Cholesterol is a lipid found in the bloodstream that is often considered as harmful for the body. Contrary to this popular belief, cholesterol is highly essential for normal functioning and maintenance of the body. Cholesterol is required to build membranes and membrane fluids. It is also known to play an important role in the synthesis of Vitamin D and hormones such as progesterone, estrogen and testosterone.
Although it is good for the body, excess cholesterol can be harmful. Too much cholesterol in the bloodstream can cause blockage of arteries and eventually, heart related complications. To keep a check on its level, it is important to adopt a healthier lifestyle that includes healthy food habits and regular physical exercise.
Various studies suggest that yoga can help curb cholesterol naturally without any harmful side-effects on the body. Yoga is an ancient discipline that shapes up the body and calms the mind through yoga asanas, pranayamas and meditation. These yoga postures can help you bring your cholesterol level under control:
Kapal bhati pranayama (Skull shining breathing technique)
This pranayama increases the metabolic rate and reduces weight. It also stimulates the abdominal organs and improves digestive tract functioning.
Chakrasana (Wheel pose)
The Wheel pose massages the abdominal organs and helps alleviate constipation. It also improves the functioning of the liver and thus helps get rid of excess fat and cholesterol.
Shalabhasana (Locust pose)
The Locust pose stretches the belly and stimulates the abdominal organs. This pose too helps overcome constipation.
Sarvangasana (Shoulder stand)
The Shoulder stand stimulates the abdominal organs and improves digestion.
Paschimottanasana (Two-legged forward bend)
This pose stimulates the liver and kidneys; reduces obesity and gets rid of excess fat from the abdominal region.
Ardha Matsyendrasana (Sitting Half-spinal twist)
This pose massages the abdominal organs, stimulates the liver and helps in overcoming indigestion.
Curb Cholesterol at its Root
Cholesterol is created in the body from the food that we consume. Hence, it is essential to weed out the problem from the root. Junk food, deep-fried food and meat products are practically a storehouse of fats, and thus inevitably – cholesterol. Consuming such fat-rich foods cause sluggishness, mood swings and obesity.
Ayurveda is an ancient branch of natural and holistic medicine that promotes health and wellness by balancing the diet and improving eating habits. Also, ayurvedic cooking is something that every food lover will enjoy as it will let them indulge in food that’s rich in sattwa and is healthy at the same time.
- Keep away from sweet, sour and deep-fried foods.
- Avoid eating junk food and excessive caffeine.
- Say no to alcohol and tobacco.
- Consume more fibrous foods.
- Eat pulses, oats, fruits and green leafy vegetables.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Exercise regularly.
Walking the Tight-rope
If you are diagnosed with high cholesterol level, remember that it’s not impossible to get out of the danger zone. Even minor lifestyle alterations can help bring things under control. However, it is important to stay focused on overcoming the problem and being regular with the yoga regime. Like any other practice, the results of practicing yoga will take time to manifest. Speaking to friends and family can be very encouraging as they support you closely. Most importantly, stay positive about life. A happy state of mind can accomplish things more easily than a disturbed one.
Yoga or Medicines?
Yoga is an alternate approach to restoring cholesterol level in the body and should not be taken as an alternative to medicine. It is highly recommended that you consult your doctor before giving up any current medication that you may be on.
It is important to learn yoga the right way and under the guidance of a yoga expert. A Art of Living Yoga expert can teach you about best yoga practices and also help chalk out a customized yoga routine pertaining to your specific needs and condition. Learn more about the benefits of Art of Living Yoga here.
Yoga practice helps develop the body and mind bringing a lot of health benefits yet is not a substitute for medicine. It is important to learn and practice yoga postures under the supervision of a trained Art of Living Yoga teacher. In case of any medical condition, practice yoga postures after consulting a doctor and a Art of Living Yoga teacher. Find a Art of Living Yoga program at an Art of Living Center near you. Do you need information on programs or share feedback? Write to us [email protected]