Healing Your Heart, The Yogic Way
Written by Sneha Arora of The Yoga Institute
“The enemy of a cardiac patient is not just fatty food of cholesterol, stress or hostility but materialism, crass materialism, selfishness, egoism, negative emotions and all kinds of excess. We will have to turn our steps in the direction of a spiritual life if we want to live long, healthy and happily on this earth.”Dr. Jayadeva Yogendra, the Director of The Yoga Institute
According to research and renowned Yoga schools like The Yoga Institute, a lot of factors contribute to a healthy heart.
Yoga is a way of life and techniques like Asanas, Pranayama, Meditation, Diet, and Lifestyle with a positive mindset, together make the heart-healthy. It is the focus on this internal and external landscape that’ll attempt to remove any blockages we have that prevent us from understanding ourselves more deeply and relating to others from a more authentic place.
As you begin to access that space within yourself more readily, you can balance the influence that your head and your heart have on your thoughts and actions, and may even find that you have a greater sense of “flow” in life – with fewer challenges, fewer blockages, and a smoother, easier time achieving your goals and desires.
Heart opening Asanas like:
- Trikonasana (Triangle)
- Parshvakonasana (Side Angle)
- Talasana (Palm tree pose)
- Ustrasana (Camel Pose)
- Poorvouttansana (Reverse plank)
- Bhujangasana (Cobra)
- Matsyasana (Fish pose)
- Yastik Asana (Stick pose)
affects not just the physical structure of the chest (layers of tissue, bone, and muscle) where the heart resides, but the energetic and emotional capacity (love, compassion, acceptance, gratitude, to name a few) of ourselves as well.
Exercise received through Asanas strengthens the heart and makes it more efficient during work and at rest. The more the activity the greater the capacity for exercise and strengthening the heart. As a result, the blood pressure remains in control.
Yoga & Ayurveda suggest having a Dincharya (routine) which comprises correct eating/inputs, correct routine, time for recreation, and positive thinking. Apart from asanas, diet plays a huge role as well.
In Ayurvedic practice, by following a Sattvic diet (Yogic diet) of light foods that are ripe, raw, or lightly cooked and freshly prepared, you’ll find an increase in energy, happiness, calmness in mental clarity.
Foods you’ll find in the Sattvic diet are:
- Sprouted whole grains
- Whole grains
- Fresh fruit
- Land and sea vegetables
- Pure fruit juices
- Nut and seed milk
- Sprouted seeds
- Herbal teas
Regular practice of pranayama like Bhastrika (‘bellows’ in Sanskrit), surges the flow of air into the body to produce heat at both the physical and subtle level–stoking the inner fire of mind and body, allowing you to de-stress and build a stronger heart.
In the current scenario, apart from a sedentary lifestyle, a negative mindset and stress also add to the factors of heart diseases.
Modern life is like a ship without a captain, floundering in the rising and falling waves of our desires- pushed by the winds of our passions, never amounting to anything.
A survey done by the Indian Medical Association, and other similar research curated at The Yoga Institute showed that nearly 78% of employees and 83% of the directors including other managing staff suffer from various health issues at physical, mental or emotional levels. Issues like obesity, stress, sickness, cardiac problems, sleep disorders & other such health-related problems due to wrong food habits, unhealthy routines, and stressful conditions are common.
Yoga derives its philosophy from Indian metaphysical beliefs, focusing on harmony between heart, mind, and body.
Yoga thus symbolises balance in every area of life. In modern context, Yoga can play an important role in maintaining a healthy personality, bringing in harmony within oneself and the world outside.
Yoga is a Science, a technology, and a philosophy, based on our personal experiences and reflections, under an experienced guide, intellectualism may not always assist.
While we practice Yogic techniques for bettering our physical body, it will quietly work on our attitude, breath, mind, emotion, moral, social, duty / action / karma, i.e. our overall personality.
We also advise to journal your day or week to allow expression and avoid surpressed emotions which can also cause problems on the heart.
As an affiliate of The Yoga Institute in UAE, we incorporate recreational activities in our teacher trainings as well, as part of “Vihar” which is one of the important concepts according to Ayurveda and Yoga. Time for recreation and hobby is a must in one’s lifestyle to channelise emotions and stress.
Sneha will be running a 200 Hour Classical Hatha Yoga Teacher Training on March 25th, for more information click here.