to oneself like a strapped-on luggage.   Often, the cause of over-eating comes from our need to be rid of stress and food help us here by releasing the feel-good, reward hormones like serotonin, dopamine, etc.   If your yoga practice is good, the body's natural inbuilt feel-good systems provide these without needing any external input, in the form of food or other addictions. 
Sage Saying: Over-weight from over-eating, according to Louise L. Hay, the celebrated holistic healing therapist and best-seller of Heal your body, says is due to `Fear, need for protection. Running away from feelings. Insecurity, self-rejection and seeking fulfillment.' (In her book You can heal yourself).   
Halt-hunger pose: 
Pranamasana (prayer pose): Sit on your heels. Inhale. Exhaling, lean forward to place palms on ground in front, to go on all fours. Inhale. Exhaling, place head on floor. Ideally the crown should touch the floor. This may be difficult for beginners. Those with a stiff body may also use a cushion initially. Continue breathing normally. You may place your palms on either side of the head. Or reach back to hold your ankles. The second version is more advanced, and may be attempted after mastering the first stage. Initially hold for a few seconds. Release and raise head back, to return to starting position. Learn to increase your stay in the pose longer and longer, without experiencing any discomfort or breathlessness. 
Sciencespeak: Avoid in high BP and neck problem. In the latter case, it is taught in a phased fashion when the problem is under control. It is used as a pre-meditative pose, because of its immense impact on the brain and our mind. It is calming, due to gush of blood to the brain. It works on what is called the Primary fear center at the upper body and shoulder region where muscles normally tense when we anticipate or experience a stressful event. In acupressure this area is also regarded as a gateway for the body, from where energy leaks happen under intense emotion. When the pose is held well, with a deep curve of the neck, pressure is applied at the thyroid center, crucial for metabolism and nutrient absorption. The para thyroid is also massaged. The latter is crucial for magnesium (needed for musculo-skeletal health and helps with mood management also) and calcium (needed for nerve cell communication). The pressure on the immune gland at the chest also boosts immunity. By boosting respiration (by decongesting the lungs and improving its volume) it not only boosts breath but also tangentially and powerfully uplifts our sense of well-being. It is used in anger management, obesity control. My own guess is that it may have to do with the positive pressure (due to improved blood flow) on the crucial glands like the pineal gland, hypothalamus and the pituitary (especially the last two) which control the rest of our body functions by their powerful web of hormonal out-reach.

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