We have grown learning and knowing that our immunity is our greatest shield against diseases and works as the defense mechanism to protect our body. But what if this immunity is misled to fight against something it is supposed to protect?
Rheumatic Arthritis, Thyroid, Lupus, Alopecia, IBD, Type 1 Diabetes, Psoriasis, etc are all examples of auto-immune disorders, where the body is literally attacking itself. Modern science has been struggling over the years to treat such diseases and in many cases, there are no real treatments, but just management of the symptoms to ease the suffering.
Understanding Yoga for Diseases:
Studies, research, and experience have shown that Yoga can help manage such autoimmune disorders at a physical, mental, and emotional level. Yoga is truly a lifestyle and thus has a complete message and the blueprint to make the right modifications and recalibrate your health. Adopting such a lifestyle, backed by the right practices, diet, and managing the mind can make a significant positive impact on those suffering from auto-immune diseases.
Recent studies also show that moderate exercises can stop/reduce inflammation in the body, which is common with many autoimmune diseases. Traditional yoga asanas are gentle and practiced to one’s capacity and comfort. Thus regular and sustained yoga practice can increase muscle strength, endurance, and balance. The asanas help in improving flexibility of the joints and mobility which are very useful in the case of rheumatic arthritis. Stress and anxiety are known to worsen auto-immune conditions.
Studies show that yoga stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system which reduces the body’s stress response. Yoga & Ayurveda helps to develop a general sense of calmness and wellbeing through mindfulness, meditative focus, and increased body awareness, which leads to a reduction in stress and anxiety.
Managing Auto-Immune Disorders:
One of the most important challenges of Auto-Immune disorders is the changing condition of health/ pain/ suffering experienced each day which literally takes away the joy of living. It is thus necessary for people suffering from autoimmune disorders to shift their focus away from the body to something that is deeper and more meaningful. Realizing that we are not just our body and much more can add a different perspective to the management of such disorder. Understanding the personal triggers which aggravate your situation can only come from a deep sense of total awareness. The awareness can also help us develop the ability to focus on sensations and symptoms that really require attention and thus help immensely in managing the day-to-day life with such disorders.
However, management of such disorders with Yoga needs a careful and well-guided approach by Yoga teachers who have hands-on experience with the disease and understanding of traditional yoga. A combination of asanas, pranayama, diet, sleep management, relaxation, and mental attitude can provide the much-needed answers to manage auto-immune disorders.
Even if Yoga may not claim to cure you fully, it will still give you the tools to take care of yourself and reset your lifestyle to lead a path of health and happiness.
This war is within us and the winning solution for the same can also be found within us. Befriend your body and bring back the joy of living with Yoga.